Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Scapegoating Landlords

"What we have is a concern that there are substandard conditions in a portion of our rental properties....It's not in the best interest of our city for the housing stock to be detiorating" said Alderman Greg Helding in response to those protesting an ordinance proposal which would allow or require city inspections of rental properties.

All righty then. Helding appears to be operating under the assumption that our housing stock is detiorating because city government has not been intrusive enough. If only government would step in and force the evil landlords to clean up, everything would be swell in the city of Racine.

The problem with scapegoating landlords is that it makes no sense. The problem is not landlords, it is politicians who espouse big government solutions to our problems.

Why would landlords want their investments to detiorate? Why don't landlords invest in their properties and make them beautiful?

Answer: Landlords don't want their properties to detiorate and they will only invest in their properties if they can recoup their investment with rent increases.

The problem is that in certain areas of Racine, people with the means to afford a nice home or a nice rental unit do not want to live there. Thus, a landlord that spends too much to update and improve his property will lose money because potential renters will not pay enough rent to recoup his investment.

Landlords operate under these conditions, they don't cause these conditions. Politicians have caused these conditions with excessive property tax rates. Over time, high taxes (and other factors) have caused residents to flee Racine, leaving a surplus of housing and a deficit of buyers. Landlords have stepped in to prevent a bad situation from getting worse.

The answer to this downward spiral is not more government, it is less government. If you want to reverse this trend, offer incentives for people to fix their properties via tax credits, lower tax rates, etc... that are regularly offered to the well connected developers.

Or scapegoat landlords, chase them out of town, and make the situation even worse.


Urban Pioneer said...

Excellent point Dennis. Do u know anything about George Meyers? He is running against Bob Turner for 61st Assembly? I'd like to meet or talk to him? See if he's legit. the info. I see so far is that he's Libertarian, but mostly Conservative.

Anonymous said...

Dennis please with respect come to the west 6tth st area and see how some of these landlords maintain the properties. Take a look say at 233 Howland or 261 Jones St look at calls for service with the RPD we the neiboors can do little we can call UNIT for the garbage tennets toss on our property call the Health Dept for the Rats this behavior attracts .
Since many of the landlords do not live in the area and use PO boxes to operate from talking to them is difficult.
My guess is that many of the slum lords make the rent from Housing so they can charge inflated rates and since they know they will get paid why bother with checks or what the neighbors think
I want those who have a clue to stay but the Slum lords need to go.
So what is to be done?

Denis Navratil said...

anon, what you are describing is a tenant problem, not a landlord problem. Are the police being called because of the actions of the landlord? Is it the landlord that is tossing garbage on your property? No and no I suspect.

Now suppose the city starts to snoop in these apartments. Will the behavior of these tenants improve? I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

My thought is once the landlord is contacted via the RPD (yes we do call) or neighborhood watch they need to take action, the good landlords do the Slum lords do not.
We in the neighborhood have no power to force them to do the right thing and as long as the slum lords get housing I do not think they care.
Please open your eyes to the fact that in Racine we have shady Landlords something needs to be done

Denis Navratil said...

anon, I have no doubt that there are some landlords that don't care about anything other than getting the rent check. Even so, the problems you are describing are external to the building and are subject to laws that already exist. How would government snooping in rental units change the situation?

Anonymous said...

Moving would cost money to a single party (anon 1:55 in this case); having big brother seemingly resolve the issue spreads the cost over all of us.

Discriminator said...

I agree with the main thrust of this blog though not the slogans about big/small Gov. you parott or the idea that Gov. is the sole cause of the poor condition of rental properties in non-White area's or anyplace else for that matter. When one uses terms like depressed area. or slum, or poor area, or high crime area - we all know it means they are talking about a greatly integrated area - a mainly non-White area. There are not nice non-White areas anyplace in the world. Are you forgetting about the people that destroy the homes they live in so you can blame ONLY Gov.?

Discriminator said...

Oops I did not mean there are not nice safe clean non-White living areas anywhere in the world. I meant there are not any significant nice living areas that are mainly negroid anywhere in the world.

Anonymous said...

"...I meant there are not any significant nice living areas that are mainly negroid anywhere in the world." That is quite a statement.

You have visited most of the suburbs of the major cities in the African countries?

Anonymous said...

He doesn't have to visit - he's done research and has an IQ of - what was it - 138?

Discriminator said...

"You have visited most of the suburbs of the major cities in the African countries?"

No. That is a foolish question. Do I need to visit the Washington monument to know how tall it is or the color? I have done research on negroid/mulatto populations worldwide. I can find out much information about a place without going there. I can even see an area and hear the sounds of an area without going there. It is true that for many areas there is not as much statistical info available and for some entire nations little statistical info is available. However there are many ways to learn about an area without having the normal stats I would prefer to look over. I am aware of small areas outside of and within cities in "black" Sub-Sahara Africa with a massive police/military footprint where the crime rate is low. Those areas are usually areas where the leaders and their families live & or those (diplomats or business folk)from other nations live. I do not just consider crime rates but rather many factors that relate to enjoyable, clean, fairly safe living. The living conditions (especially crime rates) in "black" Africa are worse than the worst of those in White founded nations that are infested with negroids/mulatto's. Rhodesia until 1978 and South Africa until black rule, were the richest and lowest crime rate nations in Africa , and nicest places to live. Sure the black areas were hell hole slums by our standards but much nicer than they typical black living areas in black ruled nations. Sure it is a matter of perspective, and it is reletive. There are black areas that black people consider to be nice areas to live but they would not be areas any sane normal healthy White person could live in and survive. The best black areas are worse (not just in terms of crime) than the poorest worst White areas. The areas in black Africa that have had the least help and influence from White folk are the worst places to live unless you are a stone age savage and even then you might prefer a better life. I have spent years overseas but I have not visited Africa and never will. There is a small several block area in Ca. that is negroid/mulatto and would classify as a nice, clean safe area though a sane healthy normal White person would not want to live there. I do not count it since it is so small (not significant in size) and most that live there are mulatto's that are mostly Caucasoid. They are rich celebrity types that live there. BTW - In France the suberbs are the hell hole slum areas infested with negroids and other non-White types.


7:07 AM

Anonymous said...
"He doesn't have to visit - he's done research and has an IQ of - what was it - 138?"

That is correct. Finally some rational comments.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Racine has been a landlord town for my entire life, needing the poor for people to shift wealth from the poor to the owner class - and you have the gall to rip tenants, whilr landlords get subsidy checks, much as elderly whom transfer their wealth to children.

You remake truth in your image.