07-17-06 - 1


So we're up in the bay looking for places and it's a total nightmare. When the good places have an open house, like 20 people will show up. One thing I hadn't anticipated was trying to impress the landlord with an application. Everywhere I've rented a place before, if you can pay first+last month they're happy to take you. Here you have to compete with others and look professional and responsible and all that, which I don't really at the moment, what with my independent status.

The landlords here also are ridiculously uninformed about their own properties. Nobody know square feet, and nobody has a floor plan. WTF!? You have to have those things for taxes / surveying, etc. how can you own a place and not have that information !? We asked one lady and she cocked her head and said totally dead pan "I don't have a tape measure".

We wound up doing "Rental Resumes" on recommendation from Jen; we did this one . That was cool for the people who were just individuals renting places, but most of the places are run by a property management company, and they won't take them, nor are they impressed, they just want you to fill out their own form. I also printed out our own free copies of our credit reports. That didn't help at all, nobody even wanted to look at them. They all just pay $20 to some service to check your credit. WTF do they think I'm going to forge this 10 page credit history thing !?

One thing that really disturbs me is the amount of information you have to give out. I usually don't worry too much about identify theft, since it's usually pretty isolated - eg. someone might use your credit card, okay you can stop those charges and cancel the card. These forms, however, contain all your ID numbers, your address history, info on all your credit cards - once thye get your credit report they have everything about you. It's enough information to do almost anything - get new credit cards in your name for example, apply for unemployment, get into your bank accounts, etc. I'm a little worried and if I don't get lazy I think I'm going to change all my account numbers on my credit cards & banks.

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