Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Slum Landlords

This makes me laugh. Today on my way to work I have to listen to our idiot mayor— this is somewhat redundant as all city council types fall under this generalization— proclaiming that he is going to crack down on slum landlords through bylaw enforcements.

Okay, go ahead force all landlords to repair basement foundations, replace window treatments, re-do their wall insulations, roofing repairs…. Etc. Well this all sounds well and good until he passes the costs onto the tenants. So now the $350 rent check has to be raised $525 to pay for all of the repairs and now the rental tenants can no longer afford to live there. We can make all homes palaces but those costs are always passed onto the dweller. People do not get into business to lose money.

Low cost rental housing is a niche market used by people who do not have a lot financial options and these are the people directly hurt by Mandel’s imposition. To reduce low rental housing options only hurts those who are dependant on that market.

Everyone loves to belittle “slum” landlords as if this is a lucrative market where fat cats landlords live the high life through their ability to bully and cheat tenants. This is a lie propagated by Hollywood in the 80’s (their attempt to discredit Regan). Slum landlords are businessmen that deal with extremely small profit margins. Do you not think these people if they had the capital would love to deal with high end, expensive properties? Do you think that they prefer dealing with drug dealers, pimps and other unstable clients that make up a large percentage of their clientele? No, like all other people on this messy planet they are doing their best to utilize the resources available to them to make a living, so while painting “slum” landlords as scapegoats may be beneficial politically but it is virtually useless as a strategy to upgrade housing.

You want to fix up housing. Get rid of capital gains taxes. People would trip over their feet trying to get into the house refurbishing business. But without economic incentive houses will continue to be run down to the point they are only profitable in the low rental situations.


At 6:55 AM, Blogger jeff davidson said...

i'm not interested in how difficult it is for slum lords to make profit on the backs of society's poorest. these guys rely on their tenants being unable to negotiate for reasonable living conditions. leak-free roofs and dry basements aren't outrageous conditions to expect as a tenant. affordable housing shouldn't mean shitty housing. if the private sector can't see past profit, then bugger it, legislate affordable housing. that's right. WE pay for it with our tax dollars. the richest province in canada should be able to cover the costs of a few shingles.

At 11:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Socialists should invite these people to live with them, that would solve all sorts of housing problems. And our media savvy limousine socialists would finally have the satisfaction of having put their money where their mouth's are. Bonus!

People should consider keeping their money in their mattress instead of becoming a landlord - it's just not worth it...

At 5:16 AM, Blogger The Individualist said...

So typical... politicians always come up with some plan to "help" certain groups. Then the plans backfire and those groups receiving "help" end up worse off.

Making landlords follow a bunch of regulations will only result in less low-cost rentals. Then they'll have to enforce rent controls... and we all know how well those help the poor...

At 9:24 AM, Blogger angryroughneck said...

Oh wait the lady bug is talking.

"if the private sector can't see past profit, then bugger it, legislate affordable housing."

well then ladybug why don't you buy a 230,000 dollar house and rent it out for $500 a month. you take the $1000 loss. Because that is what seeing past profit is! Would your wife be happy that you mortgaged her future because someasshole told you that you were a selfish lady bug because you wouldn't front somebody else's living tab?

This is idiocy at its best. Force the businessman to lose money. Coercion is a deliberate evil and you represent moral trash.

At 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow.. thank god I'm American and don't have to deal with the socialist 'take care of me - I can't do it myself attitude'. Also thank god I don't have to deal with the socialized medicine of Canada as well.

Anyway, yep, cut capital gains taxes, provide tax incentives for improvements, etc... that is the way to get them fixed up!

Either that or work with lenders to provide lower interest loans to property owners buying additional properties solely for rental purposes...

At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In todays market most of these properties are non repairable.
Try to get a contractor to repair a 60-70 year old basement?
The structure above ground isnt worth the time and effort to replace the foundation.
Bulldoze it and the vacant lot is worth more money than the original house.

At 12:35 AM, Anonymous Fronzel said...

hear hear, well said. good idea re: lowering capital gains taxes.

In response to the ladybug:

I respect the desire to help the less fortunate. If there really are that many citizens who want to subsidize low-income housing, that's very admirable - those people are free to form a charity and do it privately! just please don't try to use force (ie. tax) to make everybody in canada participate! I too consider that immoral.


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