Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99

Baltimore Insider

Lifestyle Baltimore Insider

Subletting made easy ... and endearing

Subletting is never easy. It can be difficult to find someone to live in your place while you're away for an extended time. But with a combination of inventiveness, whimsy and honesty, one Baltimorean may be on to something ...

Aladdin Lee Grant Rutledge Collar (he goes by Aladdin) was trying to find someone to stay in the Hampden home he shares with two roommates -- and was having little luck. He's going to be away at a Quaker summer camp for two months, and was looking for someone to stay there  for $250 a month while he was away. In two weeks, he says, he'd had no real bites.

So Collar, who works as an artist's assistant at the Maryland Institute College of Art, decided to get creative. He got a camera, spent a day taking photographs both inside and outside the house, and annotated those pictures by writing directly on them -- noting, for example, where the empty dresser drawers were located, where the "inanimate" friends (little animal figurines) could be found, how his backyard could be compared to J.R.R. Tolkien's Shire, where the neighbor who once built a rocket ship to Venus lived, the contents of the "scary basement," etc. -- and posted it all on Craigslist. (You can find the full ad here)

The resulting ad surely constitutes one of Charm City's most charming and engaging house tours. But more importantly, at least for Collar -- he found someone to sublet the place. True, the person only needs it for two weeks, but Collar is being paid the full $500.


"It was nice to get people's attention, to know that I could do that," says Collar, who describes himself as an aspiring artist. In all, he said, he received about 30 legitimate inquiries, and another 10 responses from people just complimenting him on the ad.

Oh yeah, and he might have found another line of work in the process. "I have had offers from people who want me to do their Craigslist ads for them."

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Sun cartoonist KAL is a Pulitzer finalist
    Sun cartoonist KAL is a Pulitzer finalist

    Baltimore Sun editorial cartoonist Kevin "KAL" Kallaugher was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning, won by Adam Zyglis of the Buffalo News.

  • Maryland family sat in vomit during flight from Orlando
    Maryland family sat in vomit during flight from Orlando

    A Rockville man said he and his family had to sit in seats reeking of vomit on a flight last week from Orlando to Dulles International Airport.

  • Donations fuel dressing for success
    Donations fuel dressing for success

    A crisp white blouse. A tailored suit. A shiny pair of pumps and sleek purse.

  • While scientists bicker, parents should trust their gut
    While scientists bicker, parents should trust their gut

    A few weeks ago, the findings in a scientific report made their way around the social media mill, giving harried and guilt-ridden parents a reason to cheer. The report, in the Journal of Marriage and Family, said that when it comes to spending time with children, more is not necessarily better....

  • Lilly Pulitzer shoppers head to eBay
    Lilly Pulitzer shoppers head to eBay

    A day after a mad rush for Lilly Pulitzer’s limited-edition Target collection cleared out inventory in stores and online, shoppers were still snatching up the brand’s flowery shift dresses and bright pink weekender bags on eBay, where some items were listed for more than double the retail price.

  • The 'free-range kids' debate in an urban environment
    The 'free-range kids' debate in an urban environment

    Fifth-grader Aiden Coldsmith has memorized the streets around his family's Waverly home. He knows every mud puddle, the homes of dogs both friendly and fierce, a park where a group of middle school girls hang out. The 11-year-old walks alone the few blocks to an art program or hardware store with...