A Renter’s Revenge

A prospective buyer arrived at my office today whom I have not seen for some time. He said he is back in the market to purchase after finding that renting really wasn’t his cup of tea. I was not surprised to find him quite vocal about the the quality and condition of most rentals available on the market and the amount of rent that the landlords were asking. Seems the investors of today are not what they used to be years ago. Having been involved in renting properties for many years, I can say that the bar has been lowered as far as what many of the landlords expect of themselves. Rental properties don’t take care of themselves. Yes, a tenant has the responsibility of attempting to preserve the condition of the dwelling as it was when they moved in; normal wear and tear excepted. But, and I say but, many of the landlords do a minimal job at best of taking care of the nuts and bolts of the dwellings and do minimal repairs just to meet the local rental housing code. What causes me to bristle the most, is when I drive past rental homes and apartment houses and see how repairs and replacements even on the exteriors are not even conducive to the design and appeal of the original structure. Now how funky is that?

There are several owners of rental properties here in Mason City whom I help rent get their units rented. One of them in particular is stellar in the requirements they place on themselves as far as quality and cleanliness of their units, but on the flip side of that is their expectations from their tenants. One of them said to me once, “I will not rent one of my units to anyone unless the condition is such that I could easily live in it myself.” I wish every landlord had that mindset. The perfect world for me going forward in time is to be able to drive past any given home here in Mason City and not be able to tell if it is tenant occupied or owner occupied. Wouldn’t that be a real challenge for landlords?

Do you know what a renter’s revenge is? It is when a tenant decides that he or she is paying too much for too little and decides to purchase.

Joe Chodur

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