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Spotlight Letter:Pressure landlords to take care of properties


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The letter from Mike Champlin, a member of the Landlords Association, was interesting. Evidently he would like to have different wording in the proposed city ordinance on junk cars.

As a resident and homeowner of a downtown property, I would like to make a few comments.

Some landlords do a good job of keeping their rental properties in decent shape, but I would like anyone interested to take a tour of the downtown area with me to see just what homeowners are up against.

Junk cars are just part of the problem. As I write this letter, there have been many Toters out at the curb since Friday, full to overflowing, waiting for next week’s trash pickup, and this happens all the time. It is a beautiful sight, especially for visitors to the city.

When landlords evict tenants, there are many times when household goods, trash bags and food are put out on the curb waiting for the next large-trash day pickup. That is sometimes three weeks away. Shouldn’t landlords be responsible for hauling all that junk away or fined if the city has to provide that service?

What is the percentage of police calls to rental properties versus owner-occupied properties? Many police calls in the downtown area are to rental properties. So do the landlords check references or just rent to the first person who has a month’s rent?

Also, Champlin writes about the taxes he pays on rental property. I suspect that many of the members of the Landlords Association rent to people who qualify for HUD subsidies. That is taxpayer money they receive from HUD.

Many landlords, not all, live outside the downtown and would not live in that area nor would they live in the properties they rent. Wouldn’t it be great if the only properties for rent are appealing to everyone.

So, I urge the City Council to pressure landlords to take responsibility for their rundown properties.

This letter was received Dec. 2 from Judy Jackson of Columbus.

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