New Lease Deal Breakers

I had already begun an online romance with the original owner's suite in a beautiful 1920s apartment building, and decided we should meet in real life. So I made an appointment to view the 1300 square foot one bedroom apartment, but as soon as I stepped foot inside the gorgeous space, my mind shifted from the dramatic arched ceilings and giant tudor fireplace place to what should have been an immediate deal breaker.

The place stunk. Not just an old building smell, but the smell of cat pee was too strong to ignore. The landlord admitted that the former tenant had let her cats pee and apparently never cleaned it up. The closet floor and walls were soaked in the smell.

"Don't worry about that, though. I'm working to get rid of it," he said.

So I trustingly signed the lease, my mind on the beautiful architecture and not the stinky cat odor or my severe cat allergies. We moved in 15 days later, and now 60 days later the largest closet in our possession is still under construction. I love the apartment, but I can't help but read into the judging glances of everyone who visits our place, smells the cat odor, proceeds to tell me how impossible such things are to remedy, and then scoffs as I blow my constantly runny nose.

I would probably have regretted not moving in despite the smell, but I will admit I often think about how foolish I am for not negotiating some kind of rent discount.

What kind of deal breakers have you experienced in your hunt for a new home? Were they bad enough to keep you from signing the lease in your dream place?

Images: Amanda Johnson

85 Comments