August 23, 2008

In Defense of Landlords

I?m moving to the Big Bagel, or, to be exact, the Coast of Fagetaboutit just to the south east. In the process, I?ve noticed that lading an apartment in New York is much more painful than finding a place in the quasi-urban wasteland of beige high-rises known as Arlington, VA, my current stomping grounds. There?ve been demands for multiple security deposits, annoying agent?s fees, and income verifications, etc. The reason??tenant?s rights.? In New York, it’s almost impossible for a landlord to evict a tenant who doesn’t pay. Indeed, the state has made it illegal for a property owner to kick out deadbeats, or even do milder stuff like shut off the water, unless the landlord has been victorious in a lengthy, and undoubtedly extremely costly, trial. Some wastrels have lived in apartments for ages without paying.

All the ?tenant?s rights? laws increases the landlords? risk rather dramatically, and they?re thus forced to perform elaborate background checks on prospective clients and demand that people renting out rather modest apartments have six-figure salaries. It?s absurd. The great irony is that all this leads to more gentrification, which I?m not exactly opposed to, but ?

I write more here.

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