Hello Landlord! Humble tenant here. I know you prefer non-written communication (no paper trail) so you can change rules on a whim (restricting yard access, banning house plants healthier than yours, etc.) but I sat down at my kitchen/work/entertainment/bathroom table and sort of got on a roll. I’m nothing if not reasonable, so I jotted down some scenarios in which I would agree to a rent hike with one hundred percent of my heart and fifty percent of my paycheck:
- You increased rent but you’re also increasing the square footage of my apartment at the same rate. I’m excited for the 9% more space which I believe you got by drilling into the neighbor’s kitchen—it’s cool to have a second fridge.
- You looked through my mail and saw my meager wages. Appalled, you negotiated on my behalf, raising my salary commensurate with the rent raise. You also managed to secure some healthcare benefits since you won’t get around to taking care of that black mold.
- You still come into my apartment when I’m out of town, but you do an incredibly deep clean. Folding, ironing, and donating my old clothing; you took care of my stuff like you think it’s your own! I did need those sweaters for when you set the thermostat in winter.
- You live a life of leisure playing so much golf that you genuinely got confused and thought that the lower my bank account balance, the better, like a golf score. You hope to get my checking account under par.
- You need to depreciate the costs you sunk into your reimagining of the musical Rent from the perspective of landlords, who are the real artists if you think about it. I get to keep a copy of the script along with any other dramatic works you've written, to read with friends Mystery Science Theater 3K-style.
- You raised my rent but lowered another of your tenants' rent, and they are going to buy my groceries in some bizarre pay-it-forward scheme you hatched to show us how we’re all interconnected. You are not merely our landlord, but also our spirit-lord! We will talk about monthly fees for that too.
- You just got back from The Cloisters and felt inspired by all the medieval art: you’ve decided to institute Feudalism. All of my income goes directly to you along with all my barley. I await your call to rise up in arms against the brownstone across the street.
- You take every cent I pay in rent and use it to fund housing reform lobbyists, ultimately to ruin your business model. You are tortured by your self-defeating psychological issues. We’re not so different, I guess.
- You fixed the bathroom, but not just a new sink–you made one of those Rube Goldberg machines where I drop down into the shower from my bed. You’ve worked out the kinks so it doesn’t accidentally use my toothbrush up my butt (most of the time).
- You lost lots of money creating NFTs of the apartment, trying to convince me that it’s more important to own that then physical property. The rent goes up for now but soon you’ll vacate the house and the country to avoid prosecution.
- You increased the rent because you just plumb want more money.
Thanks so much! Inspired by you, I’ve struck out as a landlord myself (an even more subdivided space for the next exploitable generation). I applied a lot of your tactics: the listing says “pre-war” because I assume a new civil war is coming, I started incorporating other surcharges into utilities (oxygen, gravity, reality), and I installed those spikes they put on public benches so my tenant will be more inclined to work than sleep.
My therapist told me “Hurt people hurt people” but I don’t have to listen to her anymore, she’s not my landlord. See you out in the world, unburdened by work or ambition!
Praise the (Land) Lord!