Sunday, February 10, 2013

Whatever Happened to Common Courtesy?

Trey Smith

One of the most annoying aspects of trying to find a place for Della, Lily and I to live in the area around White Salmon is the lack of common courtesy. I can't tell you how many times in the past 10 weeks Della and/or I have contacted a person advertising a place to rent and we have received absolutely no response. These ads keep popping up on Craig's List or Classifieds every few days and yet, if you contact them by email or phone, they don't contact you.

There is a particular larger-than-average studio apartment in BZ Corners that has been advertised off and on for nearly 6 weeks. About one month ago, I contacted the poster, but they didn't respond. I thought that, maybe, they had already lined up a renter. Then, at the first of last week, the ad appeared again on (For this to happen, the person must manually repost it.) This time Della made the contact and here we are 6 days later and still no response.

What is the point of running an ad IF you won't respond to people who express an interest? (I should note that I googled the person who posted the ad and she is a prominent citizen in the White Salmon area.)

While that situation was maddening enough, one we faced a few days ago took the cake. Last Sunday Della went to look at a place in Hood River and thought it would serve our needs very well. She seemed to establish good rapport with the couple who were looking to rent it out. The husband sent me an email that said his wife would get with Della on Tuesday to give her the rental application. We haven't heard from them since!

Della sent a text to the wife on Tuesday evening. Neither she nor her husband has responded.

What is so damn difficult about contacting us to say that a) they decided to rent the house to somebody else, b) they don't think we would be a good fit, c) some unexpected emergency has come up to delay the process or d) they've decided not to rent out the house after all?

In terms of another apartment Della looked at, we had some questions for the property management company. The representative of that company told Della she would try to find out answers for our questions and then contact Della in a day or two. As I am sure you can guess, we have heard nothing for two weeks. In this case, we're not AS peeved because we probably wouldn't have decided to rent it anyway.

Still, it begs the question: What has happened to common courtesy?


  1. Wow, that is so unprofessional.

    1. Yes, but it has become so commonplace. It seems to be this way in so many situations. My brother, who has been unemployed for a long stretch, reports that he often is not contacted by prospective employers. They place Help Wanted ads, but when contacted, he gets no response whatsoever. Even worse, in some cases, he gets one or more interviews and the potential employer never contacts him to say someone else was chosen!

  2. As a landlord I assure you I take all calls and return messages ASAP. The first questions seem to be "how much"? I receive rude comments if it's more than a tenant wants to pay. How's that for common courtesy? I say stick with it, don't hesitate to call a second time if you receive no response the first time, indeed they may have just rented it. A landlord has to run out and show the place, they have to process applications as well. Each time I run an application it costs me $35.00. The better the application is filled out the better you look to a landlord. Don't try and talk me into a lower rent right off the bat. I may have just spent a few $1,000 getting it in shape and been loosing rent while it's vacant. Most of us run a legit business. I suggest you stick with owner managed properties as opposed to management run. Your perfect place is out there, be positive and patient and the right one will come along.


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