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Re: Landlord Buster

Posted by Mary on June 24, 1997 at 23:54:19:

In Reply to: Re: Landlord Buster posted by Erika on June 24, 1997 at 16:46:39:

It's amazing how many tenants think that landlords have no expenses, thus tenants should not pay high rents. I challenge each and every one of those tenants to go out and purchase a small 3 bedroom house on a small lot and when you see the expenses associated with that (NOT including mortage) small house, imagine that multiplied several times for a multi-family house or apartment building.

While I am not familiar with buildings in NYC which have several apartments, I can say that from my dad putting in cabinets in one flat of this two family house, putting in cabinets as one example, in every apartment of a multi-unit building in NYC simply must cost a fortune. The cabinets he got were good quality, but in stock, thus less expensive. They ARE solid oak, NOT particle board. Along one wall is base cabinets of a total of 5 feet width. The other is just over six feet and is where the sink is. Above the sink are wall cabinets, valence, under cabinet light. The cost of the material alone (ordered and paid for direct by my dad) came to $1200. It is standard practice among contractors that contractors charge three times the materials cost. Thus, the cost for the contractor to install is $3600. Total $4800 for one apartment. Gee, my parents charged the former tenant $400 per month including heat. This is not rent controlled, regulated, or whatever. This is just my recently deceased mother, my elderly dad who gets about $400 in Soc Sec and about $500 in pension from private employer. He has his own one family house to pay taxes and utilities, repairs, and usual stuff like food, clothes. If the two $400 mo rents from the two family bring in a total of $9200 a year and almost $5,000 goes to taxes, approximately $2500 total for heat, $4800 for new cabinets in one flat, etc. etc. then how could anyone in their right mind justify no rent increase for my dad to collect from the tenants. Fortunately we are not rent-controlled or anything. I could see it now. Big brother dictator government dictating that a landlord (my dad) could not charge more than $200 per flat. I wonder how the government would get it's taxes from the property.

Yes, there are slumlords. We have plenty in our city. One owns 1/3 of the rental property in the city, fails to pay property and school taxes until the day before the place goes on the auction block. He keeps the places up to code, minimally, but would never think about things such as padding under carpeting (if he indeed does have carpeting in any apartments). These, btw, are mainly two family homes. He founded a rental property owners group which seems it's only goal is for them to weasel out of anything or get around anything. Would I ever recommend him or any of his association members as landlords? No way? Because he does only minimal stuff and doesn't pay taxes til the last minute, he certainly has money up the wahzoo. Yet, I don't think the govt should be able to dictate how much he can charge. The market will determine that. If for some reason I had to rent from him, I don't think I would be willing to rent it from him for more than $250 (based on other rents in the neighborhood,) but, so long as I choose not to rent, and you don't either, and joe blow doesn't either, and this prospective tenant and that prospective tenant, well this landlord would have to get the message.

Here's two examples. Calculate how much there is in taxes, upkeep, etc. and you know how much rent can be. Then there are the tenants who are squeaky clean, incredibly quiet, upstanding citizens, no credit problems, GENERALLY are responsible, but ... There is a large very beautiful house around the corner. It was once a two family, but has been converted to 4 family. Further, within the past year or so, it was completely redone, floors refinished, new carpeting, paint, etc. and the outsidewas simply magnificant. The paint scheme was awsome. The exterior had beautiful gingerbread moldings, etc, the victorian looking spindles, etc. Guess what. A tenant was smoking, fell alseep, and the place caught on fire. There really was no 2nd floor left after the fire. Insurance just wouldn't cover it all, so it is being demolished soon. Who pays for such things? The tenant who left the cigarette burning or the landlord (simply because he/she is the landlord?

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