Indy councilman Zach Adamson
Posted in the Indianapolis Forum
#1 Jun 19, 2014
Zach Adamson has been upsetting a lot of constituents lately with a big mouth that seems to rub people the wrong way. Landlords and rental property owners donít want a landlord and rental property registry in Indianapolis. They know it will require an affidavit that the properties donít have any code violations and that it will lead to inspections and fines. Adamson is telling everybody that ďgoodĒ landlords will welcome it and only ďbadĒ owners will fear it, which is a huge mischaracterization of reality. Every landlord knows that expensive inspections and repairs will follow just the way they have in every city that has attempted it. A full scale revolt is taking place in Boston, where property owners refuse to register despite huge fines. Adamson, Indianapolisí first gay councilor, has upset huge numbers of gay landlords, who feel he has abandoned the very community which helped elect him. The profit margins in landlording are extremely tight. Gay people, who historically gravitated toward owning rental property to protect themselves against firing, are particularly sensitive to the idea of city code enforcers telling them what to do with their property. Many of these code enforcers donít own property themselves and have taken some class to get the job, and like to wield power. Its a raw issue. Adamson is a hairdresser/barber by trade and he has a sharp tongue. Heís been trashing the landlord community for opposing his position and heís making some enemies. He wants to end the scourge of boarded up buildings by out of town property owners . But those have nothing to do with local property owners and landlords with rented properties. Apples and oranges. How does having landlords register affect investor owned boarded up property. It doesnít. And the city already has the names and addresses of every property owner in its tax records. It doesnít need a new registry, which will only have one ultimate purpose. Inspections and fines. No matter how many times they tell you it wonít, thatís always where it goes. The ccc relies on campaign contributions from well heeled donors, who own properties, and donít like seeing legislation which will crash the rental property values in the city as landlords throw property on the market in disgust. A registry of where councilors stand on this issue is also being drawn up and Zach Adamson is definitely losing friends. As the cost of these inevitable inspections rises, so will rents. Theyíre already rising because of water/sewer costs. Wait till the repair bills start coming in. Rents could double. They love to talk about Bloomingtonís registry as a success story. But I owned property in Bloomington when the inspections started. And rents doubled.
#2 Jun 19, 2014
I'm not reading this crap. Too long.
Too bad. We have too many boarded up houses, slumlords and no system of dealing with these people.
This is a much needed registry.
#3 Jun 19, 2014
Öslumlords like me. Thatís the refrain that gets these registration/inspection laws passed thru councils. Poor tenants taking out their hostilities on ďthe landlord,Ē as if the landlord is the one that made them poor. Most of these tenants live in pretty acceptable conditions. Theyíre just poor. If they want to live in more luxurious digs no one is stopping them, they can move wherever they can afford. But they prefer to blame the landlord because the kitchen in their $375 a month apt is old. Okay. He can fix it all up. But then the apt rent is going to go way up. So the landlord makes choices. Certain things donít get done because heís trying to keep the rent on the unit affordable. The tenants rarely appreciate it. But its a market system. You live where you can afford to live. If inspection mandates cause you to seriously upgrade the units, then there arenít any more $400 units. Everything will be $700. And people will be screaming for $400 units but they wonít come back. There are whole swaths of neighborhoods on the near east and south sides where people rent houses and doubles for about $500 a month. None of these hundred year old houses are up to code. Inspectors would find dozens if not hundreds of things wrong with them. But after the landlord invests thousands of dollars to bring them up to code the rent will be $800-$1000 a month. Landlords will do whatever the law tells them to do. But once rents start going up theyíll never come back down again. Huge numbers of people will be displaced if thousands of rental houses around the city have to be brought up to code. Updated wiring, plumbing, complete rehabs. Rents will double. You can call us slumlords if you want. But landlords today give the renting public what they want, and what they want is cheap affordable housing. People are living on ssi checks in center township. They donít have much money. Show them better apartments, but at much higher prices, and they choose the cheap places. Over and over again. People want $400 and $500 rental units. Pass these registration laws and every single affordable unit in the city will disappear. Look up apartments on Craigslist in Bloomington. $1000 to $2000 a month units. There hasnít been a real $400 apt in Bloomington since before the registration and inspection program began. So go ahead and trash landlords. Call us names. Zach Adamson can belittle us all he wants. Thatís kind of his thing. But remember. Landlords fix up these units but tenants trash them. Tenants are the ones that bring in roaches and bedbugs and mice, not the landlords. Bashing the landlords is the great american pastime of the poor. But the answer isnít to gentrify to the point that there arenít any more affordable units. People like Zach, they say they want to protect tenants. But really they set in motion the end of affordable housing. They want everything to gentrify to the point where its so expensive, the people on fixed incomes canít afford to live there. A gentrified housing stock is great for people with money. Once you get all those poor people out. Zach wants every landlord to renovate his housing stock until its a gleaming showpiece that would pass todayís code, and heís willing to seriously fine everybody that doesnít do it. I think heís going to get some pushback on that. Tenants already have the protection of the health department which mandates acceptable minimum standards. Thatís enough.
#4 Jun 19, 2014
Too long didn't read. Condense and use paragraphs you moron.
#5 Jun 20, 2014
Its true that my insurance company requires a high level of maintenance on my rental properties in order to keep top flight hazard insurance. Last year when the underwriters drove around and inspected exteriors unannounced I got a letter asking me to paint some peeling trim and fix some cracked concrete sidewalks or be prepared to lose my good rates. Tenants who scream about landlords inhumanity for refusing to provide a working smoke detector are just trolls. Every unit gets smoke detectors when tenants move in by every landlord. But when they start to chirp tenants pull out the batteries. Youíd be surprised how often they rip the smoke detector off the wall or ceiling and just fling it into a corner or smash it. Then they complain that the landlord doesnít provide working smoke detectors. I have a good group of tenants now. But after 20 years running rentals around here I can tell you that tenants do all the damage to these properties. Landlords fix them up, and fix them up again, and fix them up again. Tenants break windows, put their fists through walls, blow electrical outlets, destroy plumbing systems, even new plumbing systems, by dumping and flushing things that should never be; they bring in pests, they kick in doors. Landlords respond to repair requests over and over again, dodging drunk boyfriends, pit bulls and more. Then, when they canít make the rent, they call the health dept and complain thinking it will stop an eviction. You get inspected, have to make repairs, and lose time, money, court filing fees and have to clean, paint, repair, advertise, show and rent again. Its tough work made tougher by the tenants. The last thing you need is some snot nose kid in his first job working for the city coming out to inspect you and writing up a list of repairs he thinks your property needs just to justify his morning schedule out of the office, even though he doesnít own a house and doesnít understand anything about houses. He goes back out to his $300 car and drives away leaving you with $6,000 worth of repair items that you couldnít get done on these old houses in a year. The city ought to stay out of the landlord inspection business. They donít have the resources to do it right. It will fall unevenly on those ďcaughtĒ by the system rather than be spread evenly across all properties. And the city canít even manage the responsibilities it has. It canít control its own Section 8 properties already in the system. It canít keep on top of actual health department responsibilities. It canít keep vacant properties mowed or get them torn down. The idea that housing in Indianapolis is going to magically transform if they start hammering landlords with fees and inspections is a joke. Theyíre just messing with the retirements of good people trying to provide good service and manage their properties. The city needs to control its vacant property problem, but that has nothing to do with landlords. The city has tax bill addresses for these vacant, uninhabitable houses that it doesnít follow up on now. It certainly doesnít need a registry of every single person in the county who owns property that has ever been rented out, with the details of every unit, affidavits that it meets all county code, or expensive inspections every couple years to prove full compliance, followed by repair demands and inspections and fees. This is the start of a draconian bureaucracy they canít handle. Landlords are warning them of dire consequences if this proceeds. Rental units will come off the market. Rents will rise as tenants bear the costs of these expenses. Many, many properties will go Section 8 in order to get the simple inspections. They donít know what this will do to neighborhoods, but it will have devastating effect as meticulous, retirees get out of the business and out of state corporate interests buy enormous numbers of houses to Section 8 out.
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