Today a gentleman stopped by the office to pay his rent on a property that I manage for a client. He and his wife moved here from out of state about nine months ago. We sort of played catch up on how things were going with the house and their jobs. They have been doing more and more exploring of the city via their long walks in the parks and trails. He mentioned that we as a community are fortunate to have so many trails and green areas along with the river and creeks. I was glad to hear these positive impressions, but with the positive comes the negative. He went on to say that there were neighborhoods that he and his wife didn’t feel comfortable walking through. He said he could be nearly positive which homes were rentals and which ones were owner occupied. There are landlords that simply collect rent and do nearly nothing to keep the properties presentable. I have a handful of owners that I help with finding tenants and some with collecting rents. I tell them all that they have to do the utmost to keep their properties presentable within the neighborhoods in which they are located. If any of the tenants fall behind in the yard upkeep and maintenance, they get a call from the owners. Yes, we all fall behind sometimes on things that should be done in a timely manner, but when it becomes a general rule, I find that unacceptable. One of my owners just finished a big interior restoration project on an apartment where she had all the floor coverings removed and had all the floors including the kitchen and bathroom, refinished along with refinishing cabinets, stripping woodwork and adding new window treatments. After the painting was done, it has transformed itself into the most delightful big studio apartment. It was rented in less than a week to a tenant that fell in love with it at first viewing. Time and money well spent creates a lasting value as well as promotes the maintaining of higher standards with the rentals that are being offered. The tenant I speak about was later telling me some of the horrific apartments that were viewed. That’s all I could say was, “I’m sorry.” We as a community should NEVER cause anyone to say they are sorry about what an outsider finds deplorable.
I think we all really must work in keeping up the appearance of our city which I want to nick name The Star of the North instead of River City.