Friday, April 1, 2011

What kind of Slumlords do you have in your community?

Through the eyes of a Slumlord

Over the years I have unfortunately had to deal with Slum Lords while running my business and usually once I have determined these individuals are Slum Lords I have tried my damnedest to get these individuals to change there minds and do things correctly when it comes to building codes and none ever have and at that point they become X customers as I do not want it on my conscious that some one was injured in a building in which I was working.
One of the biggest things that bothers me about Slum Lords is that they are for the most part Greedy ,uncaring individuals having no conscious they are often Lawyers , doctors ,Accountants and other high income professionals who usually live in houses with families living the perfect suburban life while there tenants pay the price of living in unsafe property.
But it is just not High Income Professionals many times it is real-estate and Property Management companies who are slum Lords also some times with or with out the Absentee Land Lords Knowledge.
And some slum Lords exist because they bought the property at to high a rate or lost a lot of tenants etc. and there in over there heads.
A lot of Slumlords are the first time novelists who want to dabble in real-estate and have no idea what there getting them selves into.
Now I have heard every excuse in the book why they should not follow building codes and provide safe housing.
And none of the answers they give justify what they do. as I know of many Land Lords who do there best to provide proper housing and many times go above what is required by law to make things right for there tenants.
and should there properties burn down and some one die it's oh well things happen and to bad for the person who got killed or injured .And the slum lord goes about his merry way.

Now when it comes to slum lords there are 3 basic types
the low-class ghetto type Slum Lord and the High Class Slum Lord and Management Slum Lord, some times they can be all 3

The Low Class Slum Lord typically buys property which has gone through bankruptcy or sheriffs sale and is already many times in bad shape. In a Low income neighborhood.
But some times in the middle and upper income neighborhoods.
you can always tell there properties grass unkempt gutters falling off rotted wood and falling and cracked brick work. they collect the rent do no improvement or repairs to the properties unless code enforcement and the courts compels them to and what repairs are done are poorly done by inexperienced and untrained contractors .who them selves don’t give a dam what kind of work there doing as them slum lord will often try to beat them out of there money.

The High Class Slum Lord
Is often hard to tell because he hides all his problems with fringe and style.
He keeps the hall ways clean and painted and puts in fancy landscaping , but above the ceilings and in the basements he will hire uncaring tradesman who will wire , do plumbing or other trades in poor work practices which are often done dangerously against code. this land lord while keeping up appearances is actually cutting corners every were he can get away with it.

The Management slum lord is some one who manages property for Land Lords living out of state or who are not interested in maintaining there own properties just collecting the profits. many times it doctors and lawyers who are just too busy to handle the properties they own so they hire a management firm to do the renting and maintenance etc. for a fee while many such management companies do a good job there are twice as many who do a bad job who hire any one of the street to come onto the property and do repairs or cleaning often times with disastrous results.

And of course Slum lords pay off inspectors or you have too many communities who are short inspectors who can’t keep an eye on everything because there over burdened
and then you have communities who just don’t give a dam about code enforcement .
and all of this activity just helps to drive up insurance rates and slum lords do the insurance fraud games to. what we have is one big mess that has no cure until people get involved and demand safe housing . Luckily Pa. has now passed codes this year which now gives Pa. code enforcement officers the ability to crack down on out of state slum lords by being able to lean properties and other measures. We will see if it does any good.
The City of Pittsburgh has recently taken severe code enforcement actions against a group of slumlords providing dangerous housing to college students in the Oakland shutting down the buildings till fixed and the Allegheny County District attorneys office has taken actions against apartment owners as well in Baldwin twp. At Leyland Pointe Apartments Formerly known as “Green Ghettos” Good job Officials.

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