There are many perks that tend to come along with renting from a small landlord, as opposed to a big management company—cheaper rent, usually, and an owner with a vested interest in taking care of the apartment.
On the flip side, a hands-on landlord can also become way too close for comfort. For an especially extreme example, take a look at "One Year Lease," a 10-minute documentary posted on Vimeo by Brian Bolster, who recorded a year's worth of bizarre voicemails from his landlord, Rita. Her requests start out on the reasonable side (an offer to feed his cat, Casper, when he and his partner are out of town), then escalate to requests for extra pots, pans, and a paper shredder, and a confusing back-and-forth over a plumber who's unable to fix the apartment's leaking ceiling. (H/T Esquire for finding the clip.)
As Bolster puts it in the description for the video, "Sometimes the calls not coming from INside the house, BUT from the apartment upstairs, can be just as scary…or, well, just downright bizarre."
An unsurprising spoiler here: at the end of their one-year lease, Brian, his partner Thomas, and Casper high-tailed it out of there and into a new apartment.
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