In the Dallas Morning News article, Mr. Magner is quoted saying "In 2012, the city inspected 644 properties, and only one failed."
How do you explain only one out of 644 inspected houses failed?
What happened to all the bad properties Joe is talking about?? Did they pass the inspection? Have they been registered?
There are only two logical explanations, plus Mr. Joe Guy's suggestion:
1) Most rentals are in decent condition.
2) Bad properties aren't registered and therefore not subject to inspections.
3) Is Mr. Joe Guy suggesting the inspection standards are so low that almost every renal passes?
In any case, the program isn't working.
These programs are set up on the assumption that even slumlords will register their properties.
They won't. They didn't in Garland. Slumlords go further underground.
(We know some Richardson landlords who haven't registered their rentals or whose rentals have never been subject to inspections.)
What everyone, including Community Services Dept, council members and every taxpayer, should be asking is:
-Is it fixing a problem
-Has it accomplished anything?
-Is it worth the city's resources, i.e. OUR TAX MONEY?
Our tax money should be spent on solving the real problem (i.e. bad properties/landlords).
If bad properties are already identified, as suggested by Mr. Joe Guy, the focus should be on those properties. Inspecting every single rental (2500 registered so far) won't address that problem.
You guys are nuts. Rental properties are the worst offenders of the lot. I fully support the City going after them and keeping them registered. If they didn't do that then then they would break rules and try to cut corners left and right. All you guys do with your rental properties is suck at the tit of good neighborhoods. Other people maintain their homes well above the needed requirements and because of that your rental homes (usually more likely to only meet minimum code) are worth more. You can thank us later.
Real owners people keep their properties up but you guys do the minimum necessary to meet code and code isn't actually that strict.That puts lots of rental homes well below the average maintenance levels in these neighborhoods. I've been a board member of a voluntary neighborhood association and the eye opening experience that I didn't expect was that the complaints about bad neighbors are from rental properties well out of proportion to the amount of rental properties out there.
Most of the time these were legitimate complaints. Anything from inappropriate storage in backyards to people smoking dope on their porches even though children were present to strewn garbage all over the alley. This wasn't a bad neighborhood or just one house or owner. It was really eye opening. When we approached these owners, they basically told us where we could shove ourselves. Seriously... what owner will just tell you to go shove off when they learn that there is garbage and beer bottles strewn in public.
I know your defense will be that "we are great owners and we arent like that" but I don't buy that for a minute. I have been in some of these houses and no home owner would keep some of these homes to the low level they were at. Even so the homes pass inspection because they meet the weak minimal requirements.
There are a few folks that actually lived in these neighborhoods and then moved but put their house up for rental. Those folks keep their houses up most of the time and what is interesting is that when I talk to those former neighbors they seem to have no problem with rental registration.
You don't want rental inspections because what you want is to be able to lower the level of maintenance you put into a home. Your motive is not the health, safety, welfare, and properties values of the community. It is solely your profit so you are willing to let things slide to make a buck even if it lowers the value of neighboring properties.
Mr. Joe Guy,
Just because you had some issues with rental properties in your neighborhood doesn’t mean that’s true elsewhere or across the city. As part of my investing endeavors, I cruise the streets of Richardson looking for abandoned and “ugly but occupied (UBO)” houses. About 90 percent of the properties I see that fall into the UBO category are owner-occupied. What about all the foreclosed houses? Almost all of those were owner-occupied properties, and most had been dumps for months or years before some investor bought them and fixed them up.
As a homeowner in Richardson, I’ve gotten code enforcement notices from the city about overhanging trees or shrubs behind my house in the alley. I’m sure that code enforcement would be very interested to hear about any properties that had garbage strewn all over the alley or that had improper storage in back yards. Especially now that they have 30 managers and inspectors on staff, if they weren’t inspecting 644 rental properties to find one that couldn’t pass the inspection, they would have all kinds of time to check such things out.
And if someone is smoking dope on the porch, I’m sure Richardson police would be very interested in investigating.
Every specific issue you’re raised here has to do with the exterior of properties; no reason to get inside the house to deal with them. There are all sorts of resources available to residents of Richardson to combat the sort of issues you are describing without intruding on the privacy of tenants and the private property rights of landlords.
If you are truly getting the sort of reaction you describe when you complain to a landlord, then you’ve encountered a bad landlord, the kind that should be the focus of city enforcement. They’re probably the same sort of landlords who get five code enforcement notices a year or more.
See, the problem landlords aren’t that difficult to pick out. But maybe the city doesn’t want to pick them out because they are undoubtedly difficult to deal with. They probably won’t register, they’ll ignore code enforcement. They won’t be like the good landlords, who dutifully register and subject themselves to government intrusion
As for your comment about sucking at the tit of good neighborhoods, when I purchased the two properties that I own as rentals in Richardson, I spent $45,000 between the two on upgrades, putting in a new roof, driveway, flooring, etc. I spend $7,000+ a year on property taxes for those two properties, in addition to the $5,000 on my own home in Richardson. You can thank me later. (Maybe you pay only $2600?)
You can take a look on our site at my house that is currently the subject of city legal action over inspections. http://againstrentalinspections.weebly.com/our-property.html
I'll be happy to meet you at my rental, where you can judge whether I have a problem property, and you can also talk to the neighbors about my tenants. You're welcome to request from the city how many code violation letters
my rentals received last year.
And let me explain something about the rental property business. People (renters) vote with their money. If a landlord doesn’t keep his property up, then it’ll become more difficult to rent to quality people and he’ll have to charge below-market rent. And just as with owner-occupied homes, deferred maintenance leads to bigger bills down the road. There are undoubtedly landlords out there who do what you say, but they are bad businesspeople as well as bad landlords.