DYING TO GET THE HOUSE
“The upstairs bedroom offers unbroken views of the surrounding area” (Wix)
You know how it is in the rental market these days. Prices skyrocketing. Slum landlords rampant. Damp patches breeding their own ecosystems. But surely there’s an easy way out of the rental trap? Well, if you happen to be French lawyer André-François Raffray, apparently there is.
In 1965, Raffray accepted an offer made by his then 90-year-old landlady, Jeanne Calment, to pay a monthly rent of 2500 francs until the day she died—whereupon Andre would inherit the house.
Jeanne Calment as a sprightly 20-year-old—in 1895 (Public domain)
Sounds like a good deal, right? It sounds even better when you take into consideration that Monsieur Raffray was just 47 at the time—so not only was he getting a house at knockdown rate, he seemingly wouldn’t have too long to wait for it. After all, how much longer can a 90-year-old woman live compared to a 47-year-old man? Well, the answer is—er, surprisingly long indeed.
In fact, not only did Mme Calment go on to outlive M Raffray (who died in 1995, at the age of 77), but she went on to become one of the oldest people ever: by the time of her death in 1997, she had reached the ripe old age of 122.
Landlords eh? Determined to squeeze every last penny out of their tenants.