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Unfair blame on landlords

October 8, 2013

Yet again Captain Miller and our mayor are in the newspaper calling landlords of this city "slumlords" and placing the blame on the city's drug problem on the backs of landlords....

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Oct-08-13 6:07 AM

Rhonda, doesn't Williamsport have a Landlord Association? I thought I had read they do. If so, are you a member and what exactly is their function? We see so many letters from landlords complaining of unfair treatment from city administration and I'm just wondering what role the Association is playing regarding all these concerns. Are they communicating formally with Administration and requesting forums to discuss their issues? Do they offer alternative solutions including working with authorities in attempt to try and solve issues that may relate to rental properties? IMO the Landlord Association is the vehicle that should be used to bring all your concerns to city administration.

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Oct-08-13 6:08 AM

Rhonda, you make a valid point. It does seem like this administration is asking landlords to do the policing they are paid to do.

I do not approve of tenant registration at all. It is an over-reach of local government to track the whereabouts of its citizens. Many people for many reasons that have nothing to do with illegal activity do not want their residence known to the public. And they should have every right to keep that information private.

Enforce the laws that are currently on the books. Those that scream about big government have no business backing this new legislation.

Use the codes department in its fullest capacity to do shut these nuisance properties down.

Don't rest the weight of this problem on the backs of landlords.

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Oct-08-13 6:37 AM

If you own it [the rental property] you also own it [the problems]. You landlords take the money but don't want the responsibility of controlling what happens on YOUR property....YOU own's YOURS Maybe part of the problem is the section 8 guaranteed money. It's not that hard to screen applicants and make it clear you have many too choose SIMPLY choose the best! I know,I did it! If these land lords are too busy to do it right...then hire a manager.

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Oct-08-13 7:07 AM

I actually agree with Andy. Seems to me that many landlords see their property throuh rose colored glasses . This may be because they make improvements and try to get good tenants . I do have one suggestion . If you have an applicant who you feel good about but they have a problem with deposit and rent, work with them. Remember those engaged in criminal behavior have a much better cash flow than those who aren't .

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Oct-08-13 7:47 AM

Ya' know I just don't get it? Why not just create a stronger nusience property ordinance with a 3 strikes clause? After a third time that the city police have to respond for any illegal activity at a rental property,slap the landlords with BIG fines.

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Oct-08-13 7:49 AM

First question is the authorities calling all landlords slumlords or are they saying that there is a problem with slumlords or absentee landlords?

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Oct-08-13 7:59 AM

I was with the pandord*****4 years we did a lot got no support we brought our findinga to the council about section 8 housing 70% in city and causing stress on our police departmentt they never took notes lol

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Oct-08-13 8:02 AM

We went to the water authority meetings and tried to convince them their policy is hurting the city hundreds of thousands of dollars that could be improving the city going to freeloaders water bills this is ridiculous, did the city council address this,? when it came to change the board,Same old same old, no one will stand tall??

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Oct-08-13 8:06 AM

the ll association wanted to write letters to these landlords who were having a lot of crime in their buildings,3 landlords had 9 serious incidents in 9 different buildings at that time. we wanted the administration to hear us they never did now they are doing the same thing we suggested 5 years ago lol, I have a draft of a letter we did ,

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Oct-08-13 8:25 AM

You complained to city and then complained they did nothing and now you are complaining when they finally do something.

You complained about the crime in your buildings.

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Oct-08-13 8:41 AM

Once a crime is committed a bell is rung, you cannot unring a bell , the city neighborhood goes downhill. Preventing the bell from ringing, in the first place,should be the issue. Give a free or minimal costing license to landlords. The cost of the license shouldn"t be the issue. Keeping the license should be! If you have a chance to lose your license because you chose risky tenants who cause problems you would be more proactive with screening. Landlords would be less likely to accept tenants with risky behavior as section 8 is.This will give pause to Landlords who accept section 8 because of guaranteed government money with no consequences for risky behavior. Hopefully this will reduce the high % of section 8 housing in our city.We do not need tenant registration just a free or minimal costing earned license.

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Oct-08-13 8:52 AM

You don't know it will work.

I don't have the very deep pockets to run for office nor does anyone else who posts here. LOL

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Oct-08-13 9:35 AM

The author has a valid point. Calling people slumlords will solve nothing. These landlords are trapped in the same bad situation they are accused of fostering. Because these buildings are in high crime areas, they cannot charge high rents. because of this they do not have the money to fix up the buildings, which makes them unable to make repairs. If a landlord did cough up the money to make repairs, they would never recoup the expenses because the neighborhood will not support higher rent. Not until City Hall gets in gear and puts pressure on the criminal element will any of this improve. Trying to pass the burden to landlords won't work, they don't have the legal authority or resources.

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Oct-08-13 9:46 AM

Mim, Are you insane? You don't want registration, but you want licensing of landlords. Are you really willing to bet your livelihood on your ability to never have a crime committed in one of your units? Do you really think that all criminals are that obvious? If you ask them if they are a criminal, do you think they will say yes? Do you think that every one of these criminals has a record that you can find? Add to that the problem that by 'screening' tenants you are likely to be accused of discrimination. By offering this option, you are helping the city government pass the buck to landlords, which is just what you've been complaining about with the registration ordinance.

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Oct-08-13 9:48 AM

Mayor Reeder, sounds pretty good to me!!

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Oct-08-13 10:01 AM

These landlords are trapped in the same bad situation they are accused of fostering. Because these buildings are in high crime areas, they cannot charge high rents. because of this they do not have the money to fix up the buildings, which makes them unable to make repairs. - Enigma

Enigma, if this is the case then they should not be in the business. I find it difficult to believe that the owners of these properties are taking a loss each year just to be able to provide homes to those that can't afford to pay higher rent. If they can't properly manage the property, to include complying with all pertinent ordinances, then hire a management firm that can. If they can't afford to hire someone that can, then get rid of the property. The bottom line is there are those property owners out there that are not following the rules and they need to be dealt with.

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Oct-08-13 10:06 AM

Now that I think about it last year on here you were Dr. Reeder so why not go for Mayor!

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Oct-08-13 10:34 AM


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Oct-08-13 11:12 AM

Capricorn1, No business, including landlords, can survive if the business costs more to run than it takes in. That's just a fact of life. In essence, what you are saying is that all low-income housing should be bulldozed because it cannot be maintained to the city's requirements. What then happens to the poor who are not criminals? The fix is a booming economy and tighter controls on government hand-outs. Neither of these will be the outcome of calling people slumlords and making their lives miserable.

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Oct-08-13 12:57 PM

Enigma, they wouldn't be in the business if they weren't making money, and to use the excuse of not being able to comply with city ordinances and fix up properties because they have to charge low rent, to me is unacceptable. Especially since they have many end of the year write offs including depreciation and maintenance costs. In essence you are saying that any profit they are making should not have to be used to maintain the real estate of that business. Does this also apply to a pizza place on the corner of the same neighborhood? Are they not expected to stay within code because they can't afford to charge as much for their product because of their clientele?

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Oct-08-13 1:44 PM

The blame needs to be only on the individuals committing the crime. We need to blame ONLY the individual that cannot control him/herself and behaved badly. Where has PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY gone???

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Oct-09-13 7:35 AM

the only ones that can afford rent around here are the gas workers and the drug dealers

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Oct-10-13 12:05 PM

Can someone please tell me--how to attend Williamsport Landlord Association meetings. The Sun-Gazette says it is 10/28 @ 7:00 pm, City Hall, but I cannot find ANYTHING or any contact information. How do I reach someone? By the way, I used to manage Section 8 properties and I have a lot of opinions to share. While we all need to work together, our first and biggest line of defense is our police department. I am of the opinion that these guys actually need to "walk the beat" again. Get out of your cars and "know" where you work and who lives there. Police presence is of the utmost importance as it mutual respect, regardless of income or criminal record. Drug dealers get real nervous if cops are frequently seen and start asking questions (duh, of course they do). Contrary to what our Mayor would like us to believe, empty cop cars do nothing to create a police presence (good for a few laughs, though). "Real cops", however, do make a difference.

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