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.



We sprayed the tenant’s suite for cockroaches. It didn’t work. The tenant wrote a letter demanding we do it again, and if we didn’t, she would put her rent in escrow. She worked at a law office. We sprayed again. Then we sprayed the whole building — approximately one-thousand dollars’ worth of spray.

She still had bugs. She called the city building department, which sent out its most gung-ho inspector, who decided we needed to point the chimney and plane the boiler-room door in the basement, and fix up everything in between.

We did all that. And we brought in our cockroach “bomber,” a guy who zapped her apartment, including a direct hit on her coffee maker. A dozen cockroaches scampered out. She had gotten the used coffee maker from her boyfriend. That roach-infested coffee maker set me back thousands.

I planned not to renew her lease, but she told me she was moving before I told her I was not renewing her. That bugged me.

So did her 20-pound bond, legal stationery. She wasn’t even a lawyer.

Here’s my op-ed from last Friday’s Wall Street Journal: My Deadbeat Tenant Insisted on Eviction.

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1 Ken Goldberg { 01.26.22 at 9:11 am }

I’ll never have that particular problem as I only do instant in my house and am completely satisfied. The kids even gave me one of their coffeemakers and I’ve never used it so far. However, I get brewed coffee everywhere else – typically at least once a day.

2 Thomas Carroll Blauvelt { 01.26.22 at 2:39 pm }

Hi Bert:

I thought you’d like this video:


3 Mark Schilling { 01.26.22 at 11:00 pm }

You struck a nerve with the WSJ piece — 355 comments and counting. Not many got the Elmore-Leonard-esque black humor. Or am I reading it wrong?

4 Bert Stratton { 01.27.22 at 9:03 am }

To T.C. Blauvelt: Yeah, terrific vid of Doreen Ketchens playing clarinet on the streets of NOLA. I tried that once, in NOLA. Really. I even got a $20 tip — my biggest ever. Then again, I also sat in with a super-pro band on the main square there, and the trumpeter said to me — after I soloed — “play with some balls.”

5 Bert Stratton { 01.27.22 at 9:08 am }

To Mark Schilling:

A lot of the comments are landlords commiserating with me. It’s danceable — the landlord/tenant polka. People like to read about conflict, and they like to talk about it.

6 Ken Land { 01.30.22 at 8:29 pm }

Hi Bert…
Did not hear from your guy. All good. Open to it though. I have done way better since I’ve met like minded people.

I did what I could but was unable to connect to a subscription to your postings. Please connect if possible.

I have a landlord’s nightmare story for you if you are interested. ADA issue. Professional litigant. Took me off for $5,000 and same in legal fees. 1993. I have smartened up since then.

7 Ken Land { 01.30.22 at 8:50 pm }

yo. It came through

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