Real Music & Real Estate . . .

Yiddishe Cup’s bandleader, Bert Stratton, is Klezmer Guy.
 

He knows about the band biz and – check this out – the real estate biz too. So maybe he’s really Klezmer Landlord.
 

You may not care about the real estate biz. Hey, you may not care about the band biz.  (See you.)
 

This is a blog with a gamy twist. It features tenants with snakes and skunks, and musicians with smoked fish in their pockets.
 

Stratton is an occasional contributor to the New York Times, the Times of Israel, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and City Journal. He won two Hopwood Awards.


 
 

OLD THIEVES

 

Retirees usually make good tenants.  Unfortunately, I don’t get many retiree tenants, because most old folks don’t want to live in pre-war hardwood-floor apartments with no dishwasher or A/C.   Been there, done that.

I had an application from Joe, 71, a retired factory worker.
He made $1600/month.

Welcome, Joe.

I ran a criminal search on him as a formality. Aggravated arson, forgery and sexual battery.

Pre-Internet, I would have rented to him.  Pre-Internet,  it was hard to run background checks.  I once rented to a rapist/murderer because I wasn’t schlepping to county records, and the rapist wasn’t volunteering he was a rapist/ murderer.  (The man got picked up on a parole violation and moved out of my apartment without killing or raping.)

I rented to a retired nurse whose previous landlord followed her to my place.  He told me the old lady was a forger and felon.

But she already had the keys to my place!  My building manager had given her the keys in exchange for a dime store ring.

My custodian, Buck, always subverted me.  For example, he thought junk mail should stay in perpetuity; watering outdoor plants was ridiculous; and accepting fake rings was part of the job.

I helped Buck move the retired nurse’s belongings into the basement.  I locked the basement door.

“Give me my meds!” she said.

She had a point.

I gave her meds, plus her toothbrush.

This cost me.

I was young.  I learned two things: a) Don’t ever do a “self-help” eviction.  Lawyers love self-help evictions.  b) Screen all tenants like crazy on the way in.

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4 comments

1 Kenny G { 02.15.12 at 9:45 am }

Do you have a free website whereby you can access this sort of information, or do you have to put it together with a more extensive search on the web?

2 Bert { 02.15.12 at 9:52 am }

To Kenny G:

I pay for credit searches, and I do criminal searches for free, via county records.

3 Garry Kanter { 02.15.12 at 1:15 pm }

Thanks for the timely heads up. I may be entering into a lease-to-buy arrangement soon.

4 Seth { 02.17.12 at 5:48 pm }

Absolutely lawyers like self-help evictions when they represent residential tenants…double damages and attorney fees. However, with the proper magical language and careful procedures, self-helps are available in commercial leases…but you probably knew that.

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