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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.

Sweet!

"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 © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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