I’m helping my landlord out by renting the studio next to my apartment. He promised me $150 and to allow someone else to take over my lease. Sold!
Now, some background: this is the studio previously inhabited by the neighborhood pothead. He’s maybe 22, shaved head, Elvis Costello glasses, sleeves of tattoos – and a bad pot habit. Really bad pot. Skunk. Clouds of it coming out of his screen door. I don’t smoke myself, but I know low grade crap when I smell it. And I know, when there’s other idiot early twentysomethings coming and going, that the neighbor is likely dealing.
When I first looked at the place two weeks ago, it was apparent that there had also been a grow-op there as well. Bright lights, leaves on the floor, hydroponic growing supplies. I wanted to inform him that life is NOT a Showtime series, but didn’t, and instead, just asked that he clean up so I could show the place. Of course, that didn’t happen, and the hundred-odd emails I got from a Craigslist post became worthless as days went by, and I either had to show a filthy, marijuana-infused den, or turned people away and stalled.
Ten days after I’d expected to have a clean studio to show, I got tired of it, and called the landlord and the pothead. I told the pothead that if he didn’t have his stuff out and the place clean soon, I’d call a professional hauler and a cleaning team, and he would lose his deposit to pay for it. I told the landlord the same thing, and he said he trusted me to do whatever was necessary, and if I paid for anything, to take it out of my rent.
Amazingly enough, that got the pothead in gear. I came home Saturday to find him cleaning, and to find a totally different apartment. I lent him some PineSol, and the next day, when I showed the place, it was actually decent.
Cut to today. I have OPEN HOUSE ads on Craigslist for it. But I’d had it open for about ten minutes when the pothead charged in and demanded his key. I told him he had to promise not to lock it. He said he wouldn’t, so I could show it – and then locked it. Cue shouting match. He insisted the landlord was fucking him over; I told him that I didn’t care. If he didn’t unlock the apartment right then, I would call a locksmith to do it, and if I had to do that, he would pay for it out of his deposit. I got him to unlock the place by promising to call the landlord, and then he took off with the key.
And then he came back, still yelling about how he didn’t give thirty days notice, so he still had ten more days. Except he hasn;t paid for those days. Which I pointed out, which led to MORE yelling about how he needed his money. The prospective applicant looked terrified at this, as she filled out the forms at my living room table, but my roomate and I explained the situation, and she seemed OK with it.
An hour later, the landlord’s buddy shows up (another Russian) and adds a new lock, handing me the new keys. Now, I can lock the place with keys that the pothead – and his friends – don’t have copies of. The pothead is getting his deposit back as well, but seriously. Angry Pothead Dinner Theater is sometimes more entertainment than I can handle.