Rising rent isn't the only change hitting the New Orleans rental landscape. There was a time (not so long ago) when one could just waltz into an on-the-market apartment with cash in hand, fork over a deposit and first month's rent in one fell swoop, and have a new home. Now some renters are experiencing the type of interrogative tactics better reserved for a petty thief just hitting his third strike. As New Orleans continues to rebuild and restructure itself, landlords are becoming more choosy with the tenants they hand a pen to when it comes time to sign a lease. Remember when mutual friends and independent references were enough to net you that apartment you've been eyeing? Curbed reader, Danielle, writes in about her difficult experience with nabbing a rental.
"At one point it was down to me and another girl for this Mid-City place, and we had a mutual friend in common who would have vouched for me. I even had $1,200 in my pocket in cash. Apparently I wasn't what they were looking for...after spending half-an-hour talking about how much we all loved craft beer. And the other place preferred folks be in bed 'around midnight.' I work until 10 p.m., and then have to get home. Yeah, no thanks, buddy." Curbed reader, Robert, wrote in to the tipline about his issues with finding a rental over the summer.
"One landlord in the Lower Garden District didn't want to rent to me 'cause I'm a bartender. That's exactly what she said. She lives on the other side of the double that was up for rent and said my late hours would keep her up, even though I told her I would be respectful of the time, stay quiet and I don't even party. I'm pretty sure it's illegal not to rent to someone based on their career decision, but I said 'screw it'. The place I ended up with (in the Marigny) is mostly nice but because I make cash tips and it's not reported on my pay stubs, I had to pay first month's, last's month's, and a security deposit. This was after I paid a $35 application fee and waited around while my landlord did a background and credit check, called four references, and my boss. I paid $3,875 up front just to move into an okay one-bedroom shotgun." One fool-proof technique that Tabi uses to tickle a property owner's fancy? Through their stomachs and with absolute grace: "We bribe all landlords with pie and a pre-written thank-you note. Works every time!" — April Siese
Calling all renters, landlords, storytellers, property managers, rental agents: Curbed is wrapping up Renters Week 2013 today so do chime in and share your tales. Having difficulty finding your perfect apartment? Have an amazing landlord? Just need to bitch about how things aren't the way they used be on the New Orleans rental scene? Leave a comment below or holler on the tip line.
· All Renters Week 2013 coverage [Curbed NOLA]