“…There shall be no use of illegal drugs on the premises by the lessee, or associates of the lessee, subject to immediate nullification of the rental contract…” – clause in standard rental agreements* Scenario 1: Landlord: And in here you’ll see the main room. Fireplace works, we just ask that you get the chimney cleaned once a year. Ceiling fan controls are over here. Man: Oh, this is fantastic. Look at those hardwood floors!
Woman: This is beautiful. Oh, honey, won’t those big windows look great with sheets of plywood nailed up over them? Landlord: Excuse me? Man: I was thinking the same thing! And this corner, I think, would be perfect for defecating in. Woman: Do you happen to know how many soiled mattresses and filthy sleeping bags will fit in the bedroom? Landlord: What? How should I—what exactly are you planning to do to this place? Man: Crack-house. Woman: I wanted an opium den but… Landlord: Whoa, whoa, whoa – check the rental agreement. Man: mumble mumble mumble subletting mumble mumble no illegal drugs?! Woman: Damn! Well, honey let’s move on. Landlord: Crisis? Averted.
*Scenario 2: Renter: Well, this place looks just perfect! This second bedroom, with the good, old-fashioned thick walls? Love it. Landlord: Now, just so you know, there’s no illegal drugs allowed. Renter: Oh, none of that for me. Between working full-time, my bridge club, the serial-killing – not to mention I’m something of a weekend arson enthusiast – I don’t have any time or use for that nonsense. Landlord: Serial killer? Renter: Yup! Everybody loves a serial killer, right? But I’ll soundproof the heck out of that back room. When the police inevitably catch me I promise the neighbors will say, “He was always such a quiet guy!” Landlord: Oh. Renter: Nothing in that contract about arson and murder, right? Landlord: Well… no…
*Scenario 3: Renter: So, I’m not going to be around for the next, ah, seven to ten years, but I was really hoping to hang on to the place. My lease is for 3 more years, and I could probably pay for another two beyond that right now. Cash okay? Landlord: Well, I – Renter: You’re not trying to violate the lease are you? I’d hate to sue. Here. Here’s $75,000 in cash. Landlord: *Gasp* My God. Renter: Oh, calm down. Yes, it’s soaked in cocaine, gun-powder residue, and blood. It still spends, doesn’t it? Landlord: I knew I should have used the standard rental contract! Renter: Yeah, well, you didn’t.
*Scenario 4: Landlord: Are you doing illegal drugs in here? Deadbeat Renter: No. Landlord: Really? Deadbeat Renter: No. Landlord: Really? Deadbeat Renter: … Yes. Landlord: A-ha! You’re out of here! Reverend, looks like we’ve got a place for those orphans, after all! Orphans: Yay!
*Scenario 5: Renter: My life has fallen to crap. Hate my job; girlfriend left me. I’ve accomplished nothing… I just want to escape it all. Numb the pain. Maybe it’s time I just started doing heroin. Be done with all this. Yeah, yeah, that’s what I think I’ll… wait a minute… what am I saying? These high ceilings… my little back deck… the gas stove… No! No, I can’t lose this place! Why, I’m going to channel this sadness in to helping the needy! And, gosh, it’s been years since I’ve done any ceramics! I wonder if anyone around here could teach me the trumpet? Yeah! God bless you, rental contract!