Dear Editor: Your recent story "Locked Out" regarding the difficulty disadvantaged folks have in the current tight rental market did not tell the whole story. Here is the other side:
1) No responsible tenant wants to live near a neighbor who is periodically physically abused with corresponding excessive noise requiring police calls. 2) Some tenants are irresponsible and leave apartments with significant damage at the end of tenancy, thus the need for security deposits that are oftentimes too expensive for people with tight budgets. 3) Landlords have obligations to pay their mortgages on time, therefore they need their rents on time to avoid foreclosure on their investment. 4) And frankly, eviction is a last resort for most landlords since it is very expensive, requiring the landlord to often pay for sheriff services, storage of tenant's possessions, court costs, etc. Therefore most landlords hate getting involved in the eviction process.
Although I'm in favor of local municipalities having more stringent requirements for landlords, such as more frequent building inspections, it must be understood that this will be more expensive and all of these expenses will be passed on to the tenant.
Finally, a city like Madison with a bloated City Council that wastes money ($400K on a study scrutinizing an excellent police department as well as over $100K annually for an unnecessary council chief of staff) will have higher rents because these expenses are reflected in higher property taxes, which will also be passed on to the tenants as higher rents.
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