Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apt For Rent In San Francisco

March 18, 2012

Linda asks…

NOBODY will rent to me. Why?

I’m in San Francisco – I’m trying to find a place to live for $2500 a month or under. (Here, that entails studios or roommates.)

I’ve been responding left and right to ads that meet my criteria – I spent the ENTIRE day yesterday doing so – and no bites yet. Not even an invitation to see the place, except for one.

I mention that I’m a full-time professional who works in the financial district.

-Excellent credit/Proof of income
-Stable/Responsible
-Non-smoker
-Just me – no pets/kids/guests

For roommate ads, additionaly:

-Tidy
-Quiet/Considerate
-Never at home; busy; independent

Moreover, I customize my response to the ad. I leave contact info, etc.

The one guy who showed me his place told me he found someone else who was “a better fit.”

How can that be? I’ve got all the ideal qualities.

In fact, I’m only moving because my current apt has rats.

What can I do? Finding a job has been easier than this!

Administrator answers:

Having someone come to live in your home has subjective as well as objective criteria. Perhaps there is something about you, your personality, the way you speak with people or language you use when you respond to an ad that is off-putting.

And if you can afford $2500/month, I don’t know why you’re looking for shared housing, since you could get a nice studio or even small one-bedroom in SF for that amount.

Sandra asks…

Why won’t anybody rent to me?

I’m in San Francisco – I’m trying to find a place to live for $2500 a month or under. (Here, that entails studios or roommates.)

I’ve been responding left and right to ads that meet my criteria – I spent the ENTIRE day yesterday doing so – and no bites yet. Not even an invitation to see the place.

I mention that I’m a full-time professional who works in the financial district.

-Excellent credit/Proof of income
-Stable/Responsible
-Non-smoker
-Just me – no pets/kids/guests

For roommate ads, additionaly:

-Tidy
-Quiet/Considerate
-Never at home; busy; independent

Moreover, I customize my response to the ad. I leave contact info, etc.

The one guy who showed me his place told me he found someone else who was “a better fit.”

How can that be? I’ve got all the ideal qualities.

In fact, I’m only moving because my current apt has rats.

What can I do? Finding a job has been easier than this!
P.S. My name’s not Jay, lol. I’m female.

Administrator answers:

Finding a good apartment in some cities at an affordable price can be a challenge. I remember a time in New York City when you wait for residents to die (seriously) or bribe managers. People looked at obituary columns to find apartments!
That aside,
Some apartments are rent controlled by laws and require low income residents. You could be earning too much for them (seriously again). In sharing a place, the leaseholder needs no reason to turn you down. (I don’t like your hair color is valid for example.) There are housing fairness laws in almost all major cities against discrimination and they could be breaking the law. Those laws sometimes exclude small building and single family. Larger complexes cannot legally turn you down. If you have past evictions or a credit problem, that is a legal reason. This is the Human Rights commission of San Francisco: http://www.sf-hrc.org/index.aspx?page=21
I will not look up the particular laws, but they should be there, and summaries on various web sites if you want to complain.
When I look for an apartment (not often), I use Rent.com and Forrent.com to see listings. You might also try Realtor.com and maybe craigslist.
Most discrimination is about people looking for people like themselves and everyone else is bad. Some rental discrimination is about managers that do not own the place looking for bribes (payoffs).
The first question before seeing a place is asking IS IT AVAILABLE NOW. If they answer no, WHEN WILL IT BE AVAILABLE? And do that by telephone or email. If they change their mind when seeing you shortly after, it is usually discrimination and may be illegal.
But again, SHARING has no laws. People can share a place with anyone they choose.
PS- http://www.apartmentratings.com/ and http://www.apartmentreviews.net/
have tenants reviews. They are often about tenants who are mad, and some reviews may always be phony-good, but in large numbers and recent reviews, it is often accurate about the apartments.

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