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.

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 has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post.




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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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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