Settling In

Last weekend Jay and I moved into our new place. And when I say new, I basically mean brand new- this place was completely redone not even six months ago and it is the most pristine apartment I’ve ever lived in. Granite counter tops, ceiling fans in every room, a bath that has two different shower heads. Basically, it is a gleaming gem in a city of crazily expensive apartments. We’ve already made this place look pretty baller and it’s only going to get better when we find the time to shop for new furniture (why, WHY did my couch not fit up the staircase?).

Now, coming from an apartment where the landlord was a condescending dick, we were thrilled to find that our new landlords are a tiny old Italian couple who live below us. When we signed the lease we sat at their dining room table, which was covered with plastic, and she pressed us with homemade blueberry cake and cans of Pepsi while chatting away in broken English. Adorable, right? I KNOW.

But the thing is, they’re all up in our business. It’s like we’re living in their home- not paying to have an apartment in the same building as them, but like they’re our grandparents and we’re just crashing here. The little lady hand delivers our mail to our door and shoves it in the crack of the door jamb. They helped us bring our stuff up the stairs. They helped me fold up a tarp that was covering my poor couch in the driveway when someone came to take it away.

I know what you’re thinking- NICEST EVER! But see, here’s the rub- they’re almost TOO nice. The other day I was on the couch perusing craigslist and Jay ran outside to do something, leaving the door open. When he came back, we both went into the kitchen and I noticed a brown bag on the counter. When I opened it, it was full of homemade Italian cookies. Um. When did she come into my apartment?! She’s just creeping in while we’re not looking?! Gah!

Then Monday came and she stopped me in the hallway while Jay was at work. In her roundabout, half-English, half-Italian way she told me that she felt bad that we didn’t have our own washer and dryer in the basement and that I should leave our laundry in the hallway so she could do it for us! You guys. I haaaaate doing laundry. But never, ever would I want my 80 year old landlord digging through our underwear and lugging it up and down the stairs! When I politely demurred, she countered with “Well, we take one hundred dollars off your rent then, to pay for you to do laundry somewhere.”

Jay and I discussed it. A hundred bucks is some serious bucks to save, and for that money we could have a laundry delivery service come pick it up and bring it back. But what if something happened and we ended up owing her that money? Who asks their tenants to pay LESS? Is it taking advantage of their niceness to accept? Is it foolish to accept? Are we going to feel like we owe them something?

Who would’ve guessed that having the sweetest landlords in the world would bring so many more issues than having an asshole for a landlord?

So. What do you think?

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If you're reading this, you probably already know me. If you don't, I'm so sorry for you.
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6 Responses to Settling In

  1. Noelle says:

    What Diary of Why said.

    I’m in a very similar situation in my new place. The owners are like my second set of parents, and it has become kind of awesome that I go to pick up my mail and leave fully fed with a homemade dinner.

    And oh yes, once you get your laundry done with a pick-up drop-off, you will never, ever go back.

  2. Red says:

    Is this your roundabout way of asking me to do your laundry for $100? I accept.

  3. heidikins says:

    From a legal standpoint (because I graduated from Judge Judy Law School, you know), I think if they want to offer $100 dollars less on your rent that’s great. Tell them you would really appreciate the savings, but you would need to have them draft a new lease showing the reduced amount and tear up the old one. That way you are covered, and you don’t have an 80-year-old granny sorting through your socks and underwear.


  4. RA says:

    Definitely agree with getting whatever rent lowering in writing. Messing up that stuff gets you on Worst Tenants in the World! Not that I have watched a marathon of that show recently…

  5. flurrious says:

    $100? How filthy does she think your clothes are? Getting the lowered rent in writing is the smart thing to do, but you’ll probably have to broach the topic delicately. Since they’ve semi-adopted you, I could see them taking offense and rescinding the offer.

    My first apartment had a manager like this. I came home from work one day to find she’d washed some dishes and vacuumed the carpet. It was uncomfortable.

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