It's obvious as one trawls through Craigslist these days that there are a lot of inexperienced landlords trying to pawn off parts of their homes that aren't in use onto desperate people who will pay upwards of $1000 because they want to live alone. Yes, when the median one-bedroom rent is now somewhere around $3500 a month, someone with only $1500 to spend and a severe dislike of roommates will likely help you pay your mortgage and occupy your converted basement for at least a year, no questions asked.

Last week I called out one of the many, many illegal units for rent that lacks a kitchen, and guess what! Here's another one. This thing being billed as a "Bright and cozy studio available in great location!" looks more accurately to be someone's lower level family room, complete with wet bar, and bathroom. At least there are windows.

In the absence of a kitchen, let's check out that wet bar, shall we?


It looks kind of narrow, right!? Like barely even a proper width for a wet bar, made narrower by those protruding shelves. It isn't even mentioned in the text of the ad because they don't want to call attention to the fact that it is a wet bar, which even has a foot rail along the front of it where the stools go. All that brick was probably brown, or brick colored, in another era, but has now been painted over in white, and the formica countertop has been replaced with something that appears to be faux granite. And perhaps there's a tiny fridge hiding back there, but it is not mentioned.

So, it's another illegal unit, and here's something else that's totally illegal: the text says "No party or overnight guests." You can't actually command that a tenant never bring a guest home for an overnight stay, and this only further points to the fact that this is probably a homeowner who's never rented this space out before, and doesn't know what the rules are. It's like, Fuck you, buddy. I'm paying rent here, and what the hell am I supposed to do with this wet bar if I'm never allowed to have people over?

And do you have to enter through the main house? That seems to be the case, and potentially awkward since this homeowner already sounds kind of pissy. There's laundry on site, obviously in the house upstairs, but you'll be tiptoeing around whoever lives there and judged on your undergarments so maybe it's best just to send your laundry out to be cleaned by Washio or something.

On second thought, the overnight guest rule probably has everything to do with the fact that you have to parade your guests through the main house, under the judgey eye of the landlady, and since the floors are thin in this house she doesn't want to have to listen to you having the kind of sex she hasn't had since the Nixon Administration.

Onto the bathroom, which is "brand new."


Yes, indeed, the description notes that the bathroom has been newly redone, probably by the homeowner themselves. Check out how they just ran that floor tile right up the wall.

And here's a shot of the closet, which looks like a fine place in which to... hang things.


But back to the main living area, which we now see filtered in a slightly different color. What's with that window seat/bench along the wall? Who knows. It's probably concealing something structural, and it is eating into the precious floor space in this 200-square-foot abode.


Anyway, there's plenty of space for that futon you've been dragging around since college. What do you want for $1500 a month?

This place is over in Parkside, allegedly close to the L. I'm guessing this room was rented to a student recently, as the ad mentions the proximity of SFSU and CCSF and says "Ideal for students or professionals who's responsible [sic], clean, and quiet." Also, you'd better not have any friends, or, god forbid, a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Just imagine all the "cozy" nights you could spend here by yourself, sitting at that wet bar with some scotch, eating your takeout quietly, listening to the footfalls of your landlord overhead, and reading about all your friends' awesome summer vacations on Facebook while you're barely making ends meet. But you're in San Francisco! Sacrifices must be made.

All previous editions of Apartment Sadness.