It’s not easy being a landlord. Even though you’re not staying at the place, any problems are suddenly your problems. And if you have a bad tenant, then things are even worse. Writer Steve Fishman found out the hard way when he rented a property he owned to Axl Rose – or is that the easy way? Fishman detailed his dealings with Axl via Vulture.com at the end of last year, and if we’ve learned anything from this story, it’s that we want to keep writing, since he owns a 5,300 square foot apartment in Tribeca. If there’s another, it’s to not judge a sometimes dreadlocked book by it’s cover. The author’s wife said that Axl visited twice, played enthusiastically with their dog, and “snorted at people who like spaces ‘bathed in light.'” He also offered to pay “an extraordinary rent,” and put down six months rent as a security deposit.
Axl was in a hurry to get into the place, we were told, and so we quickly decamped to Brooklyn. Then came move-in day. And then it went. So did a second and a third date. Still Axl didn’t move in. (This pattern may be familiar to fans who waited for the Guns ‘n’ Roses album Chinese Democracy.)
My family and I followed Axl’s travels via Google alerts — he was touring in Abu Dhabi and playing a birthday party in Russia. We were repeatedly told by his very nice assistants, a mother and son team, that he was definitely planning a move to New York, which we were informed he’d fallen in love with. (He might even want to buy our place.) This attachment was good news, since as the one-year mark approached, it was time to renew his lease. He still hadn’t set foot in the apartment. We learned that he had been to New York, though, renting a roomy suite at a fancy hotel with a balcony and, well, lots of light. Still, he renewed — this time at an increased rent.
As far as I can tell, Axl never set foot in my place after his initial viewings. I wondered if he remembered that he’d rented it. Maybe a superstar lives this way — renting apartments just in case, and then forgetting about them. Still, the rent checks kept coming, which is all I cared about. When it came time to renew for a third year, negotiations began, but then rationality — his management’s — prevailed. Axl’s ghost rental ended in the beginning of 2013, at the two-year mark.
Wow, that’s a best case scenario. Getting paid a hefty sum by a rock star to have a potential NYC crash pad, then never having it used by them. And then getting paid to write a humble brag story about how his awesome Tribeca place got subsidized by Axl Rose for two years. This guy really does have the best of both worlds. And hey Axl, I’ve got a great place in Jersey City that’s not that well lit and far out of the way of GN’R fans.