My wife and I are sitting here in our unlit living room waiting for the real landlord to show up and negotiate a lease with us... It has almost been two weeks, and we have still not unpacked because we have felt uneasy in our new home because our landlords, as nice as they appear to be, keep acting all innocent and then keep doing things that are totally sledgehammer sneaky. The latest event was our lease.
Since we moved in (and even since we initially negotiated the rent for the apartment), we have been asking almost daily for the lease. The landlords have been hoo-ha'ing and playing dumb about not having the lease. ...then yesterday, the landlord's daughter shows up with the most nasty, one-sided, evil lease agreement that I have ever seen, with 42 clauses in it which by breathing puts us in danger of being in breach and losing all of our deposits and getting forcibly ejected from the premises. My Rabbi thinks that they gave us this lease with the knowledge and intention that we *don't* sign it and that we will leave. Alternatively, if we did sign it, by living a regular daily life, we would be guaranteed to breech and would almost certainly expose ourselves to being sued and losing all of our possessions.
So I pulled down a standard New York Residential Lease which is a simple lease based on the laws of New York, and I set up an appointment with the landlord for him to come over at 9pm (that was five minutes ago) to discuss the lease terms and to sign the lease. The landlord was a no-show. Instead, his daughter came over again asking about the lease she gave me yesterday. I told her the lease was one-sided and was not acceptable, and that we would not sign it. She happily said, "Oh, well I have another lease at my house." I walked over with her and she gave me a slightly more friendly, but still one-sided lease. I'm waiting now, however, for her father to come over so that we can talk about the lease, landlord to tenant. Apparently, she didn't know that her father was coming over. Or, maybe it was her father that sent her over in the first place.
Either way, again, the landlord is a no-show, and we're not signing the lease until certain pre-agreed essential terms are placed in the lease, and the daughter has neglected to insert them, even after we stressed that they must be in the lease.
So in short, this is a tough situation. The daughter of the landlord plays such a sweet innocent role, but then she has sharp teeth and has a strong bite by trying to convince us to sign an unacceptable lease. I'll go over the terms in the next e-mail.