Monday, August 17, 2009

What is a Slumlord?

I own a mobile home in a very bad area. I had purchased it for my "friend", Zen, because she needed it (it was a rent-to-own arrangement). Zen then went on drugs (as did her son) and they trashed it and stopped paying on it, and I was forced to evict them. Now I'm stuck with it.

I could have sold it already, but because Zen owed me so much money, it would've been a terrible loss. So, I decided to rent it out while I figured out what to do. Finding a decent renter in that neighborhood was difficult, but thankfully the police have been intent on cleaning up that area by harassing everyone who sets foot there. This isn't necessarily the right way to do it, but I have access to a little higher quality renter as a result of it.

Still, there is little profit to be made there. Although it's one of the nicest trailers in the park, it has termites. It's expensive to treat termites (you have to tent the place) and because all the other trailers have them, it's only a matter of time before they infest your property once more. So, I do alternative treatments which aren't as effective but are not cost prohibitive.

Does that make me a slumlord?

At the risk of self-justification, I'd say no. I'm doing the best with what I've got. It's not as if I'm rich or will get rich by renting the @%$& thing.

So what is a slumlord?

Today the St. Pete Times has an article on a local would-be politician, Fabian Calvo. They say he's a slumlord, and from the description, I have to agree. If these are his business practices, let's hope he can never make any decisions on behalf of us. What's scary is that this guy is a conservative politico, full of rants and raves against liberals and "socialism".

Gee, thanks, Calvo. You are the reason we moderates are moderate.

What's amazing to me is that this idiot actually is running for a House of Representatives post. Obviously he'll never get it now (I hope) but the fact that he had the chutzpah to run at all simply amazes me.


Ed Abbey said...

I've rented from 5 different people in the past and I've considered them all slumlords. It's the nature of the rental business be it renting a wood splitter or an apartment. Probably the only exception I can think of off the top of my head is the car rental business and they aren't slumlords but they most certainly are shysters. I have yet to drive away in the car I rented and put money down.

The Lazy Iguana said...

How surprising. Yet another loudmouth touting his "excellent business practices" who turns out to be a con artist. Or at least highly unethical.

If his renters were smarter, they would just go through the legal process. I think it starts with a registered certified letter, and ends with you paying rent to the courts. The courts keep the rent money till the problems are fixed - and the renter can not be evicted as they are actually paying the rent.

And no, not all rental properties are dumps. Check out the Flamingo building on Miami Beach. It is a pretty nice place. Rent is a bit high, but the places are swank. No rotting doors there.

If the guy does not want to fix his units, he needs to either lower the rent to reflect the crappy conditions (I bet he does not want to do this), fix the units (if he wanted to do this it would be done), or sell the building to someone else.

And you should pay people you hire to do something.

Otherwise, you do not brag about your $20 million "small business" or whatever amount he claims to make.

Whenever I rented a car, I got what I reserved. Sometimes I get the "or similar" but the car is basically the same as far as trunk space, number of doors, and so on. The only time where the make and model is really important is for the high end luxury or specialty rentals - like if I wanted to rent a Mustang GT-H or something. but if all I want is a convertible the make and model is not really the big deal.

But anyway, I would wager he is elected anyway. The people who just want to hear that everything is socialism no matter what will turn out. It does not matter if they do not really understand what the word means. It does not matter if they do not realize that the parks their kids (or grand kids) play in are there because the collective pays for the upkeep (pretty social huh??). They either do not want to see that, or are incapable of seeing that. As long as the park is in their neighborhood - and not the poorer neighborhood across the railroad tracks - they do not care.

Ed Abbey said...

Lazy - The last rental I did was in New York and was for a Ford Mustang. I ended up with a Mercury Grand Marquis. It had the same number of doors but that is about it.

The Lazy Iguana said...

The last rental I took was for a Ford Mustang coupe.

I ended up with a convertible that had the premium sound package and satellite radio.

Same price as the hardtop coupe I booked online!

I used Hertz.

daveawayfromhome said...

Think of the difference between a slumlord and a landlord as the same as that between a clothing manufacturer and a sweatshop owner.

Ed Abbey said...

Lazy - Next time I am in Miami, you are in charge of my rental!

The Lazy Iguana said...

I just did it all online. I went for a "fun rental" on the Hertz site and booked a stang. I was under the impression it would be a hardtop.

And when I got there they gave me the keys to a vert. So of course I just took it. More fun after all. And no additional charge.

I used the airport location. I do not know if that made a difference but I always go with that location. The lot is huge and it feeds all the other satellite locations.