Apartment Hunting Part 3: The Bait and Switch7:01:00 AM
I've been a victim of the bait and switch before. When I was apartment hunting for the first time in Saint Louis, I put down a deposit and signed a lease for an apartment. I signed a lease that would start in July but was given a promotional first month rent free and planned on moving into my place on August 1st. Right before I left for my trip to Turkey in mid-July, I received a call saying oops we "double booked" your apartment and you can't have it. Instead of the apartment within my price range that I had signed for and paid for, they offered me an apartment $400 more a month. It was a nightmare. Imagine trying to deal with a leasing company when they call you an hour before their closing time the day before you leave for a 12 day trip in another country. When I threatened legal action, they offered me a "deal": live in the new apartment with a discount for 6 months then after the six month lease is up pay the full price or move out. Terrible. I ended up leaving that company and finding a really wonderful apartment at the last minute.
Yesterday, Steve and I encountered another type of bait and switch. Online I found an apartment that looked too good to be true. Beautiful hardwood floors, great natural light, exposed brick walls, on the second floor, with a patio, and in a neighborhood we love. When we arrived we found that it was a totally different apartment than what was offered online. First floor and terribly easy to break into (no locks on the windows). Steve and I want to live somewhere that feels safe and secure. A second floor apartment is ideal, not as easy to break into. Dark and painted in horrendous colors. The TINIEST bathroom. We loved the location but the cons outweighed the pros. Back to the hunt.