Is this creepy?
October 25, 2013 2:26 PM Subscribe
I'm on a very painful apartment hunt in the Bay Area, and having no luck finding anything (I've applied four times now). It's a terrible market for a renter and there's a lot of competition. Early this week, I finally found a place I liked and that the landlord seemed willing to rent to me-- but then he sent a series of text messages that made me question his sanity. He lives on the property, so I want to feel comfortable around the guy. I told him I wasn't interested anymore, but now I'm second-guessing myself. How strange do you think these messages are, and should I be worried?
posted by three_red_balloons to home & garden (52 answers total)
More background: The guy is probably in his sixties, and lives alone. He's retired, so usually around. The apartment is on the lower level of his home. When I met him and saw the apartment, we talked for quite a while. He seemed a little eccentric and awkward, but friendly. A few things seemed a little weird: at one point he said "I'm really nervous," with a nervous laugh (apropos of nothing); he also implied that he was disappointed the current tenant (like me, a young woman) didn't want to spend time hanging out with him. The house isn't shared, it's a fully separate unit. When we met, I told him I wanted to apply, gave him my info, and he told me to think about it and text him the next day.
The next day, I called and left a message saying I wanted the place, and sent a text as well. He texted back saying it might be hard for him if he had other good applicants (as far I knew, no one else had applied yet), and that he'd get back to me in six days. I was a little annoyed, since the end of the month is fast approaching and I want to have firm plans, but accepted this. Then the odd texts started.
Him: Will you devise a personality test to help me decide the most compatible tenant?
Him: we're sharing the same house, after all [note, as i mentioned above, it's not shared, and he'd had quite a bit of time to talk with me]
Him: Did I tell you I had a pet snake that lives in the apartment that keeps hiding out?
Him: (that was a humor test)
Him: Seriously though, I'm not a trickster
[I didn't respond...my reaction was to feel creeped out.]
Him, later: I hope my sense of humor didn't scare you off. I can also give you personal references and previous tenant contacts if you want.
So, now he sounded reasonable again. The next, still feeling creeped out by the messages (and feeling like I wouldn't feel completely safe living next to him), I told him I didn't think it was a good fit after all. He sent more reasonable messages, apologizing. He said I had been his first choice and he was disappointed.
Did I overreact? Given the insanely tight housing market and my increasing desperation to find something, should I suck it up and (assuming he's still willing to rent to me), move into a slightly awkward situation?