Say WHAT? | National Apartment Association


Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.

No, not really—I just felt the need to work that lyric into at least one blog. But the summer is a fun time, and when you work in the apartment industry, it can be pretty funny too.

In July’s IRO Insider, independent rental owner Paula Pant recalls three of the funniest—and weirdest—questions she’s ever received from a prospective resident. Chalk them up to heatstroke.  

1. Can I set up a chicken coop in the backyard?

“I’m not joking,” Pant says. “Somebody asked this. Now, if this was a house in a rural area, I might understand. In fact, if we had a yard, I could understand. But this was a multi-unit building in the urban core of Atlanta. It occupies the same one-mile radius as a bunch of 30-story skyscrapers. Our “backyard” consists of parking spots.”

Sounds like this prospective resident really flew the coop. Am I right?!

But seriously, have you ever smelled a chicken coop? The way in which I’d describe it to you would not be suitable for print, but a lot of dry heaving is generally involved. And nothing says curb appeal like a lawn full of bird feces!

2. Instead of paying rent, can I pay you in massage?

On the count of three, I want everyone to spell ‘l-a-w-s-u-i-t’ with me! 

If it makes any difference, Pant says this gentleman was, at least, a licensed massage therapist. I guess that makes this situation about 10 percent less creepy, but I’m still frightened. I’d also like to know how this massage therapist client’s paid him. “Instead of paying for this hot bamboo treatment, can I pay you in off-the-clock dental work?”

3. I’m a contractor. How about I fix up your place in lieu of paying rent?

Contractor is sort of a loose term. I mean, remember all those times Tim ‘The Tool Man’ Taylor offered to fix up a place? Hold on…I’m getting word he’s a fictional character.

“I would never, ever enter into that kind of an arrangement with a resident,” Pant says. “Managing a contractor whom you’re paying cash is complicated enough. The two of you need to define a scope of work, decide whether or not the work is performed up to standard, then come to an agreement on a set of materials. Adding an additional layer of landlord/tenant relationship complicates matters to the point where, well, it’s just not worth it.”

4. Can my DUI ticket count as ID? 

Now that’s rich.

5. Your paper says you don’t take felons. Who exactly do you consider a felon? 

You, sir.

For more, check out the July issue of units Magazine, which mailed July 10.

Lauren Boston is NAA’s Staff Writer and Manager of Public Relations. Unsurprisingly, she writes a lot—most often for units Magazine and as a weekly blogger for APTly Spoken. She enjoys making people laugh, sharing embarrassing childhood stories and being the (self-proclaimed) Voice of the Apartment Industry. She welcomes feedback, unless it’s negative (in which case, please keep it to yourself).