Letter Sent
Posted: 11 November 2015 05:15 PM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  753
Joined  2013-07-13

To the Merc. but somehow not rating inclusion in the newspaper.  To which part do you suppose they object?

“Landlords, Residents, Codes and City Government

Randall Baughman
Nov 9 (2 days ago)

to letters
I own a rental property in the area east of the park that is under discussion for zoning change.  I am satisfied that my multiple-dwelling property will be grandfathered into the new zoning requirements, and don’t understand this mighty outcry against them.

I also, by choice, live in the area west of city park/Aggieville.  The sounds of my neighborhood are what they are.  If I wanted quiet and the murmurs of old people, I’d have moved to a home for such.

Ironically, Ms. Churchill’s letter in response to a landlord’s east-side zoning protest points to what has been one of several fatal flaws in the push to institute mandatory inspections.  She resents the noise, trash, and lack of EXTERIOR maintenance that comes to her neighborhood with student rental properties.

These two… the rezoning and her issues… have nothing to do with one another.

The exterior maintenance of a property has nothing to do with the safe and adequate housing required by codes and the State Landlord Tenant Act.  Yet, Ms. Chruchill’s property values are affected by them.  A landlord, on the other hand, is actually penalized in the form of higher property taxes if he chooses to spend substantial money on the appearance of one of his properties.  Values are re-assessed annually, and the landlord’s rents received are seldom boosted by such spending.

I propose an incentive.  Not an expenditure.  Not a sweetheart tax holiday/loan package like those created for the special, hand-picked “winners” of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.  I propose a tax assessment freeze for those landlords who chose to invest in the exterior of their properties, with spending thresholds triggering freezes of longer time periods for greater investments.

Another fatal flaw with the previous attempt at mandatory inspections.. the “we’re going to inspect you and you’re going to pay us to do it” edict of the newly-created inspection department.  This is a most egregious example of government overreach.  Codes, laws, and a code department are in place to serve the enforcement of safe and adequate housing.  The code department should communicate DIRECTLY with tenants instead of demanding that all landlords buffer all of their interactions with tenants by charging the landlords with arranging and attending every inspection.  Landlords should be notified ONLY if violations are found.

These things can be accomplished.  Common ground can be found.  Common sense and the compassion to stand in the other man’s shoes are essential.

And, PLEASE, may we drop the “Ahma/yura conservative/libral” hogwash?  After 20 years of this crap, isn’t anyone sick of it beside me?

Randall Baughman
1728 Fairchild Ave


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