My boyfriend and I have been looking for an apartment since September; I use a manual wheelchair full-time, limiting the places we can even view. There must be no more than one step to enter (we’d put up a portable ramp), no steps in the apartment, and doorways at least 28" wide. Also, we’re okay but don’t have unlimited funds.
The real estate agent with whom we’d been working is great - she’d been working her ass off for us, but nothing quite hit the mark. We kept looking on our own while she looked as well.
Then one day while I was perusing ads, we hit the motherlode! Another agent (Schmuck) was renting his own property! It’s a wonderfully located two bedroom apartment with a carport, no stairs, and a bathroom I could enter/use without killing myself, all at a decent rent. Schmuck’s friend/friend’s wife were the tenants - they were moving to live with friend’s sick mom. We visited twice and decided to take it. I told our original realtor that we might’ve found something, but we’d let her know for sure if we signed a lease. (Just in case. I must be psychic.).
We were to sign the rental agreement this past Saturday, but Schmuck canceled; the friend/tenant’s mom (the one who they were moving to take care of) died. He had to go to the funeral, so he had to put us off 'til Monday. Okay, fine. I worried that maybe they wouldn’t be moving, but I figured since he told us to come in on Monday, everything was okay. (I think you see where this is heading.).
Come Monday, it was our turn to cancel because of work committments. He was very gracious - come in on Thursday, he said. Great!
“We really do want the apartment,” I said. “I hope you consider us the new tenants!”
“Yes, yes - I’m not showing to to anyone else, no way. Just come in Thursday and sign the papers, etc.”
Today’s Thursday. My boyfriend picked me up from work (after working sixteen hour days for the past few days) and we drove right over. The secretary tells us that he’s “really, really sorry”, but Schmuck had to cancel again. “He misplaced your cell number, but he e-mailed you and left a message on your home phone”. She hands us a manila envelope, we thank her and leave; we figured it was our credit reports and maybe papers to sign. We open the magic envelope and withdraw our credit reports along with a typed note that said, essentially, this:
“I’m really sorry to do this to you on such short notice, but the couple renting the place now decided that they’d like to stay. Since I’ve known him and his family such a long time, I feel obligated to let them stay. [yada yada yada, very sorry, yada yada]”.
We were absofuckinglutely gobsmacked (as I saw some washed-up 80’s singer say about…something.)! What in fuck’s name? This one place that we found that was perfect slipped right out of our grasp. After we were told that he considered us the new tenants! And he fucking didn’t have the testicular fortitude to tell us to our faces. I wonder what would’ve happened had we not canceled on Monday? We’d’ve signed the goddamned papers…and then what? Been told to fuck off? Or moved in, then gotten evicted a month later? I’m not angry at the couple - I understand their position completely. Schmuck, though… This is why one shouldn’t mix friendship and business.
When I called to let him know we got his little present, he said he’d keep looking for us and “won’t charge a broker’s fee or anything”. I should fucking hope not! (Not that we’re going to take him up on it, since we no longer trust him.). My next call was to our original real estate agent, who was horrified at the story and has something on tap for us to view, thank God. She’ll be getting a glowing letter from me regardless of whether she finds us a mansion or a shack.