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My 2 cents

July 30, 2013

It is a common mis-conception that landlords are wealthy. We're just having a grand old time with all the money you pay in rent. So lets see where that money actually goes....

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(41)

CitizenX

Jul-30-13 3:22 AM

If being a landlord is so unprofitable and such a hassle and worry, why be a landlord????

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GysgtUSMC

Jul-30-13 4:06 AM

This policy needs to be reviewed. It is well known throughout the city, especially with all the recent letters, that tenants can skip out on water bills and the landlords get stuck paying them, regardless what the lease states. The days of cheap water/sewer bills are over and when they increased rates so drastically a few years back, both this policy and the policy to bill quarterly should have been revisited.

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mikekerstetter

Jul-30-13 4:13 AM

Gunny, I've said this a few times; if it's a significant problem, why not take steps to insulate themselves from it? Include it in with the rent. Include a clause in the rental contract that if water usage is above a certain amount the rent will be raised to recoup the additional cost. If this is something the landlord wants to fix (as opposed to being just something to complain about) it can be done.

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GysgtUSMC

Jul-30-13 5:00 AM

I think the only way to insulate themselves is to raise the rent and then people would be up in arms about that. To include a clause in the rental agreement wouldn't work because the fact is, water/sewer rates have increased so much that it isn't feasible for property owners to pay them period, regardless of usage. I'm not a rental property owner, but after seeing my bill go up as much as it did, I can definitely feel their pain.

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MrShaman

Jul-30-13 5:46 AM

"It is a common mis-conception that landlords are wealthy. We're just having a grand old time with all the money you pay in rent.

If at the end of the year a landlord actually makes a profit it's taxed as income. In return the landlord provides a roof over your head." - Lorraine Smith

*

So...what you're saying is...landlords are acting, out of a sense of "compassion", huh??

You want a cookie, or something?

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MrShaman

Jul-30-13 5:47 AM

"If being a landlord is so unprofitable and such a hassle and worry, why be a landlord????" - CitizenX

*

Bingo.

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MrShaman

Jul-30-13 5:51 AM

"To include a clause in the rental agreement wouldn't work because the fact is, water/sewer rates have increased so much that it isn't feasible for property owners to pay them period, regardless of usage." - GysgtUSMC

*

You (QUITE) obviously don't lease commercial-property.

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GysgtUSMC

Jul-30-13 5:57 AM

Considering I think the latest figure is 60% of people living in this city are provided a roof over their head because property owners make rental properties available, I find it curious that people's advice for these property owners is to just not rent. Imagine if they all took your advice. The bottom line is, water/sewer should be treated no differently than any other utility. Bill monthly and bill the user. Period.

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GysgtUSMC

Jul-30-13 6:13 AM

Carl, I agree. I also researched the laws because my brother lives out of state and owned a house locally that he asked me to manage for him if he chose to rent instead of sell. After reviewing all the laws and looking at the return he would be getting, I advised him to sell, which he agreed and did. But for those who do provide this much needed service of rental properties, I think it's unfair for many to think they should be on the hook for everything.

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wwhickok

Jul-30-13 6:23 AM

First of all we're not all as stupid as you think we are.

Are landlords wealthy, normally? That depends on the landlord. Please don't try to convince me that ALL the landlords out there are hurting for money. Secondly, if you can't afford to be a landlord, chances are that you're a slumlord and frankly you shouldn't BE a landlord so sell your properties to someone who can afford it.

Landlords have to pay bills too, they have to pay for upkeep, have insurance, etc. So yes, it's true that not all landlords are wealthy, that some are basically breaking even every month. But you're also not going to convince me that the landlords charging 1500-2000+ for rent with no utilities included are exactly hurting for money. Mortgages have gone up, I get that, so perhaps you're not profiting much anymore but if it weren't profitable, you wouldn't be in the business.

As far as leases are concerned, I do agree that first of all, it's well within your right to READ the lease. Secondly

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wwhickok

Jul-30-13 6:24 AM

-continued-

it's well within your right to decline the stipulations of the lease. That would mean you don't get the apartment, sure, but it's your right. If you agree to the terms of a lease you should be expected to adhere to them, period. Give your excuses to someone who wants to hear them and I'm not that person.

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ToTEXASfromPA

Jul-30-13 6:33 AM

CarlHiller,

Can a landlord develop a contract that has different contractual terms and settlement/eviction language that is tougher than the state laws? Or is there a standard statewide rental contract that all use regardless?

A distant co-worker in TX had a man's truck repossessed to pay for back rent. That gets someone's attention real quick.

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mikekerstetter

Jul-30-13 7:20 AM

Landlords aren't always the victim. Although the one landlord we had was a decent landlord and kept up his properties and was there when you needed him, he did something that wasn't really an upstanding thing to do.

He had everyone in the building fill out income reports for a grant he was applying for to upgrade the heating system for the building. The grant was for low-income housing. He got the grant.... then replaced the one boiler (heat was included in the rent) with 8 smaller boilers, had a gas meter put in for each apartment, and then each apartment paid for their own heat. So he got free money to put in 8 new heating systems so he could make the tenants pay their own heating bill.

Even though he was a decent landlord, we all felt we were taken advantage of in that situation.

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enigma

Jul-30-13 7:20 AM

This letter is just common sense. You used it, you pay the bill. It's sad that anyone could disagree with that. Just shows how selfish some people are. I blame the government give-away mindset. People feel entitled to have someone else pay for everything.

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spike2

Jul-30-13 7:54 AM

Here is the problem from the landlord perspective - tenant doesn't pay water bill, whether or not in the lease. The landlord could move to evict. Meanwhile the water must stay on or your building is unfit for human habitation. Evictions usually take two to three months. The landlord can file a civil action but the majority of tenants have little or no attachable property. In essence, more money is paid for a worthless Judgement. it is very difficult to assess how much water any given tenant will use. The variable is too large.

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localguy

Jul-30-13 8:05 AM

Francine, so nice smiles will get you to pay a bill? Heck, mine goes from ear to ear then! Lets view it this way from a Landlord. I have a few properties and rent is fair and below the average. 1 for instance is $750 due every month and tenants will cover all other bills. Rent is paid as normal but this 1 month, no rent payment and the eviction process begins. Fortunately for me, they move; but still owe the back rent. Now the property needs cleaned, painted and minor repairs; costing about $1k, plus 1 more month of no rent.Oh don't let me forget, a late water bill of $110! New ads go up and we are seeking a good future tenant. Another month goes by and no rent.Now lets add this up, 750x3, 1k, 110. $3,360.Security deposit of $750=$2610 loss. This does not happen all the time, but that loss was money that could have been put back into the property. These properties are college funds, retirement accounts and other things for landlords.

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localguy

Jul-30-13 8:10 AM

continued: So with these losses, it hurts landlords and ultimately the property. This is why some are in such disrepair. As another poster put, sell them if you cannot afford to pay the upkeep; this is true. Laws do protect the tenant and it makes it very difficult for landlords to collect backrent. I only wish the Gov't cared more for landlords like myself. It is a simple fix to upgrade the laws to help protect us, but they wont do it. As long as they get their tax dollars, all is right in their world. Thanks for letting me rant some!

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MrShaman

Jul-30-13 8:20 AM

"So he got free money to put in 8 new heating systems so he could make the tenants pay their own heating bill.

Even though he was a decent landlord, we all felt we were taken advantage of in that situation." - mikekerstetter

*

Gee...I'd assume any good libertarian would have PREFERRED paying their own bills.

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michaelpaternostro

Jul-30-13 8:52 AM

enigma- this is what Obama wants, dependency, he said he was going to fundamentally change the United States of America, he wasn't lying. Lets give some more warplanes to Egypt and keep paying the Fort Hood shooter (who should have been executed almost immediately) and spend millions more suing states that want a voter ID law via Eric Holder (race baiter). This is what you get with Obama and Hillary will be next. Give it all away, the working class will pay for it. They don't care.

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CitizenX

Jul-30-13 9:46 AM

I don't have any idea if landlord/tenant laws have changed in the last 20+ years, but in reading these comments I remembered what happened to me many years ago.

I rented a place that the tenant was responsible for all utilities. The landlord had all utilities shut off the day the last tenant left--and I found out later that that was his routine procedure even if the new tenant was moving in within a day or days of the previous tenant's departure. So, in order to have utilities I had to call and make arrangements to have them turned on and billed in my name. As it happened, the previous tenant had not paid the water and sewer bill, so in order for me to have them turned on the overdue bill had to be paid. The landlord since the utilities were not included he had no responsibility to pay any of those bills and if I wanted water I had to deal with the water company myself. At the time, the water company told me the bill was not for a specific person, but for service at that addre

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CitizenX

Jul-30-13 9:50 AM

sigh---a, ran out of space with no warning. I wish either the amount of space would be increased or there would be some character count of warning of some sort that space was running out.

To continue....

At the time, the water company told me the bill was not for a specific person, but for service at that address. So, I had to pay the previous tenant's bill in order to have water turned on. I don't remember the amount, but it was nowhere in the range of what we pay now---I'm thinking I had to pay around $60 or so. But to have water, I had to pay it.

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catmantwo

Jul-30-13 10:05 AM

Landlords don't rent properties to take a loss. Most do very well over time as property managers. If there was no money to be made there would be no rentals anywhere. Most landlords have money. They just should be a bit more picky about who they rent to. Some don't care as long as the cash is flowing.

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Dannygirl

Jul-30-13 10:18 AM

I am a small time landord who owns 1 renal. We have the water/sewer/trash included in our rent (after a previous tenant didn't pay the bill). After you take into account the morgage, taxes, insurance and and the bills listed above that we pay we are spending over $900 a month just on the bare necessaties. We get $1000 a month in rent. People are always complaining that rent is too high but we are left with a very low profit margin on our rental. Our last tenants gave us false references and were constantly complaing about everything as well as not paying rent on time habitually. We tried to work with them for too long and eventually had to file for eviction. We have 2 judgements against them and doubt we will ever see the money. I did try to attach wages but they lied on the form and the only way to prove they lied was to hire a lawyer as they are not required to provide paystubs to prove inclome. The laws are stacked against landlords.

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Dannygirl

Jul-30-13 10:22 AM

Continued....

We have great tenants now but are still paying for the previous tenants damage and they have been gone for over a year. It is not ealy being a good landlord but it is important to us to keep our property up nice. It is hrad to find good honest tenants who pay their rent and don't try to leech off of others/ When you have a good tenant you try to do everything you can to keep them so they are few and far between. I am warry of people who move around too much...

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enoughalready

Jul-30-13 12:19 PM

If Ms. Coffer lives within city boundaries her $300.00 WMWA bill means she used between 19,000 and 20,000 gallons of water that quarter. That my friends is a lot of water....

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