Two Stories

The Lazy Landlord

Tenants often complain about their lazy landlords not fixing anything. Lazy landlords don’t want to pay for anything. Their lazy landlords never even respond to calls or emails.

The lazy landlord is a villain with one goal in this story: Make more money. “Lazy” is not what a good landlord is.

The Terrible Tenant

Landlords often complain about their terrible tenants causing problems. Terrible tenants break the lease, want more than they pay for, and complain about every little thing.

The terrible tenant is a villain with one goal in this story: Get as much as possible. “Terrible” is not what a good tenant is.

Issue: Rent

This isn’t about a musical and this isn’t about a meme. People pay property owners in exchange for the right to use and live in the property. Rent is a serious and stressful part of present life and human history. For better or for worse, rent will probably be as important in our future. The perennial argument on this topic is undoubtedly rooted in this question: “What is a fair rent?”

Lazy Landlord

This villain charges a disgusting amount of money every month for a space that is worth much less. Fairness is not considered at all. The lazy landlord is greedy and wants to profit as much as possible. The villain tries to squeeze juice out of rocks.

Rent has gotten so high that many people pay over half of their income to their landlords. The lazy landlord doesn’t care. The villain wants their money monthly and no excuse is good. If any amount of rent isn’t paid, the landlord can go to court and get a judgment to collect even long after the tenancy ends.

Rent is so disproportional to value that it is barely even comical. In some cities it’s common to see a small space with one bathroom and no bedrooms cost over $2,000 every month; that’s over $24,000 every year. The lazy landlord does not give anything more than water, and heat in the winter (sometimes). Electricity, wifi, and laundry are all extra personal costs.

The lazy landlord takes money, but this villain doesn’t do anything about pests, bad neighbors, and preexisting damage in the unit. The amount of rent charged is unfair and it ruins communities by forcing people to move elsewhere. Then rent increases as the quality of the space decreases.

A good landlord would charge a fair rent. The fair rent would be based on the actual quality of the space. A tenant’s financial situation should also be a factor. Every tenant is different, and what’s lost in rent can be made up for in reliability and peace. The extra personal costs could also be included as long as the price is fair.

Terrible Tenant

This villain freely and willingly agrees to the asking price and then acts like the monthly charges are crimes against humanity. The terrible tenant avoids paying as much as possible and doesn’t honor their contract – the lease. This villain has no shame.

The costs of water, heat, and electricity have gone up and continue to rise. On top of that, property taxes, mortgages and interest on all the above are inescapable expenses. The terrible tenant doesn’t care. The villain knows that they can’t be kicked out without a court warrant that takes forever to get.

Real property expenses can build up quickly, so consistent rent is key to financial solvency. Depending on the size of the property, losing one month’s rent could mean missing a mortgage payment, incurring penalties, and even having to dip into savings. The rent must cover costs at the least. Anything more is profit that everyone can understand.

The terrible tenant avoids paying or doesn’t understand the value of the space. They agreed to pay and inspected the place before they signed the lease. If there were guarantees against damage and problems, then the rent could be lower. But, many problems are beyond anyone’s control.

A good tenant pays the rent they agreed to. Financial decisions are not easy. Signing a lease is a serious legal action that should only be done with certainty about financial situations. Moreover, the legal system favors tenants and provides enough time to pay the rent. Absent any surprises, the rent and terms were agreed to.

Issue: Eviction

*coming soon

Issue: Repairs

*coming soon

Andrew Rozo
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