Corporate Peon: Rules Were Meant to be Broken

Monday, January 24, 2005

Rules Were Meant to be Broken

The radio station I listened to this morning had a disgusting segment: callers who have purposely not paid their rent - at multiple apartment complexes. One caller, Alicia, said that the first time she did this, her rent was $950 a month. At the time of signing the lease, Alicia felt she could make that payment, but with her car payment, etc, she realized she could not. So, she just fell behind. For five months.

Her landlord didn't take her to court - apparently the landlord didn't want to endure the court fees, paperwork, etc, but just wanted Alicia out as quickly as possible. And apparently there's a few months' grace period. So, for five months, Alicia made a killing. Let's assume that the landlord garnished the security deposit when Alicia finally left - even at a few hundred dollars, Alicia saved over $4000 in rent.

Alicia then went on to TWO other places, pulling the same stunt. Her credit was in good shape, as the previous incident had not showed up - and may not, depending on a landlord's preclivity to processing claims. At each place, rent ranged from $750-950 a month. At each place, Alicia saved around $4000 during her stay.

Alicia doesn't pay rent today, either, but for a slightly different reason - she now has a mortgage.

Well, shit, if I were dishonest and immoral and knowingly cheated someone out of my end of a contract, I could easily save $10,000 and have my own goddamn mortgage. But because I play by the rules, I'm still shelling out upwards of $800 a month, every month.

I'm not sure what I'm more disgusted about - that she got away with it? That she bettered her situation by getting out of the renting cycle? That her landlords were so lazy they didn't want to do anything to stop her - or to help out other landlords in the same predicament? Or that I would never even think of not paying my rent??

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