Archive for March 13th, 2007

A Handful

March 13, 2007


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And The Horse You Rode In On

March 13, 2007

A relative of mine is looking for an apartment.

She left a previous apartment because the health department had declared it unsafe and recommended the building be gutted down to bare studs and rebuilt. (Only recommended, alas; it was not able to be enforced. The landlord simply wiped the toxic mold off the walls, ceilings and floors, and re-rented the place to another unsuspecting sap.)

My relative was officially evicted because she did not pay the rent. She did not pay the rent because:

(a) the building was unfit to be lived in, by order of the health department, and thus she and her daughter fled with only the clothes on their backs;

(b) she could not move her things out because the building could only be entered by a haz-mat team in full protective suits; and

(c) it took time to complete the lab testing and arrange for the haz-mat team.

Other than that eviction, she has a perfect credit record–and a perfect rental history. She has gotten back every penny of every rental deposit she has ever made.

This all happened six and a half years ago. Yesterday I attempted to co-sign for an apartment for her–and was told that I would be welcomed as a tenant, but no way in H-E-double hockey sticks will they let my relative near the building with a ten-foot door key, not even as my roommate.

So now what do we do? I’m more than happy to rent an apartment somewhere else for her in my name–but what do we tell the landlord when they notice I’m not actually living there?