An Atlantic City, N.J., woman wrote into the local newspaper’s "Consumer Action" department last month seeking advice on breaking the lease to her daughter’s apartment, which she claims is haunted by a previous tenant who commuted suicide in the unit. No, seriously. The writer—identified as M.M.—says the lights went off and on by themselves, the refrigerator opened and closed on its own, and a mysterious, unidentifiable black dust constantly fell from the bedroom ceiling. “I’m a professional psychic,” M.M. wrote to The Press of Atlantic City, “and I know most people won’t believe this story. But it’s true.” While you're likely joining me in the collectively wondering as to why M.M. didn’t have the clairvoyance to keep her daughter out of the spooky spot in the first place, check out the paper’s well-crafted reply, which included an obituary check (the suicide victim didn’t show up in their records—shocker!) as well as an interesting review of Garden State law on don’t ask / don’t tell multifamily murder and suicide disclosures. Best line: "Let’s just look at the legal facts, since no one can prove or disprove the existence of ghosts."
Big Dogs Wanted
Sandy Springs, Ga.-based Glen Lake Apartments is laying claim to “Most Pet-Friendly Apartment Community” in Atlanta, and who’s to argue? New renters get a $200 gift card to the local Doggy Daycare Boutique, and Glen Lake has a monthly “Yappy Hour” social mixer where canines and their masters can take advantage of a gated, no-leash-required dog park. Where many properties limit furry friends to lightweight barkers under 35 lbs., Glen Lake welcomes woofers up to 80lbs. A monthly newsletter highlights Glen Lake’s Pet of the Month (announced at Yappy Hour, naturally), and all residents benefit from discounts to groomers, trainers, vets, walkers, and pet portrait painters and photographers, just in case you want to hang up a picture of your best friend, too. Just spackle up that nail hole when you move on, please.
Wichita Falls, Texas, landlord Kay Rios might want to hire some new marketing and advertising specialists. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is charging Rios with Fair Housing Act violations after the apartment owner allegedly posted a classified ad in a local real estate publication that read “no drugs, no pets, no children.” While there’s nothing wrong with barring stoners from multifamily communities, the Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords from discriminating based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, and familial status. That means no print, broadcast, or Internet ads that even remotely indicate a preference for families without kids. “Families with children have every legal right to rent a home as do those without children,” said HUD’s assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity John Trasvina. “This case should remind every landlord that the Fair Housing Act is very clear—it’s against the law to deny a person or family housing in this country simply because they have children.” Consider that fair and ample warning. Again. For the 27th time.
Editor’s note: Send your offbeat multifamily news leads to email@example.com.