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1 Achilles Tang  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 1:08:10pm

Anyone can come up with anecdotes that show how bad some landlords are, but it is a fact that the landlord is typically the unwilling lender of FIRST resort, not last resort, and the majority of people have friends or family that should help first.

In Florida tenants do have rights but if the landlord is alleged to be in violation then the tenant is still obligated to pay the rent to the court if disputing terms of a lease, including conditions of a property.

There is no law that says landlords are obligated to act as social service providers and pay for property overheads, mortgage, insurance, taxes and more, (none of which will give grace periods to the landlord) while tenants live rent free, and often trashing a property in the process.

Sure, there can be accommodation made between tenant and landlord in many cases, but the thing is that those we never hear of. What we hear of is typically one side claiming the right to keep what they are not paying for.

I suggest that the simple solution is for all those who think tenants should be allowed to live rent free if they claim hardship, to ante up and pay the rent for them; after all that is what they are demanding the landlord do.

2 Romantic Heretic  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 1:52:16pm

The poor are sinners and sinners should suffer. ///

3 steve_davis  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 1:56:03pm

re: #1 Achilles Tang

Anyone can come up with anecdotes that show how bad some landlords are, but it is a fact that the landlord is typically the unwilling lender of FIRST resort, not last resort, and the majority of people have friends or family that should help first.

In Florida tenants do have rights but if the landlord is alleged to be in violation then the tenant is still obligated to pay the rent to the court if disputing terms of a lease, including conditions of a property.

There is no law that says landlords are obligated to act as social service providers and pay for property overheads, mortgage, insurance, taxes and more, (none of which will give grace periods to the landlord) while tenants live rent free, and often trashing a property in the process.

Sure, there can be accommodation made between tenant and landlord in many cases, but the thing is that those we never hear of. What we hear of is typically one side claiming the right to keep what they are not paying for.

I suggest that the simple solution is for all those who think tenants should be allowed to live rent free if they claim hardship, to ante up and pay the rent for them; after all that is what they are demanding the landlord do.

My experience with landlords over 20 years or so is that most are complete assholes. I’ve had one guy who tried to keep the security deposit simply because he knew I had taken a job in another state and didn’t really have the means to personally come pry it back out of its “escrow account” (a term I put quotes around because I very much doubt that security deposits ever actually go into any account, other than a landlord’s checking account). Fortunately, I had parents who didn’t mind driving across town to do so. I’ve had a landlord who put me in an apartment with a refrigerator that failed the second day, taking a hundred dollars’ worth of groceries with it. I had to take the cover off the air-conditioning unit at some point and discovered the reason my apartment wasn’t cooling properly was because there was literally nothing between the cover and the outside world except a fan. It was like one of those infamous props in an old Mayday parade. Trust me, if you want sympathy for landlords, I’m guessing I’m not alone here in providing anecdotes about the numerous ways that renters get screwed, routinely.

4 cinesimon  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 2:06:36pm

re: #1 Achilles Tang

I take it you didn’t even bother to read the article. You seem to be arguing against something else entirely, whilst painting tenants with rather a tarred brush - because your anecdotal fantasies are apparently superior to actual reality.

5 Achilles Tang  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 2:21:12pm

re: #2 Romantic Heretic

Not what I said, or think. Why the sarcs?

6 Achilles Tang  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 2:22:45pm

re: #4 cinesimon

I read the article. If you think I mean that I support prison for debt; I don’t.

7 Achilles Tang  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 2:52:07pm

re: #3 steve_davis

I’ve been a landlord for 20 years, and a decent one at that.

I can give many anecdotes to every one of yours of tenants violating their part of a lease, whether by not paying rent, or not paying to a previously agreed accommodation, or destruction of property.

You seem to suggest that because all landlords are bums according to you, anyone is morally free to violate what would otherwise be a legally binding document, with legally available redress.

As I suggested above, would you be willing to pay rent for anyone who asked you, given that you seem to think any landlord should?

8 Glenn Beck's Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 3:22:43pm

re: #6 Achilles Tang

I read the article. If you think I mean that I support prison for debt; I don’t.

Then why’d you go off on an unrelated topic?

9 StephenMeansMe  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 3:24:37pm

re: #7 Achilles Tang

As I suggested above, would you be willing to pay rent for anyone who asked you, given that you seem to think any landlord should?

Who’s saying this, or anything like this?

10 Glenn Beck's Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 3:32:07pm

re: #9 StephenMeansMe

May I point out that Stephen means other people than you, as well, unless you are the collective hive-mind of all Stephens, in which case, does that include Stevens too?

11 Achilles Tang  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 3:56:50pm

re: #10 Glenn Beck’s Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut

May I point out that Stephen means other people than you, as well, unless you are the collective hive-mind of all Stephens, in which case, does that include Stevens too?

Stephen said:

My experience with landlords over 20 years or so is that most are complete assholes.

I said anyone can come up with anecdotes, as I can about tenants, but I don’t say “most”. I suggest Stephen is a bad judge of who he does business with, as I have been on occasion.

12 Glenn Beck's Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 4:00:31pm

re: #11 Achilles Tang

It’s been my experience too, I’m afraid. You don’t often have a lot of choice when you’re renting, to pick and choose. You have a deadline, you have (in many cities) other people looking, etc. At most, I’ve been choosing between one or two apartments. And landlords are very hard to judge during a brief meeting, and other tenants won’t want to complain.

I had one nice landlord, they lived above us. Aside from that, there has been a string of people attempting to take my deposit, not informing me before they come by the apartment for trivial things, failure to put my deposit into an account or pay interest, failure to deal with a mold problem, etc. etc.

I would say that just because that’s been my experience doesn’t mean that most landlords are assholes. But unfortunately, enough are so that many people never encounter landlords who aren’t. I’m sure that many landlords renting out a single place have long strings of tenants who are assholes, too.

But more to the damn point, he said that after your original off-topic rant.

13 Achilles Tang  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 4:01:24pm

re: #9 StephenMeansMe

Who’s saying this, or anything like this?

I said this, since there appears to be much sympathy for those who think that it is OK to screw the landlord. No landlord in right mind tries to evict a tenant because they are a few days late if only because the vacancy will prove more costly than the delay. There is always background to such stories when they are written to be sympathetic to one side.

14 Achilles Tang  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 4:06:34pm

re: #12 Glenn Beck’s Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut

I don’t know what I was off topic on. I commented on the gist of the article, to the effect that people are being prosecuted for not paying rent and it’s the fault of the system, or landlords, not the tenant who violated a lease, and I say there is always more to the story in such cases.

As to things like landlords showing up unannounced, you must have signed bad leases. Mine say upon at least 24 hours notice.

15 Glenn Beck's Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 4:09:18pm

re: #13 Achilles Tang

There are also landlords who will use any excuse to evict a tenant once they get a burr up their ass about them, or because they want to flip the property, or convert it to condos, or whatever.

The article didn’t say that landlords did this a lot, but that they could do it if their tenants were even a day late.

I don’t know what I was off topic on. I commented on the gist of the article, to the effect that people are being prosecuted for not paying rent and it’s the fault of the system, or landlords, not the tenant who violated a lease, and I say there is always more to the story in such cases.

The gist of the story is the bit about them going to prison. Do you get that?

16 philosophus invidius  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 4:11:20pm

re: #13 Achilles Tang

I said this, since there appears to be much sympathy for those who think that it is OK to screw the landlord. No landlord in right mind tries to evict a tenant because they are a few days late if only because the vacancy will prove more costly than the delay. There is always background to such stories when they are written to be sympathetic to one side.

OK, so then let’s have jail time for speeding. That would give the police a lot more flexibility in jailing people who probably have done a lot more than just speeding.

17 Shiplord Kirel  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 4:20:04pm

re: #1 Achilles Tang

Ya’ know, Achilles, I’ve railed against Lubbock’s “upper crust” quite a bit here. I will not take back any of it. There are two things I respect them for not tolerating though: payroll chiselers and slumlords. If you can’t make payroll, you are the scum of the Earth to them. If you habitually mistreat and exploit tenants, you are likely to be run out of town on a figurative rail and forced to move your business to, say, Arkansas. There is a lot of rental property here, mainly because of Texas Tech and the large turnover of short term employees at the big medical centers. This means a new crop of tenants every year, tenants who will not come here at all if the place develops a reputation for nasty, arrogant, callous landlords and overpriced slum property.

FYI, not strictly on topic:
The attitude about payroll is related the Texas Payday law. The latter is one of the strictest in the country, believe it or not. Among other things, it is a criminal rather than a civil law. If you don’t pay your employees on time or don’t pay them at all, it will not be a process server responding to take you to small claims court. It will be a Texas Ranger coming to throw you in jail. This is not some kind of inexplicable concession to liberalism but, rather, a tradition that dates to the 19th century. In those days, employees who were stiffed on payday would often try to collect at gunpoint. This could lead to all sorts of chaos and unpleasantness. It became a tradition for ethical businesses to band together to pressure the local offenders, with the state intervening to keep the peace.

18 FemNaziBitch  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 5:00:16pm

hmm, I think the topic is about putting people in prison for debt.

19 Achilles Tang  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 8:44:57pm

re: #16 philosophus invidius

OK, so then let’s have jail time for speeding. That would give the police a lot more flexibility in jailing people who probably have done a lot more than just speeding.

What the hell does this comment mean? I don’t support jail in such situations, as I have already said, if you would bother to stop your knee jerk stupidity.

20 Achilles Tang  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 9:09:57pm

re: #18 FemNaziBitch

hmm, I think the topic is about putting people in prison for debt.

No it is not, it is about people not paying their rent, and I don’t believe for a moment that someone given a 10 day notice to vacate and ignoring it doesn’t have a prior history that resulted in that situation, with considerable cost to the landlord in getting the judgement in the first place.

I, and Mrs. Tang, worked damn hard to get the limited assets we have in a few rental properties, and rely on the income from them, supposedly for retirement which it doesn’t amount to. I also know damn well after 20 years that when it comes to a notice to vacate (eviction it is called in Florida) this requires court approval and significant court expenses, even in Arkansas.

The only difference of substance that I find in researching the law in Arkansas versus Florida is that there is a jail provision in Arkansas, which I doubt is enforced to any significant degree. In Florida the Sheriff arrives and tells them to leave with a court judgement, if it comes to that. Presumably in Florida if someone resists the Sheriff with force they could also face jail but I have not heard of that happening.

My point is that this article is a sop to those who, like some here, think that most landlords are con artists that should be screwed whenever possible. This is a naive view of reality and I consider those, and there have been some, who try to use our hard earned assets without paying for them as agreed, to be simple thieves. This is no different from an employer deciding that they didn’t want to pay an employee for services rendered, or an employee expecting to be paid for doing nothing.

All the bleeding hearts on my original post need to grow up and look beyond the propaganda in the article.

21 Gus  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 9:15:07pm

Hey. Wasn’t Bill Clinton governor of Arkansas once?

22 Achilles Tang  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 9:15:44pm

re: #17 Shiplord Kirel

I’m not sure I follow your point(s). Sure there are people who exploit people in many ways, some of them “slumlords”. When did you last rent from a slumlord? That is a circumstance quite separate from a “middle class” rental situation with legally valid contract between parties.

23 Achilles Tang  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 9:24:47pm

re: #15 Glenn Beck’s Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut

There are also landlords who will use any excuse to evict a tenant once they get a burr up their ass about them, or because they want to flip the property, or convert it to condos, or whatever.

The article didn’t say that landlords did this a lot, but that they could do it if their tenants were even a day late.

The gist of the story is the bit about them going to prison. Do you get that?

Leases provide for termination, normally with notice. So what? Shouldn’t an owner of a property be allowed to decide to sell, as most people will do eventually if they don’t die first and the family decides to sell. What’s wrong with that?

The article says that the day late applies to the 10 day notice that was legally given. Nobody legal evicts on one day late without proper notice to correct. It is ignoring the legally required notices that can result in eviction, and not after one day, and no landlord goes through that process without damn good reason.

24 Gus  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 9:31:09pm

Oh, I see what they’re doing in Arkansas. Failure to vacate can result in a misdemeanor imprisonment. In Colorado failure to vacate will result in a sheriff physically removing you from the property including your possessions out into the street.

There are other forms of debt prison that remain on the books. If you have a debt you’re sometimes facing a civil suit. If you fail to appear you’re subject to contempt of court. Meaning, prison. You can also appear in court and if you fail to meet the condition of the hearing for the debt you’ll likely face prison.

Lessors are not required to retain non-paying signatories to a lease. Unless you want to find a way to recoup the losses publicly through a public program. Should they be jailed? No. But the fact remain, you can’t pay the rent you get kicked out to the street.

Couple of years ago I couldn’t make the rent. I knew the owners. They let me float. Technically I owe them over 3 grand. No court. No arrest. Other people aren’t so lucky.

25 Gus  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 9:41:18pm

Oh, and by the way. Arkansas’ governor is Mike Beebe.

He’s a Democrat like DOMA and DADT signing Bill Clinton.

I eagerly await action from DOJ’s William Holder on this.

26 goddamnedfrank  Tue, Feb 26, 2013 9:48:31pm

re: #12 Glenn Beck’s Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut

I had one nice landlord, they lived above us.

The one time I had a landlord living directly above me they decided to put up a bird feeder directly above a poorly maintained utility access point in the ground floor wall.

Result -> Rats.

27 Glenn Beck's Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut  Wed, Feb 27, 2013 5:15:24am

re: #23 Achilles Tang

Leases provide for termination, normally with notice. So what? Shouldn’t an owner of a property be allowed to decide to sell, as most people will do eventually if they don’t die first and the family decides to sell. What’s wrong with that?

The owner of a property shouldn’t be allowed to sell in a way that disrupts the rental agreements that are already there.

The article says that the day late applies to the 10 day notice that was legally given. Nobody legal evicts on one day late without proper notice to correct. It is ignoring the legally required notices that can result in eviction, and not after one day, and no landlord goes through that process without damn good reason.

That ‘damn good reason’ is often ‘this person has been living here for a long time and rent control means they’re paying substantially less than I could get from a new tenant, so I will use any opportunity to get them out.’.

28 Shiplord Kirel  Wed, Feb 27, 2013 5:38:55am

re: #22 Achilles Tang

I’m not sure I follow your point(s). Sure there are people who exploit people in many ways, some of them “slumlords”. When did you last rent from a slumlord? That is a circumstance quite separate from a “middle class” rental situation with legally valid contract between parties.

What is it you don’t understand? You admit the existence of slumlords and exploiters. Even they have legally valid contracts on their property, since there is no class distinction in the law. The law cannot therefore ignore such people and their business practices. If my personal experience is relevant at all, I did rent from a “low performing” landlord back in 1980 or so. A more important experience was the term I served as mayor of a small California municipality. I learned a lot about this subject, especially the difficulty of code enforcement with minimum resources. Even so, I am not unsympathetic to property owners. California law tended to favor tenants, at least in comparison to other states. This, in turn, tended to increase costs. These costs, in turn, were passed along to the tenants themselves. The Arkansas law, even ignoring the bias of the article, is draconian in the opposite direction. Arrest is only possible under fairly extreme circumstances and would be for failure to vacate rather than failure to pay. Nevertheless, the lowering of performance standards for property owners would seem to be an inequitable application of the power of the law. The biggest concern, though, is denial of due process and the various abuses that you seem to assume cannot happen:

Nobody legal evicts on one day late without proper notice to correct. It is ignoring the legally required notices that can result in eviction, and not after one day, and no landlord goes through that process without damn good reason.

There are many thousands of landlords in Arkansas. You do not really know what each and every one of them will do if the law allows it. The article clearly states that the 10 day notice can be served if the renter is just one day late on payment.
The linked HRW report documents the denial of due process and many other abuses, some of which are right out in the open:

Even within the bounds of legality, creative landlords have at least some latitude to use the law against tenants in ways its authors probably never contemplated. For instance, one Little Rock attorney’s website advises landlords that the state’s criminal evictions law can
be used to circumvent federal laws that bar them from evicting active duty service members while they are serving overseas. A landlord who uses the civil evictions process to do the same thing could find themselves facing federal criminal charges.

The article points out that prosecutors essentially act as the landlord’s attorney in these cases, and they often act on the unsupported word of the landlord. At the very least, the state should be required to provide the tenant with a court appointed attorney if the tenant cannot afford one, which most cannot.

29 Shiplord Kirel  Wed, Feb 27, 2013 6:12:45am

In my experience, one problem with rental in general is that a great many people with limited resources seem to be conned into buying “investment property” on the assumption that it will produce more income than it really will.
These rosy appeals tend to over-estimate occupancy, for example, and to under-estimate the costs incurred by non-performing tenants and by repairs and maintenance.

30 Achilles Tang  Wed, Feb 27, 2013 3:35:06pm

To all the knee jerk bleeding hearts here who can’t maintain a discussion without suggesting that it is just fine to not comply with an agreed contract, when it is personally inconvenient to do so; here are a few thoughts to end, hopefully, this sorry thread in an otherwise intelligent forum. Do try to bear in mind, as I have said from the beginning, that jail as described is a stupid law.

1: This OP article is a viral meme. Try to google it and every hit is a copy of the same original article.

2: Try to find a single reference to someone actually jailed under this law. I can’t.

3: Shouldn’t such a sensationalist law actually be about an example of someone jailed under it? Couldn’t this pretend reporter find one either?

4: The Arkansas rental laws are not explained accurately. Nobody faces jail for “being one day late”

Failure to Vacate
When a tenant has failed to pay rent, the landlord must give the tenant 10 days to either fix the breach or vacate the premises before beginning eviction proceedings. If a tenant fails to remedy the breach or vacate after ten days, a landlord may petition a court for an eviction order.

The description of this event say nothing about violations by the landlord. Wouldn’t that have been a simple thing for a reporter to write about? Instead we have tenants who know they haven’t paid, knew before the landlord did that they wouldn’t pay, claim they have never been late which I doubt (but the reporter couldn’t verify), were told of the court authorized 10 day notice which they ignored and expressed surprise when something happened, were nevertheless granted another hearing (which I doubt happened the same day, meaning more free rent), then granted another week to move out (more free rent).

And, I have been there, I am a landlord that many of you sound like you wish you had, but many of you are not tenants I would wish to have.

31 Achilles Tang  Wed, Feb 27, 2013 7:13:24pm

re: #8 Glenn Beck’s Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut

Then why’d you go off on an unrelated topic?

Is this an argument of some sort? Is your point that since you don’t understand the issue you don’t allow any related points?

32 Achilles Tang  Wed, Feb 27, 2013 7:16:31pm

re: #27 Glenn Beck’s Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut

The owner of a property shouldn’t be allowed to sell in a way that disrupts the rental agreements that are already there.

That ‘damn good reason’ is often ‘this person has been living here for a longYou dissapoint me. time and rent control means they’re paying substantially less than I could get from a new tenant, so I will use any opportunity to get them out.’.

Did I say anything of the sort?

Why do you make such bullshit arguments when I clearly mean that both parties to an agreement need to comply. Your logic disappoints me.

33 Achilles Tang  Wed, Feb 27, 2013 7:41:40pm

re: #1 Achilles Tang

Anyone can come up with anecdotes that show how bad some landlords are, but it is a fact that the landlord is typically the unwilling lender of FIRST resort, not last resort, and the majority of people have friends or family that should help first.

In Florida tenants do have rights but if the landlord is alleged to be in violation then the tenant is still obligated to pay the rent to the court if disputing terms of a lease, including conditions of a property.

There is no law that says landlords are obligated to act as social service providers and pay for property overheads, mortgage, insurance, taxes and more, (none of which will give grace periods to the landlord) while tenants live rent free, and often trashing a property in the process.

Sure, there can be accommodation made between tenant and landlord in many cases, but the thing is that those we never hear of. What we hear of is typically one side claiming the right to keep what they are not paying for.

I suggest that the simple solution is for all those who think tenants should be allowed to live rent free if they claim hardship, to ante up and pay the rent for them; after all that is what they are demanding the landlord do.

Perhaps I am pedantic tonight, but I want to ask all of you negative dingers, assuming you are not just fleeting skimmers with no real connection to the thread, just what your non commentary issue with this crappy ‘news” link is. (Those who I have already answered need not reply, if they have none).


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