Property Rights Foundation of America®

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
May 24, 2002
The Press
Ellenville, New York

To the Editor:

Local elected and salaried administrators are (inadvertently) the direct cause of the deteriorization of private rental properties via their enforcement of rules and regs working at cross purposes when mutually invoked.

Dynamics of "Slum" Development

1. Tenant realizes they'll be falling behind in rent.
2. Canny tenant (having had same situation occur before) purposely causes certain critical damages.
3. Hiding damages from property owner/manager, tenant notifies local agencies — either building department or Mrs. Kraft's office — of the damages.
4. When landlord (LL) goes to evict for nonpayment of rent, court dismisses eviction because of disrepairs, items that LL wasn't apprised of beforehand. (Local law disallows eviction from premises in need of repairs!)
5. When LL attempts to make repairs, tenant obstructs (not allowing entrance to apt., for example).
6. Even after LL manages to figure out the devious, nefarious ploy and manages to fix the damages and initiates a new, 2nd eviction process (which by itself takes a minimum of a full month), at least 2 to 3 months have gone by without LL receiving any rent at all; usually longer.
7. 2-3 month's lost rent is the same as 25% "vacancy rate."
8. Such a major chunk removed from LL's revenue by local rules & regs that he/she has no control over results inevitably in LL's experiencing difficulty financing essential repairs, much less cosmetic property-beautification (inessential) refurbishment-type of externally visible upgrades.
9. Result: Of necessity properties cosmetic appearance is compromised via vagaries of local rules & regs enforcement by unwitting, elected and salaried administrators (not the LL's)!

Solutions

A. Local salaried & elected administrators be made aware of these dynamics and adjured to compensate accordingly in what they consider to be the proper performance of their duties so that they do not effect a result opposite of that that they intended.
B. School local administrative court personnel, both elected judge(s) as well as salaried, as to what bare bones New York State statutory and case law is regarding landlord-tenant relations so that existing laws can be properly administered.

Please bring your attention to the fact that while the enforcement of our local rules & regulations are the direct cause of this property deteriorization process, our local elected and salaried administrators are doing it only inadvertently, not intentionally, none of them having had cognizance necessary for such overview.

Paul T. Johnson
Ellenville

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