Monthly Archives: March 2014

Sleep Tight!

Hey all you homeowners, renters, landlords and ladies, Here at Hometown Rent Rant, we’re trying not to bug out, and you should be too, unless you like spending your hard-earned cash waging war against insect kind on your own home turf. Bedbugs are a huge problem for everyone involved, and if you’re smart you’ll make sure that your house or apartment stays totally uninfested.

Anyone who is renting out a dwelling, be it house, apartment, loft, condo, duplex, house-boat, tree-fort, castle or bungalow has a responsibility to make sure it is bug-free before renting it out. Fortunately, bedbugs only really like living in beds, and furniture, and other soft things like luggage. As long as you or your last tenants didn’t leave a bunch of stuff in the house, you should be fine. Just make sure any couches or mattresses are bug-free by giving them a visual inspection.  if you want to be sure, steam clean or heat treat those babies. That way if your house or apartment does end up with bugs, you’ll know it wasn’t you. If you can get your tenants to attest to this when they move in, that could cover you later.

Renters: you’re the ones who live in the rental property, so you’re the most likely to bring in new bugs, and the most affected by their presences. Side effects of bed bug infestation can include nasty itchy rashes and even psychological damage. The last part might sound a little extreme, but try going to bed imagining that there are tiny bugs drinking your blood in microscopic amounts. You might just end up like this guy.

If the house or apartment you’re renting is bedbug free in the first place, (which it most definitely should be,) then your only job is to not bring any bedbugs home with you. Sounds easy enough right? All you need to do is be careful what you bring home. I know that sofa sitting out on the fraternity lawn looks like it could use a good home, but so do the thousands of tiny bloodsuckers living in it. Same goes for that incredibly cheap armchair from goodwill and the free box of trendy clothes left on the curb down the street. Think about it–there’s probably a reason someone’s trying to get rid of all that stuff. Don’t be the poor sucker who’s going to give those bedbugs a home in your rental property, and don’t expect your landlord to pay for exterminators. If the house was bug-free when you moved in, then it’s on you to keep it that way.

Some of you may be thinking  well this advice is all fine and dandy, but I already have bedbugs chewing on my unmentionables! What do I do now?  Well first you probably want to take a hot shower. Then you want to treat your house, apartment, condo or loft, including mattresses, furniture, clothes, and whatever else you think the bedbugs might be living in. Remember, they like soft, dark folds in things. Hit ‘em where it hurts before they hit you where it itches.

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Holla at us, we’ll holla back:

Spring Cleaning


It’s that time of year again. You know, the time when you’re traditionally supposed to go around your house or apartment and sweep behind all the stuff that you never sweep behind? We know it sucks, and there’s no worse justification for doing sucky things than because it’s tradition, so we’ve compiled a list of actually good reasons to do a deep clean.

1. Because you don’t want to look like a lazy slob when you bring that special someone home after a first date. You’re trying to find someone who you might one day share a house with. The last thing you want is for your house to scream I can’t maintain a household. You’re setting yourself up for failure.

2. Because you don’t want to look like a lazy slob when you bring anyone home after going anywhere. People judge you, especially if you have pizza boxes and used tissues lying around the loft. Who wants to hang out with that guy?

3. Because you want good rental references, and you want to see your security deposit again. That was a lot of scratch you put up to say I won’t trash the place. Don’t trash the place. Nobody is going to rent a house or apartment to a known trasher-of-places.

4. Because you want people to actually rent your house, apartment or loft. Who wants to move into a place that’s already dirty? People with low standards. You want renters with high standards. Renters that won’t fill your apartment with pizza boxes and used tissues.

5. Because you could use the space. Turn your garage into a workshop or studio. Turn your basement into a brewery. As a landlord, it’ll make your property more attractive to potential renters. As a renter, it’ll help you get as much value as you can out of the space you’re paying for, and you can better yourself via an interesting hobby or pastime

6. Because it just feels good. Entropy is the natural state of the universe, and to be human is to impose your own tiny bubble of order upon it. As the philosopher Rene Descartes  once said: my apartment is clean, therefore I am. Or something like that.


The internet loves them, or at least loves pictures of them. This may be because unlike real cats, you don’t have to feed the pictures and they don’t pee in your house or apartment. In order to take pictures of cats for the internet though, you are going to need a real cat or two, and with great cats come great responsibilities for both renters and landlords.

If you’re a property owner, at some point you’ll probably have cat owners who want to rent your house, apartment or loft. You may be thinking sure, I’m a chill guy/gal, who am I to deny a poor little kitten? But before you make a decision you want to know what you’re getting into, because cat pee is forever. Until you get the floors redone. Speaking of floors, you might want to save your freshly carpeted townhouse for people who aren’t cat owners, and let the people who are take the apartment with the hardwood and tile floors. Trust us, they’d rather wipe piss of the floor than try to dab it up out of the rug.

If you have the luxury, try to meet the cat that’s going to be living in your rental property. Seeing someone’s pet is often better than any background check. If it’s clear that someone can’t even take care of a cat, how are they going to take care of your house or apartment, especially if it’s going to have a mangy cat living in it now too? They probably aren’t. Don’t rent to those people. They’ll probably ruin your property.

As a cat owner and renter, don’t be one of those people. Read up on what the American Humane Society has to say about indoor vs outdoor cats, and make a decision about how much freedom you’ll give your cat, based on the house, apartment or loft you’re renting. There are pros and cons to each. Weigh them heavily. Invest in a good vacuum cleaner and lint rollers if you don’t want to eat, sleep in, and breathe cat hair. This is especially true if your cat is always indoors. Alternatively, get this cat. You’ll also probably want to get a scratching post if you value your furniture or it comes with the house or apartment. Cats are animals, and have an innate need to tear stuff up. Make sure it’s not your landlord’s leather sofa.

The big issue for most negligent cat owners is the litterbox. The Humane Society recommends that you scoop the feces out daily. We know it’s gross, but think about it this way: would you poop in sand and leave it sitting out in your loft for more than a day? Gross. No way. Get it done before your cat decides he wants to crap somewhere new for a change.

Also be warned, if your cat starts hanging out with the feral cats that the old lady down the street keeps feeding, it might start doing drugs, or at the very least pick up some unwanted guests. Make sure Snuffers is up on her shots, and if Patch Adams gets fleas, give him a bath with flea and tick shampoo before the bugs get out in your apartment, and remember to take pictures while he’s all wet and bedraggled. Those are worth big-time internet money.


Those Noisy Neighbors

We’ve all had them, and at some point or another, usually around 3 a.m. on a Tuesday, most of us have considered going office space all over their stereo. As cathartic as this may sound, it’s a good way to find yourself on the receiving end of legal action, and the old but they just wouldn’t shut the f**k up! defence doesn’t really hold up in court anymore. Here are some ways you can try to get a little peace of mind without all of the messy altercations.

A good landlord will know the general demographic of the neighborhood that their property is in, and should try to rent to people that fit the bill. A family with a newborn is probably going to have issues with noise if they move into a cheap apartment near a college campus. Likewise, a house full of frat bros is probably going to cause problems in the quiet residential area near the elementary school. Tenants should also be aware of where they lie on the spectrum of expecting mother–party animal, and try to get a house or apartment around people with similar music taste and sleep schedules.

When moving into a new house or apartment, try to befriend the neighbors. This technique works best if you do it before you have problems, and it’s generally a good idea regardless of whether or not you anticipate having any. Who knows? You might even develop a lasting friendship. Go over and introduce yourself. Maybe bring some beers and/or some cookies. This way you establish yourself as that cool dude who brought beers and/or cookies instead of that dick from next door. If you’re the cool dude asking them to turn it down, they’ll probably listen. If you’re the dick from next door, chances are they’ll turn up the music just to spite you.

Here’s a plot twist: What if you are the noisy neighbor? To determine whether or not you are, ask yourself a few questions: Do you usually shout at your dog to get it to stop barking? Do you choose your music based on what ‘bumps the hardest’? Do you usually get your days off in the middle of the week? Did your stereo system cost you more than a month’s rent? Do you never have problems with neighbors being louder than you? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may in fact be the noisy neighbor yourself, but don’t worry there’s hope.

Try this as an experiment: get a friend and have them slowly turn up the stereo while you stand on the edge of your yard if you have a house, or out in the hall if you have an apartment. Have your friend stop when you can hear the music. Mark that point on your volume knob and know if you go above that after, say, 10 p.m. you might get complaints. You could also expand your music tastes. We all love DMX, but is the Ruff Ryder’s Anthem really the best lullaby? Try some jazz, maybe Thelonious Monk or Django Reinhardt. You’ll wake up more relaxed, though you’ll probably have less dreams about doing wheelies on crotch-rockets. Also, if your neighbors ask you to turn it down, be courteous and do it. It would have been less work for them to just call the cops, and Johnny Law really doesn’t appreciate the N.W.A. you’re blasting.