Yesterday I looked at several basement apartments here in Flatbush. And let me tell you, Brooklyn is a whole different level of filthy. I mean, the proprietors had zero problem showing off their places for rent with pride, and the amassed dirt on average was truly grotesque to behold. I finally elevated a cute studio to the top of my list: it had enough room to be cozy once my essentials were in, seemed pretty private (not to mention relatively quiet), the price was decent for all-inclusive (more on that in a moment), and the place looked like it had been cleaned since last year- albeit not up to my standards, which are admittedly pretty high.
So when I heard that they accepted me as their new tenant, I was most pleased. I went over earlier to drop off the cheque for June, and that's when the groisse gedilah started. First, there would be no lease, which actually suits me fine at present. Next came the refusal to issue a receipt for my cheque. I then decided that a receipt for my security deposit would suffice. The death knell sounded when I heard that a) my mail would be delivered to the family upstairs versus me directly, and 2) the "all-inclusive" price was only in effect if I kept my use to a minimum. She even asked me if I kept my computer on all the time, and while I don't, let's face it- computers don't suck up many kilowatts.
I arrived home feeling very apprehensive, and decided to nip things in the bud by calling the new landlady. She proceeded to get most insulted at my requests, but eventually acquiesced to providing a receipt for the security deposit and a mailbox at the front of the house with my name on it. I'm still not feeling hunky-dory about the situation, but figured that you get what you pay for. Oh, and we determined that minimum cost meant less than approximately $50/ mth. That seemed fair. Of course, it goes without saying that these negotiations entailed multiple calls back and forth, including one with her husband.
Then came the parade of would-be renters at my current apartment, since I had informed my landlord earlier today of my intentions. The parade was a motley crue, who insisted on leaning on/touching everything (including my nightie, which was hanging over a chair), neglected to wipe their feet upon entering(isn't that a common courtesy anymore?), and overall lowering the sanitation level in my little slice of heaven substantially. Even after mopping the floors, and wiping down a few key surfaces (multiple times, because there kept on being "just one more" group who needed to see the place), I swear to you that my skin is still crawling. I hope the punks didn't bring in creepy-crawlies. That would just be the last straw.
In short, welcome to moving in Brooklyn. It's not treat, that's for sure. But when you're faced with no alternative, it's time to just suck it up and try to manage the best you can.