So, as another super fun part of our vacation, Slappy and I set out today, after my dentist appointment (more on that another time, like after I get the stupid filling on my freaking birthday), to find a new apartment. We had a list of places, all at least 20 miles east of our current place and we were ready to find a new home.
The place we currently live in is a very nice complex and it’s in a very nice neighborhood. I’m not going to tell you exactly what we pay in rent, but suffice it to say that it would make you gasp once you knew that it was only 1 bedroom/1 bathroom. We also live with like 200 college students who find it most appropriate to yell at each other between the hours of 1 and 4 am. We found out last year that our apartment complex was actually becoming a dorm for the college right near us and even worse, we didn’t hear it from our apartment complex, but rather from a friend whose brother was moving in for his freshman year of college.
The bottom line is that we pay too much for the space and to live in a dorm and we knew we could pay less and get more if we moved east. So east we went.
The first few apartments were underwhelming. It’s hard going from a brand new apartment complex to a 30 year old one. But there are very few new places in the areas we’re looking into, so this was to be expected. We determined early that washers and dryers were a deal breaker. We don’t iron much, and the dryer acts as a makeshift dewrinkler. And I’m sure as hell not walking to the community laundry area at 6 in the morning and paying 75 cents to dewrinkle my pants. I’m too old to do laundry in public, see also lazy. Another absolute deal breaker was the second bathroom, my marriage hinges upon it. Ditto with the dishwasher. I realize this makes me spoiled, but it’s not like I wasn’t planning on paying for it.
Several hours and tours later we found an apartment we liked, it’s a 2 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom townhome. The appliances are a little outdated, but otherwise, it’s nice and pretty much exactly what we were looking for. It’s within a few miles of my husband’s work, we know some others who live there and they are mostly pleased, as much as anyone is ever pleased with living in an apartment complex. It even has a racquetball court on site, which is pretty great for us. It totally raises our chances of exercising to fairish. And it’s actually 200 more square feet and $200 less a month.
It’s a deal right? Well, mostly. Except for the damn pet rent.
It is completely understandable that most apartment complexes charge an extra deposit for pets. Some pets cause extra damage and an extra 500 bucks secures that the damage can be paid for and repaired. I’m totally on board with this. But pet rent is a completely different beast. It is an extra charge added each month to your rent, PER PET.
To me, extra rent for pets only makes sense if they also charge extra rent for kids, for roommates and for men, because they are all often astoundingly messy. And yet, all the apartments had a pet rent policy, none of them have a kid rent one. Kids puke, pee and draw all over walls. They destroy things all the damn time. My cats literally never puke, seriously almost never pee outside of the designated locations (that has happened twice in 6 years) and have yet to draw on a wall. And yet, I’m being asked to pay an extra fee each month for them to live with me. A fee that is non-refundable if my cats do not do any damage to the place.
So now we are not only shelling out an extra $500 for the pet deposit, but also an extra $40 a month for pet rent. It kind of take away from the greatness of the place. And yea, we could’ve lied and said we only had one cat or had none at all, but we didn’t and for that, we’ll pay an extra $980 this year. People with kids have no extra cost, no extra deposit or rent, but because my very small pets aren’t people (and before you yell at me, I absolutely know that kids and cats are different, I’m just talking about potential messes), they’re increasing our monthly rent.
While I am very excited that we’ve found a new place to live, and am totally stoked to see my really dumb (but extremely sweet) cat try to tackle stairs, I am bitter at how much more money we’re having to pay than our neighbors, simply for two cats whose damage is easily covered by the extra deposit. To me this screams as a money making scheme, but it’s one that is widespread, and at least where we want to live, totally inescapable. And since there’s nothing to do about it, I’m just gonna sit here and be bitter. Join me, won’t you?