Bad tenants make bad landlords

The “king” landlord political cartoon in the Sept. 28 edition of this paper is about as prejudiced a piece of propaganda as I’ve ever seen.

There are some landlords who take undue advantage of the rental situation. However, if you have been a landlord for any length of time, you know that the law and public opinion has favored the tenant for decades.

Any landlord who has ever tried to collect back rent or to evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent or for damage to the property knows that it is almost impossible to legally evict a tenant in less than three months if the tenant resists the eviction.

During that three months, the tenant can continue to live rent free, not pay the utilities and/or continue to damage the property. If the tenant gets a lawyer or goes to one of the tenant associations, he or she can remain longer while resisting eviction. If you try to force the nonpaying/destructive tenant to leave, he or she can sic the law and the police on you!

The landlord cannot even allow unpaid utilities to be turned off. Guess who gets to pay these utility bills?

Tenants often feel that the landlord owes them a place to live—wrong! The purpose of private rental property is to make money—a profit or a tax credit—for the owners and/or landlords.

Without the profit motive, why should people be in the rental business? Do grocery stores give away food? Do banks give away money? No! Why not? People need food and money to live. Why should landlords give away a place to live?

I do not condone bad landlords, or slumlords, or illegal renting practices, but this outpouring of propaganda about landlords ignores and distorts the fact that many landlords are people, like the tenants. They are ordinary people trying to make a living by providing something that people need. Many landlords are working tenants who receive a reduced rent to help manage the property.

Often landlords like me feel, “Bad tenants make bad landlords.”

I rent to middle-income people who have good jobs, but I can tell you horror stories about bad tenants that would equal any bad landlord stories.

If you don’t like what’s offered or the landlord, find another place. If you can’t afford another place, you should thank God that you have this place. No one else, even the government, is going to give you another residence. Remember, there is someone just waiting for you to give up this place so that they can live there.

I have good tenants now, and I have not raised the rent in seven years. Good tenants make good landlords!