Friday, February 02, 2007


A brief post to an anonymous (and hypothetical) landlord: You are a business person. You sell a certain service, for which you receive compensation. Like any other business person, you are bound by certain rules. If you don't get paid, you can have the person tossed. If your property is damaged, you can sue for repairs. I'm quite sure the Real Estate Investors Association maintains a blacklist of undesirable tenants. You're authorized by law to do background and credit checks and, barring discriminatory reasons, to decline to do business with anyone for any reason whatsoever.

That said...if you rent to Person Z and then change your mind because you did shoddy follow up on figuring if this person was someone you wanted to do business with, it isn't my fault if the laws say you can't take the doors off the house and turn off the power to force Z to leave. Call Mr. Parment's office or Mrs. Young's office and tell them you want the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law changed to return to a vassal/serf/indentured system where your subjects reside in your property at your pleasure.

And lastly, don't tell me you have no rights. We live in a jurisdiction where it is easier to have a tenant removed than any other place I have encountered in New York. Yes, it may take 30-45 days if the person is current on the rent. That's part of the price of being in business. In other parts of the state, evictions are often stayed longer than that even if the person is behind in the rent, if you can even get a court date that quickly. You do not have the right to act arbitrarily and without consideration of the law. You do not have the right to immediately terminate a tenancy on improper notice, for illegal reasons, or because a tenant disagrees with you on something. Yes, there are scumbags and junkies and people who have no concept of how to keep a clean house. Yes, even the most careful screening will sometimes allow a bad tenant to slip through. The point is, though, that this is a business. It's not supposed to be "buy the property and do nothing but collect $$ every first of the month."



Anonymous Dee said...

In my experience, most of the "professional" landlords, meaning those who are renting many apartments as a means of income, are pretty good about followign the rules. And yeah, they do complain about crummy tenants, but all is all they do see it as a cost of business, or part of the game as one landlord puts it.
However, those who are renting a house or few apartments as a means of supplementing income definitely need to have this post passed on to them. They are often the ones who act as this hypothetical landlord does. Great rant.

10:10 PM  

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