Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sort of a Rant

Trusting our intuition often saves us
from disaster. 
-Anne Wilson Schaef-

Last night we went to look at another apartment.  It was late, and I really didn't want to go.  Now, I wish I hadn't gone.  They fact is, I fell in love with the place.  It is four rooms, not too far from the water, on a different side Brooklyn. It's a great neighborhood, a block from the train station, and near all shopping.  There's plenty of windows, four walk in closets, and it is only $50 more a month than what I already pay.  I definitely want why am I feeling so bad?...

....because I just don't think I'm going to get it.  I know I should be thinking positive, but I my intuition is telling me that we don't 'measure up' to what they are looking for, so to speak. I've always lived in private homes, never in a building, so I had no idea what to expect.  In private homes, they just ask the basic questions, and, of course, want to speak to your present landlord, but that's about it.  I was shocked when I was handed the application for this building.  They want to know:

...Where I work.  How long.  Salary.
...They want to talk to my employer.
...My bank account...and its number?  Don't feel comfortable with that one.
...My credit cards and how much is owed.  
...Savings accounts.  401 k's, and stuff like that.  How far I went in school.  ...What degree or certificates I have. 
...They want to see my present utility bills.
...They want a copy of my social security and drivers license or state I.D. ...They want to come and check out my present apartment.
...And on top of all that, they are going to do a credit check...and all this is going to cost me is a non-refundable $100.  

The more I thought about, the angrier it made me.  Granted, I haven't been turned down, and there is that slight chance we might get it.  15 years of never been late paying your rent has to count for something.   But I was thinking about all the others, all those people out there looking for a place to live, those people who may not have a diploma or a GED, but they do have a decent job.  I understand that the building owner wants to make sure he has decent, rent-paying tenants, but I do think this goes a little bit above board and is actually quite discriminatory to people who may actually turn out to be great tenants. There is far too much homelessness in this city.  I spoke with several of my co-workers who live in buildings, and this seems to be the norm.  Could these new stringent rules for rentals contribute to the homeless situation?  I have to wonder how many people are out there who tried for housing, but were turned down because they did not meet up with the standards.

I'm so leery of this because hubby is unemployment, and my intuition is telling me that, although I make enough to cover the rent, the word unemployment is a dirty word to them...that and the fact that I really have no savings. I don't have $100 to just throw away.  This move is taking everything I have.   Funny thing, when I went to bed last night, closed my eyes and tried to visualize the apartment all hooked up, I couldn't see it.  Try as I might I could not see the herb garden in the windows, etc.  I take that as an omen that it isn't meant to be. 

Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else's. 
-Billy Wilder-


  1. Well, first of all Mary, they are asking some pretty personal information. They are NOT allowed
    to ask for your social security number...

    NO NO NO !!

    Your bank account number is none of their business either. Can you imagine how easy it would be to steal your identity with all this personal information?

    Job information I can see, they want to make sure you are employed and if you make enough to pay the rent that is all they need to know.

    Get them a couple of references from your landlady and from your boss saying you are a reliable, trustworthy person.

    It could just be that they have been stuck for
    money and damages before and are more than leary.

    How far away is hubby from collecting social security ? In Canada you can collect it early
    if you agree to take a lesser amount.

    If you want that apartment go after it in a way that makes you comfortable and do not give them any information that you are hesitant to give.

    Don't know if it is even legal to charge a surcharge of $100.00 for all the check out info.

    Trust your instincts you know how many scams are afoot these days.

    Good luck

    hugs and love Sharon

  2. WOW that is a lot ,and a lot of VERY personal info to give to a stranger, a credit check should be enough..i didn't have to give that much info to get a mortgage. But not being able to visualizer the herb garden is probably an omen

  3. While yes, this seems to be the norm these days Mary, this application seems to be extreme in my opinion. I'd think twice about handing out such personal info, as you know nothing about these people? I'd say it is waaaay over the top invasive, and quite frankly I'd contact the Tenant/Landlord laws in your area to see if it is even legal they ask all these questions of an applicant?

    I don't see you living there either.

    Follow your instincts...they are good indicators as you well know. :)

    Loving You and Sending Gentle Hugs...

  4. I'm gonna have to agree with everyone else. Go with your gut, this sounds extreme and with identity theft it seems like such a gamble.

    As for your husband, if in the future you have to list your job could you just put he's retired?

  5. Wish there was a lawyer among us. To say whether some of those questions, are even legal to ask people.

    Yes, follow your gut instinct.

    Gentle hugs,
    "And close at hand, the basket stood
    With nuts from brown October’s wood."

    ~~John Greenleaf Whittier, Snowbound

  6. Now I have read the other comments. And I see that I am not alone in questioning the asking of some of those questions...

    Gentle hugs,
    "And close at hand, the basket stood
    With nuts from brown October’s wood."

    ~~John Greenleaf Whittier, Snowbound

  7. Boy oh Boy Mary.....I think you should definitely trust your instincts on this one.....hopefully your further looking if you should not get this apartment will be a little less intrusive.



  8. Whoa baby! You don't want to buy the place, you just want to rent it.
    Have you asked what they do with this information afterwards?
    It ALL sounds good, except for that intrusive background check.
    Crossing my fingers that you will begin to invision yourself living there and if meant to be...IT HAPPENS. (((hugs)))

  9. I was a paralegal and did some research for you Mary. This is what I came up with. (specifically
    If this is a problem, ask if the landlord will process your application with your own printed credit and background reports. However, be prepared to run into problems or to have your application denied. The majority of landlords who ask for a Social Security number are simply trying to get enough information to make your rental as safe as possible for all parties involved.)

    Having said all this.....If it is a reputable establishment which has been around for a long time I would probably pony it up if they wouldn't accept other forms of I.D. after you've asked and are comfortable with your answer.

  10. I'm like you Mary, if I can't 'see' myself there, it's just not gonna happen. And I hope you didn't give all the info they wanted, sounds like maybe you did...hoping for the best....