March 02, 2007

Quick question.

Okay, if you were a landlord, how would you feel about this offer?

I was idly looking through Craigslist in anticipation of moving out of my co-op at the end of the semester. I'm way early, since the spring contract period ends May 18th and I was planning to move in mid-May if not the beginning of June. Naturally, what I found was an utterly amazing-seeming place available April 1st -- room in nice house in North Berkeley hills, beautiful scenery, cats okay, rent good. Walking distance from Kingman, consistent with my intention of being a visitor there in the fall. Space for my books. Did I say gorgeous?

What I want to do is email the people who put up the ad and tell them: omg omg your house looks beautiful and I want to live in it, but I can't start renting it in April (not only does it make no sense, I won't be able to afford the usual 1st-last-deposit at that point even with my shiny new salary). But what I can do is pay my last month's rent and deposit in April, and then pay rent from May onward. But I don't know if that's something a landlord would ever go for. Too strange? Too shady? Not worth passing up the extremely good odds of finding someone for April, given the desirability of the house?

What would you think of it if you were the landlord, and what would you do if you were the me?

Posted by dianna at March 2, 2007 03:35 PM

emailing and asking, harms nothing. so you should try that.

Posted by: michele at March 2, 2007 04:19 PM

0% interest long term loan from your friends?

Posted by: Elliot at March 2, 2007 08:16 PM

Not a plan I'd feel terribly comfortable with, but a thought that's appreciated nonetheless.

Posted by: Dianna at March 2, 2007 11:40 PM

Is it too late to weigh in and say try it?

In practical terms, it might not pan out. Landlords, in my experience, often don't need to be very flexible about stuff like timing, if they're renting in a college town or other form of landlord's market - because they can probably find someone very easily to take the place immediately. On the other hand, I've had landlords be somewhat willing to be flexible with me on stuff like move-in dates if they've met me and liked me (sometimes it might be to their advantage to take a hit on a month's worth of rent, in order to rent to someone they think will be a good tenant long-term). I'd email, or go see the place, talk to them, be up-front, and make a good impression. Worst case scenario is that they say "Nope, sorry, we can't afford to push the move-in date back" and you don't get the place. But that's the guaranteed outcome if you don't try anyway. I'd try it, and I'd do my best to be up-front, show willing, and not *seem* shady.

My slightly more than 2 cents.

Posted by: katie at March 4, 2007 04:15 PM

It is not too late, mostly because this advice is in line with what I've already done, which is to email the person who put up the ad and say hi, I'm this very interested and totally desirable roommate who can't move in until May but is willing to make some kind of deal. And if they're amenable to working something out, then, well, yay.

I'm not sure how much the college-town rental economy applies to this particular place, only because it's a fair ways up into the hills and away from the campus area. For anyone with a car it's not far, and for me it's only about a mile up the road from Kingman, but it's not going to be in high demand for anyone wanting walking distance to frat parties. Therein, of course, lies some of its appeal for me.

Posted by: Dianna at March 4, 2007 04:55 PM