But, since I'm still pissed at the landlord for doing a complete 180 out of nowhere for no apparent reason, I decided to call him today and ask him some pointed questions just for the hell of it.
Surprisingly, he picked up his cell phone when I called. I introduced myself and reminded him of who I am (he seems never to remember from one day to the next) and just asked him point blank, "so, you're still determined not to rent the place to me?"
His answer was to tell me that it's not his decision. A whuh? Whose decision is it, then?
He asked me if I'd spoken to the seller, and I said that, "yes, I'd spoken to him and that he's very upset that you're doing this and blowing his deal. He wants to sell the place to me and the only thing preventing that is the fact that you suddenly don't want to rent to me."
He seemed confused (join the club, I guess) and said that he'd have to call the seller, so I should call him back tomorrow.
Feeling brazen and belligerent, I didn't let up. "Look," I asked, "do you own the building?"
"Yes," he answered, reluctantly.
"So, then you decide who you want to rent to", I said. "Right?"
Again, he begrudgingly admitted this was the case.
At a loss as to what this guy was saying, I took a different tack. "Why don't you just be straight with me," I said, "do you have another offer? Is that why you suddenly don't want to rent to me?"
"Of course!", he shouted back.
Well, what the fuck, then, dude? Why don't you just say that in the first place? Why are you trying to tell me it's not your decision?
He won't answer any of these questions, though...he just continues to repeat that he needs to talk to the seller and that I should call him tomorrow.
So while the title of this entry is "completely confused", I guess I'm not, actually. It certainly appears that the only logical explanation is that these two are trying to cook something up that will be mutually beneficial to them, whether it's an attempt to ditch me for another buyer, or to squeeze me for more money, or something that I haven't thought of yet. The landlord's constant refrain of "talk to the seller" pretty much tells me all I need to know.
Except that I'm getting a completely different message from the seller, who seems genuinely frustrated that this nut-job landlord is blowing the deal we worked for three months to put together. So maybe I am completely confused after all. I don't know what I am.
I do know, however, that I called the electric and gas companies today and stopped service so that we're not being billed for the utilities in a place we're not going to end up occupying. And I do know that I'm almost certain that I wouldn't even go through with this deal now even if the landlord suddenly reversed his position on his sudden reversal of his position, and up and decided that, yes, he does want to rent to us.
Because if this is how he acts during the negotiations, when folks are usually on their best behavior, how will he conduct himself once we've signed a lease?