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Our Newest Columnist: The Friendly Landlord

Posted Monday, May 12th, 2008 at 1:26 pm by The Friendly Landlord in Worker Bees. More in 10021

I’m supposed to be the bad guy-a New York City landlord. And maybe I am. After all, I’ve evicted people and been happy to see them go. I’ve forced a woman to give up her Terrier because the little rat wouldn’t stop yapping. I’ve told an audiophile he can’t use the killer Bose system he spent his bonus on because our walls are under-insulated and even at low volumes the building shakes. Sorry. That’s my job.

But the truth is I’m not so bad. And at the end of the day, I go home to my apartment and become a tenant like everyone else. The real difference between you and me is that when my landlord tries to withhold my security deposit over some funky accounting or tells me I can’t play music on a Saturday afternoon, I know how to fight back.

So maybe I’m writing this to appease my guilty conscience. Or maybe deep down I really do have a heart. But I’m here to share with you the answers I’ve learned to some of life’s most important questions. How do I get out of my lease? Can my landlord really raise my rent $350 a month? How do I get my security deposit back? Can I negotiate this outrageous broker’s fee? And maybe most importantly, where the hell is this “affordable housing” I hear about, and how can I get in on that?

In order to keep both my job and my excellent rapport with the devil, I have to report from the dark side anonymously. Call me the Friendly Landlord, betraying my ignoble profession to empower the people with the inside scoop on the real estate market we all hate to love and love to live in.

Is it irresponsible of me to arm the other side? Won’t it make my job harder? Probably. But I like a good fight. So if you’ve got a little real estate dilemma, e-mail me at [email protected], and I’ll tell you how to stick it to The Man. And you never know. Maybe that man will end up being me.

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