Letters to the Editor

Letter: Nanny city?

September 13, 2013


To the editor:

Tuesday, I delivered our rental license applications and check to City Hall. Wednesday, the J-W reports the “proposed” plan to inspect rentals “still moving forward,” needs “further review.”

Letters from City Hall sounded like this ordinance was a done deal. If our rentals weren’t licensed by Sept. 16 we’d be prosecuted and fined. Hmmm. Prosecution? Fines? The ordinance isn’t even finalized? Aren’t they jumping the gun just a little?

Some comments the City Commission should review:

You’re creating a true “nanny city” here! You must think renters are incapable of taking care of themselves. They can’t refuse to live in a dump? Can’t pick up a phone and complain when a landlord isn’t responsive to problems? Can’t boycott a bad landlord? You’ve got to be kidding!

As a Realtor, I’ve shown many rentals. Believe it or not, some people, for strange, unknown reasons, choose to live in “pieces of trash.” I wouldn’t, but if they do, why not?

If a landlord is a poor businessman, letting his property become “a piece of trash,” report him to the blighted property department! If it gets so bad no one will rent it, he deserves the loss of income that results. This is how the marketplace works. Free enterprise in action!

Interesting that the J-W article didn’t report comments from renters. Maybe they don’t need or want the city to hover over them, dictating their lifestyle. If renters are not concerned, I wonder if this action is really necessary?


Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

There is a rental license program in place and has been for awhile.

Perhaps it is the neighborhood property values that suffer immediately surrounding these "pieces of trash" as you refer?

Perhaps it is the noise and rubbish that comes with some of these rental properties that disturb the neighborhood that some landlords fail to respond when complaints are filed?

Live in homeowners surrounding rental properties are also stakeholders in the local rental industry. Sometimes property owners and property managers forget this aspect.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

What about parking which is a huge concern to many many neighborhoods. Rental property owners are NOT not necessarily required to provide off street parking to match the number of tenants occupying THEIR properties.

Suddenly a sing family residence becomes home to say 5-10 cars. Most driveways can either provide for 2 or 4 cars maximum. Beyond that the neighborhoods are forced to absorb with no respect from some landlords.

There is substantial resistance from the rental property industry to provide for the number of people actually living in a former single family dwelling or rental complexes. And the industry usually gets their way regardless of the evidence.

When presenting a site plan for very large new rental units in neighborhoods landlords simply do not want to be responsible for providing parking for all of their customers. The quantity of resistance is astounding. Neighborhoods then become victims of the rental industry.

Neighborhoods cannot become victims of this industry without local lawmakers simply turning a blind eye thus pretending all is well. This has been a problem for several years. Where is the respect?

Is there any reason why owners of rental properties should NOT be required to provide off street parking for all tenants? As so many retail operators are required? The rental industry is a retail operation...... for profit.

Why should neighborhoods bear the brunt of the rental industry existence? Where is the respect?

workinghard 4 years, 8 months ago

Merrill, I am a homeowner surrounded by hundreds of rentals owned by various landlords, both good and bad. I had no idea I was in a living hell. Thanks for letting me know. Oh and could you please convince the city and county that this decreases my property value so my taxes will go down?

Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

We have had some excellent tenants as neighbors for we which we appreciate. Thank you landlords. Getting to know tenants has helped immensely. Working with landlords has helped as well.

There has also been a few times when the neighbors have had to come together to resolve an issue. Team work is beautiful.

On the other hand at least one current city commissioner personally discovered how an uncooperative situation directly across the street from his residence was not a fun experience.

workinghard 4 years, 8 months ago

And would a city inspection have prevented these problems, in other words did the problems fall under what they would have been inspecting for?

Mike Ford 4 years, 8 months ago

the term nanny city is now used by conservatives who don't realize that their desire to live without regulations flies in the face of others who watch behaviors and wonder if this person doesn't get it whose going to stop them? people talk about no motorcycle helmets and who pays the doctor bill if there's no insurance? we do. People talk about sugar pop and who pays the bill if there's no individual health insurance? we do. People talk about smoking and who pays for cancer if there's no insurance? we do. If people realized their own boundaries and stopped themselves there wouldn't need to be any laws made to stop them. this is a smoke screen.

JohnBrown 4 years, 8 months ago

Ah yes, the free market system: atheistic, amoral, selfish. They don't need a referee. Just let those values run our economy without any "nanny" calling time outs.


Liberty275 4 years, 8 months ago

Just raise the rent to reflect your new costs.

Matthew Herbert 4 years, 8 months ago

Technically if you are just now registering, you've been out of compliance for years. That fact alone points out the bigger issue with this program: enforcement. Those who are good people and do this the right way are registering their properties. The worst landlords who are most likely the worst offenders, are not. And what happened to you all those years you didn't have your property registered? The same thing that will continue to happen- nothing. Rent prices go up, actual positive change stagnates. That seems par for the city commossion course

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