Am I Living in an Illegal Sublet? – Part One
by Matt L. Jones
I was looking to live temporarily in an apartment in the same building as the president of my university, even if only for a short time. Although I knew a few people who shared some of the same political ideals and even shared some concerns about the direction the country was heading and the direction my own beliefs were moving, I’d never lived in a place with an Obama sticker on the wall. As of writing this, it’s now become an even more frequent sight of his face.
I’ve never lived in an apartment with a big orange-and-black trompe l’oeil, red-and-white checkerboard door to the living room. I’ve never lived in a place with a white, red, and blue plastic Christmas tree with snow in the middle. And despite my limited life experience, I’ve never lived in a place with a pair of black leather recliners under the window – with a blue and red and gold umbrella lying behind them and a white-and-magenta-and-orange striped blanket on the floor between the two recliners. I’ve never lived in an apartment with a black, white, and green plastic bird cage on the front step. I’ve never lived in an apartment with a blue, red, and green plastic stuffed bear on the front step – either with or without the orange and gold umbrella lying beside it.
It seems that my lack of experience isn’t an insurmountable barrier, though. The next step in my apartment search became finding a place with an Obama sticker on the wall. As I’d previously discovered, one can find an apartment near his or her school – provided it’s in some of the same zip codes – using the same basic principles that have always applied. It was the same principle that first showed me how much you can get away with if you have a legitimate need for