The Path of Lease Resistance

My landlord sent an urgent email today saying he’s lost the copy of my lease and needs me to scan it and send it immediately. We’ve got a couple of issues with this demand. First off, I don’t own a scanner. Second, I can’t find the lease. I know it was a dinky little thing signed in about four minutes three years ago. As I’ve mentioned before, my landlord lives abroad so the whole deal went down between me and some young guy who was kind of tending to the building at the time.

Since then, there’s been no sign of anyone who serves in any sort of property management capacity. If something breaks, I’ve got to call around to find someone to fix it and then just deduct that from the rent. There’s no compensation for the time and energy we – my neighbors and I – spend keeping this place from collapsing around us, but we know we generally have a good deal and are willing to – well – deal.

That is, until now. My downstairs neighbor and I think maybe the landlord is in a dire rush to reevaluate the leases (He asked for my neighbor’s too) because of the high utility bills this summer. If that’s the case, neither my neighbor nor I is jazzed about assisting him in this venture.

To be fair, I have been looking. I found the lease for my apartment before this one. I found some old pictures that should never again see the light of day. I found cassette tapes (!) that I may pop in tonight for old time’s sake. (There are some mix tapes from old boyfriends that should be good for a giggle). Speaking of past boyfriends, I turned up a lot of cards and notes from some of them too. I found a nail file, two metrocards, a pitch for a TV show, and a fake resume my friends and I made up in college. The name on the top: Ima Plyin.

I do have the check receipt showing I paid the landlord a security deposit and first month’s rent back in August 2007. That will come in handy come move out time, I’m sure. But I’ve gone through all my files and all my folders and every box of stuff, and that lease is nowhere to be found.

My landlord is not going to be happy. Maybe I can smooth it over with a mix tape.

UPDATE: Landlord reports he’s renegotiating his mortgage with the bank, needs proof of payment, and has misplaced all our leases. I’ve let him know I can’t find mine and will suggest he use a record of deposited checks at the first of each month as proof that the same person has been paying the same rent on the same apartment for the past three years.

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