Friday, February 10, 2006

how i have a voice and i will be heard

as many of you know, i've been looking for a new apartment. in fact, i'm outta my place on march 1, so i've been intesifying my efforts in the past week - during which i found a great apartment on arguello and clement, a one bedroom with a family room and large living room. it's a really cool set-up and, for $1350, it's a steal (okay, in san francisco it's a deal).

i dug it.

so i called the rental agent - they're called, and i'm bolding them for effect, the american realty & construction inc. - and told him that i want to come by and sign up for an application. he said no problem, to come on by and i'll fill it out and they'll run a credit report and it shouldn't be a problem.

i've done this before. it's no big deal.

anyways, i showed up, and they put me in a conference room. the guy i was dealing with, jimmy lau, also bolded for effect, wasn't around but he left me the paperwork. his sweet assistant handed me to them with a pen. she told me that jimmy left these for me to sign.

usually, most people would just go ahead and fill it out.

but, you see, i'm a writer. and i know that life is all about the details.

so the first thing that struck me was that the application had a carbon copy. why would i need a copy? it's usually just a photocopied form you fill out.

the next thing i realized was that the paper had the words "prorated" on it. this has nothing to do with rent.

and the last thing i noticed was the words "OFFER TO LEASE".

yep, it was a lease i was signing.

even more clearly: they were trying to get me to sign a lease with me thinking it was an appilcation. they were, in short, trying to pull a fast one.

i instantly bolted up and found the assistant and told her that i was uncomfortable with signing this, and that i only came by to apply. you see, that's what you do: you apply, you are approved after a credit report and then you sign the lease. i had never been to this office before. i hadn't been approved for anything. why was i signing a lease?

i could tell that she really didn't know. she guessed that maybe jimmy used this for an application form - even though he filled out the terms of the lease, the rent, the move-in date and everything else. he even signed the damned thing.

i told her that if this is a respectable real estate agency, and it seems that way, considering that they're located in a business building and they've got nice offices, that i'm sure they have an appilcation form in a pile somewhere that i would use and not a lease.

she had no answer. i knew that she knew that i was onto them.

that asshole tried to get me to sign a lease.

so, again, the sneaky jackasses are called the american realty & construction inc., and the head snake is jimmy lau.

anyways, since each should become aware, i posted a version of this rant on craigslist, just because everyone should know what they're getting into.

how about me for social awareness!

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