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Old 01-04-2010, 06:00 PM
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ilbegone ilbegone is offline
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Default Slumlords targeted by Riverside County

Slumlords targeted by Riverside County

Quote:
January 4, 2010

By DUANE W. GANG
The Press-Enterprise

Riverside County supervisors are considering a new law aimed at making landlords pay up if they don't keep their properties maintained.

The proposed ordinance -- on the Board of Supervisors' agenda for today -- would require property owners to cover a tenant's relocation expenses for up to two months if county code enforcement officers issue an eviction notice over health and safety issues.

"There are some unscrupulous landlords that let their places get so bad they are a serious hazard to live in," said Supervisor John Benoit, who along with Supervisor Marion Ashley is sponsoring the measure.

"The county is forced to force people out."

Ashley said tenants can't always afford to relocate, pay moving expenses and pay new deposits for utilities.

"They are paying their rent and doing what they are supposed to do but the place isn't being kept up," Ashley said. "The taxpayers end up footing part of the bill. That is not fair," he said. "This is trying to correct that."

Under the proposal, a property owner would:

Pay the tenant an amount equal to two months of the fair market rent for the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan area, as set by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. The 2010 fair market rent for the area is $1,108 per month for a two-bedroom unit.

Pay the tenant enough to cover deposits to set up electricity, gas and water service at a new residence. The county would determine the specific amount.

Return any security deposits and pay a fixed moving cost, which is set by the Federal Highway Administration.

The ordinance includes an appeal process if property owners feel they should not have to pay the costs.

Karen Fricke, executive director of the Apartment Association Greater Inland Empire, said Monday she could not comment on the proposal until studying it further.

Ashley said with the poor economy, more people are living in rental properties.

"The situation has become much worse in the last couple of years," he said.

Benoit said code enforcement officers can be in a difficult position, wanting to protect residents but reluctant to force them from their homes. The proposal is a reasonable step, he said.

According to his office, the county in the eastern Coachella Valley over the past three years has forced between 25 and 35 families from their homes because of poor conditions.

John Boyd, the county's code enforcement director, said the proposed new law would apply to all rental properties.

Code enforcement officers currently work with property owners to fix problems before they issue an eviction notice, Boyd said.

But the new measures give the county another tool, he said. Fixing problems on rental properties is an expense but could prove less than the amounts outlined in the proposal, he said.

"There was no real onus on a property owner to correct the violations," Boyd said. "This puts a penalty in place that would probably encourage them to correct the violation."
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:11 PM
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Jeanfromfillmore Jeanfromfillmore is offline
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This goes both ways. Many tenants do so much damage to rental property that by the time you get them out, they've destroyed the property to where no one wants to move in. They will also use the agencies to swindle the landlord out of rent. I know because tenants tried to do it to me in a unit I rented out in Brentwood. Finally the agency told me that if they (the tenants) tried to use the agency again, they would send the head of the department over to the unit and let them know they would take action against them for filing a false claim.

The courts are almost always on the side of the tenant. But then there are the unscrupulous landlords that the name slumlords does apply.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:22 PM
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Ayatollahgondola Ayatollahgondola is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeanfromfillmore View Post
The courts are almost always on the side of the tenant.
Oh nooooooo. I'd say they side with the landlord on most issues. Tenants might be able to delay things, but they seldom win in the longrun. Abusive tenants suck, but landlords welcome them in because they know they get something in the beginning, and get their property back in the end.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:55 PM
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Jeanfromfillmore Jeanfromfillmore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayatollahgondola View Post
Oh nooooooo. I'd say they side with the landlord on most issues. Tenants might be able to delay things, but they seldom win in the longrun. Abusive tenants suck, but landlords welcome them in because they know they get something in the beginning, and get their property back in the end.
I know you've had some bad experiences AG. But I've has some on the other side. If you have residential property that is under rent control, it almost isn't worth it to keep it or rent it out. Your problems were with commercial property and you weren't dealing with rent control.
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Old 01-05-2010, 07:38 AM
Patriotic Army Mom Patriotic Army Mom is offline
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I once had a tenant in Azusa who lived in front of my daughter. He took out the shelves in the kitchen and new plumbing, flooring, covers on the electrical outlets and was supplying electricity to others next door. I paid the electricity. Then he called Azusa and said that I was renting the house this way. To make a long story short this guy was bringing underage girls into the house when his wife was at work. I went to attack after he and his wife went for me, the police were called and there was no way I was leaving until this scum bag was gone. He would have really harrassed my daughter and her family. Well, after about 4 hours and the police being called 3 times, they made him leave. Two days later he killed 2 people and run to Mexico.
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