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Opinion: Proposed Restrictions on Landlords Could Devastate Investors—and the Housing Industry in General

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Paper house on cracked earth, crisis concept

“Landlord” is not a term I particularly like. It comes from the feudal era when serfs were tied to the land. Such an arrangement was fortunately abolished, so the concept of “landlord” really needs to be updated. New terms like “housing provider” sound a bit cheesy to me and “property owner” could denote either a homeowner or someone who rents out property, so it’s not very precise.

In addition, some landlords manage themselves and some hire out third-party property managers. Some investors actively seek out properties as their business and some just invest their savings into real estate. Regardless, despite my dislike of that antiquated word, I will use it for the remainder of this article.

And while there are a myriad of ways to invest and manage real estate, I will use the term landlord to denote the owner and manager of a property in order to keep what is already a very long article from becoming bogged down in caveats and minutia.

Current Uptick in Landlording Restrictions

Throughout the United States today, there is a growing hostility toward landlords and a major push against landlords’ ability to operate their businesses. Of course, I would never deny there are bad landlords out there (slumlords most notably). Indeed one of the reasons BiggerPockets exists is to educate property owners on how to manage their properties more efficiently and effectively—both to improve their own financial success and also to provide a better product to their customers (tenants).

Any good (or even decent) landlord despises bad landlords almost as much as tenants do, as these types give us all a bad reputation and make it harder for us to do business in general. And as anyone should be able to easily tell, what is true of landlords is true of every business, industry, and group of customers. Some are bad.

Black casual shoes standing at the crossroad making decision good or bad.

For this reason, tenants do need some protections. Landlords should have to give notice of entry, be expected to maintain livable conditions in the property, and go through a legal process for eviction that allows the tenant to rectify a delinquency. And there should be legal mechanisms for tenants to demand redress from negligent landlords, among other such protections.

Unfortunately, the laws we are starting to see proposed and passed are often counterproductive and unfair. Rent control—despite overwhelming evidence from both right-wing and left-wing economists that it doesn’t work—has passed in both Oregon and California. Minneapolis has passed major restrictions on property owner’s ability to screen for evictions, credit history, and criminal history, and Seattle has outright banned the use of criminal background checks.

Kansas City, where I live, has put forth a Tenant Bill of Rights, which would prohibit screening for evictions, credit history, or criminal history “unless the landlord can demonstrate the rental decision was based on all information available, including consideration of the frequency, recentness, and severity of a criminal record.”

This would seem to be quite vague and possibly violate Fair Housing, which requires we treat applicants the same. And while it doesn’t ban tenant screening, there is certainly a national push in that direction.

And by some proposal’s standards, that’s tame. Some just want to more or less ban the practice of owning and renting out property. Here, for example, is the proposal by People’s Action for “A National Homes Guarantee.”

“‘For us, this is the major intervention that takes housing off the market and decommodifies it,’ she (Tara Raghuveer, the Housing Campaign Director at People’s Action) says. The Homes Guarantee proposes taxing the appreciation of privately owned homes, while the 12 million new social housing units would put a massive number of new units off the speculation market entirely. The aim is to shift the paradigm—from homes as wealth stores to basic necessities.”

Their goal is, from what I can tell, 12 million units over a decade. Unfortunately, “taxing the appreciation of privately owned homes” would pretty much end real estate investment and residential development, if not homeownership itself. And given there was an annual rate of 1.3 million housing starts in October of 2019, even if this proposed government program delivered as planned (an unlikely event, to say the least), the total housing units added would very well be less than what it would be if they left well enough alone.

One might argue the housing being added by developers and investors is usually higher-end housing for wealthier clientele. While this is true, it underlies a complete misunderstanding of how the housing market works. Housing usually is built for a higher-end clientele, then as it ages, it shifts into more affordable housing. An A apartment becomes a B apartment after 15 or 20 years (or thereabout) and so on. Given newer construction is generally of higher quality (yes, there are noteworthy exceptions), each class of property improves over time.

In other words, in 10 years, A properties will be better than A properties today and B properties will be better than B properties today, etc. Furthermore, it’s real estate investors and landlords who buy those older properties, fix them up, and make livable accommodations out of them.

Finally, I can’t help but add that “decommodifying” real estate sounds awful similar to a particular political system that was thoroughly vetted throughout the 20th century and found to be an unmitigated disaster in terms of economic growth, human freedom, environmental degradation, technological advancement, and—of course—mass murder.

I won’t get lost in hyperbole here though. Thankfully, most of these proposals don’t go anywhere near that far. Even still, many of the tamer ones will make things worse.

close up portrait of a very skeptical curly haired woman staring at your eyes straight

Many Proposed Measures Are Counter-Productive

Even if you believe landlords are pure, unadulterated evil, presumably you would want to pass laws that actually made things better. The above laws will not. In fact, they would make things much worse.

We’ll start with rent control. One study of economists found a resounding 93 percent(!) believed “a ceiling on rents reduces the quality and quantity of housing.” The left-leaning Brookings Institute sums up the research on it quite nicely:

“New research examining how rent control affects tenants and housing markets offers insight into how rent control affects markets. While rent control appears to help current tenants in the short run, in the long run it decreases affordability, fuels gentrification, and creates negative spillovers on the surrounding neighborhood.”

Markets facing housing shortages (like Oregon and California) are absolutely shooting themselves in the foot by disincentivizing home building with policies, such as rent control. And the very arduous building codes that California, in particular, is known for make matters even worse.

Indeed one study found that, “The broader point—which isn’t remotely controversial—is that California cities have some of the most restrictive building laws in the nation, and this is a big reason why the state’s per capita home supply is 49th out of 50 states, and why it costs so much to live here.”

Oregon and California also rank second and third for homelessness nationwide, and the research clearly shows that contrary to their intentions, these measures will just make housing even less affordable.

Preventing (or severely impeding) landlords from screening for evictions or felonies is truly another matter entirely. While I fully understand that people need second chances and also that it can be difficult to find a place after an eviction or felony, it is completely unreasonable to prohibit property owners from doing what banks and employers (including the government) do—namely screen applicants.

Reality is reality, and unfortunately, the recidivism rate stands at 43 percent. Every landlord I’ve ever talked to has noted that they had to increase their screening to stay in business due to the costs of bad residents. We ourselves have had several tenants do over $10,000 of damage.

And there are stories worse than that. Restricting screening is adding a major cost to landlords that many either can’t or will choose not to absorb by divesting.

Of course, I should be fair and note I’ve heard horrible stories about landlords from tenants, as well. This is why there does need to be laws to protect tenants. And even still, it’s also clear that there are people who will rent to those with checkered pasts, as well as charities that help in this regard. I’ve seen enough background reports from people with multiple evictions to know there are landlords who do. We ourselves do (as well as most landlords I know) after a certain amount of time has passed. And the best way to incentivize landlords to lease to such people is to create an abundance of housing (i.e., to incentivize construction and renovation) so supply outpaces demand.

Indeed such laws would be very bad for most tenants. Does Seattle, for example, really want to mandate that a landlord lease one side of a side-by-side duplex to a convicted rapist when a single woman lives on the other? One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from tenants is “the landlord will put anyone in here.” Most tenants (including me when I was a tenant less than a decade ago) would not just want landlords to have the right to screen for criminal history—but would demand they exercise that right!

If politicians make it riskier for real estate investors to do business, simple economics tell us that less capital will go into housing. Less capital going into housing reduces supply and when supply is reduced and demand held constant, prices go up. These kinds of policies will clearly make housing less affordable.

Then why not have the government provide housing itself? I won’t deny that there are some limited instances this may make sense, but the government’s track record here is astoundingly dismal. Foreseeable catastrophes such as Cabrini-Green, Pruitt-Igoe, and the Robert Taylor Homes tended to concentrate poverty and increase crime and welfare dependency. As a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland found, “…closing large public housing developments and dispersing former residents throughout a wider portion of the city was associated with net reductions in violent crime, at the city level.”

Section 8 vouchers are thereby much better than public housing. And while many landlords take vouchers, some don’t. Now there are laws in some states and proposals elsewhere to prohibit “source of income” discrimination. Instead of this all-stick approach, a much better solution would be to reform HUD and demand accountability. The Baltimore Sun elucidates the issue quite well,

“In May of last year, Johns Hopkins University and The Poverty and Inequality Research Lab produced an in-depth study for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The researchers interviewed 127 landlords in Baltimore, Cleveland, and Dallas and analyzed 1.5 million administrative records on landlords and tenants in the HCV program. Roughly 40% of the landlords in the study were black, and 13% were non-black minorities; 60% of the landlords owned 30 or fewer units, with 20% owning fewer than 5 rental units.

The report found evidence suggesting that administrative and procedural factors deter landlord’s participation, not racial discrimination (‘It is not the source, it is the strings,’ decry the landlords). The study also found evidence that administrative and procedural requirements are key factors deterring landlords’ participation, not profitability or social biases that many tenant advocates claim.” [Bold Mine]

Two vintage Georgian doors in yellow and blue

What Landlords Offer Society

It’s quite odd to me that landlords are sometimes seen as substantively different than other entrepreneurs or investors. Would politicians and community activists prefer real estate investors just sent their money to Wall Street instead of investing it in their own backyards, simultaneously improving and maintaining properties in their communities?

And it’s not a small sum invested either. In 2012, BiggerPockets and Memphis Invest conducted a survey and found that the 28.1 million American real estate investors put in $9.2 billion to renovate housing. That number has certainly gone up substantially in the past seven years. And while much of that was to renovate dilapidated properties in order to resell, a huge amount went into rentals, as well. Further, that $9.2 billion doesn’t count institutional investors, real estate development, commercial renovations, or the costs that go along with property management (such as turnover expenses).

Again, would it be better if these 28.1 million real estate investors sent all that money to Wall Street?

More people are also choosing to rent, which creates a greater need for landlords and property managers. Yes, affordability is the biggest reason—which means we should incentivize building and renovation. But more people, particularly millennials, are choosing to rent.

As Apartment List notes, “In 2019, 12.3 percent of millennial renters said they plan to ‘always rent,’ up from 10.7 percent just one year ago.” Some also prefer the “lifestyle benefits,” such as “more flexibility to explore living in new cities and neighborhoods, they can access new amenities at home, and they can avoid the hassle of home maintenance and unexpected housing costs.”

After the 2008 crash that, depending on your perspective, was caused by Wall Street banks or government/Federal Reserve policy (but not by landlords), there was a desperate need to buy and renovate the massive stock of foreclosed and vacant properties. One study that for the most part decried investors buying such properties (although it at least noted there are many “responsible investors”) made some key points worth discussing.

“More than 60 percent of damaged REOs, and about 20 percent of REOs and short sales are purchased by investors. In neighborhoods with a large share of damaged REOs, therefore, investors represent a major share of property owners, the majority of whom (58 percent) intend to rent out their property.”

The study sees this as being less than ideal. And perhaps it is less than ideal, but what is the alternative? Homeowners weren’t buying damaged REOs, because most homeowners want to buy something ready to move into. Plus at that time, banks would rarely lend on rundown properties, and most homeowners don’t have the cash on hand for such repairs.

So, the correct interpretation of this study seems rather obvious: Without real estate investors and landlords, these neighborhoods would have been utterly ruined. Most of the vacant and damaged properties would have stayed that way. This blight would have encouraged crime and discouraged future homeowners from moving in, creating what amounts to a neighborhood death spiral. 

Again, I’m fully aware that there are horrible landlords out there. Sure. But even with bad landlords, most are not terrible people out to screw their tenants. They’re just in over their head, or they ran out of money to do repairs or something along those lines. Again, the large majority of tenants are good people. And even those who are evicted or agreed to trade “cash for keys” (an arrangement most landlords offer tenants instead of eviction) usually just fell on hard times.

If we can assume the best about most tenants, I think it’s only fair to do the same with most landlords. Indeed the above-mentioned study notes that “Most [landlords]have no formal training in real estate property management, and their competence and skill to maintain the property varies greatly.” The study also recommends more landlord training, which happens to include “best practices in applicant screening” by the way.

Related: Tenant Screening: The Ultimate Guide

And it’s only when something goes wrong that we tend to notice these things. I rarely think to myself, “Wow, what a great restaurant this is. They made my sandwich correctly and served me promptly.” Most landlords maintain their properties, make prompt repairs when needed, and treat their tenants fairly. Many landlords even do the maintenance and leasing work themselves; being a property owner is effectively their day job. Yet this sort of becomes background noise, as it did for me when I was tenant.

(Although, it should be noted that some go above and beyond, like this landlord in Connecticut, who found new homes for his 30 displaced tenants after a fire.)

african american man drinking coffee looking out a window

Still, the variance incompetence amongst landlords leads to another important point. Since the days of margin buying have mostly gone by the wayside, stocks are no longer particularly risky to invest in. Yes, you could lose your principal, but you won’t go bankrupt if the Dow crashes.

Despite that fact, I strongly believe real estate is overall a superior investment. Indeed I believe the evidence is in, and investing in real estate is the best way for someone of modest means to become independently wealthy. (And this is something the government should be encouraging.) That being said, it’s undeniable that it requires a good amount of cash and often a good amount of debt.

There seems to be this myth that property owners just sit back and collect checks. In reality, the primary way most property owners make money is by equity build-up through appreciation and principal pay down—not cash flow. Investors who buy without debt will have substantial cash flow, sure. But again, they could just as easily send that money to Wall Street. Indeed if the property has debt on it, there usually isn’t a huge amount of cash flow left over after all expenses.

For high-priced, coastal markets, this is basically a universal truth. This is less true with multifamily than single family houses. Although according to CBRE, the national average cap rate (which equals the annual profit of a property bought if there is no financing) was only 5.2 percent for infill and 5.49 percent for suburban multifamily properties in the first quarter of 2019. The cash flow is nice for the long-term investor, but it’s not exorbitant, and it’s by no means the primary way real estate investors work toward becoming wealthy.

Furthermore, the stereotype that investors make a fortune off poor people in bad neighborhoods is simply untrue. Ben Leybovich has made an extremely strong case that houses bought for under $30,000 simply do not cash flow, because the operating costs exceed the rental income. The evidence is overwhelming that one needs to be a specialist to succeed in such areas.

The last thing we need is to make it even harder to succeed as an investor in more dilapidated areas. This will just drive even more capital away, and increase the blight in those locations all the more.

I have seen quite a few investors go under (especially those who bought those really cheap houses in rough areas), and I have even bought several properties from investors being foreclosed on or investors who were foreclosed on. And I’ve had to tell some who were upside down on their mortgage that there was nothing I could do.

Even major investment companies, such as Maguire Properties (which had a portfolio of $2.88 billion in 2007) go bankrupt sometimes. A study in Economic Quarterly found little difference between foreclosure rates of owner-occupied and non-owner-occupied properties in the lead-up to the crash.

“In this study, a mortgage is considered in foreclosure if the mortgage defaults following origination. For example, mortgages originated in 2004 to non-owner occupants experience a foreclosure rate of 6.9 percent, which is slightly lower than the 7.5 percent foreclosure rate for owner occupants for the same origination year… For the years 2005–2007, foreclosure rates for non-owner occupants were 12.8 percent, 20.0 percent, and 17.4 percent, respectively. During the same years, the foreclosure rates for owner occupants were 12.3 percent, 18.7 percent, and 15.1 percent, respectively.”

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Being a landlord is more than just being an investor. It’s typically being a business owner, and it comes with noteworthy risks just like any other business. It’s not some mint that just prints out money.

Conclusion

I tend to be a free-market guy, but I won’t deny that the government can have a positive part to play in housing. Utah’s much-touted “Housing First” program’s results have been unintentionally exaggerated. It doesn’t appear to be a program that can help on a national scale, especially in areas with massive homeless problems, such as Los Angeles. Even still, it does appear to have done some good.

That being said, much of what the government has done, is doing, and has been proposed is counterproductive.

Furthermore, property owners and landlords have an important entrepreneurial role to play in our economy. It’s not fat cats sitting back collecting money. Instead, it’s usually the same kind of entrepreneurs whom those on both the right and left tend to appreciate—no matter what they think of the massive companies listed on the Dow Jones.

Landlords are just entrepreneurs and investors who have chosen housing as the industry to set up shop in. And severely restricting landlords’ ability to do business is going to hurt a lot of those entrepreneurs and investors, as well as the housing industry in general, making housing all the less affordable.

How do you feel about these types of landlord restrictions? 

Weigh in with a comment below.

Andrew Syrios has been investing in real estate for over a decade and is a partner with Stewardship Investments, LLC along with his brother Phillip ...
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    John S Lewis from Jackson, NJ
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Hi Andrew. Very good article. Did you find a trend between "blue states" and "red states" that are going towards the landlord restrictions and tenant regulations? I'm currently seeking out of state investments because NJ is so tenant friendly they are "tenants for life" and there are "professional tenants" that I've heard about that make the small investors life hell.
    Jacob Morgan Investor from CO/MD/NY/VA
    Replied about 1 month ago
    I hear that stated a lot, but as a landlord in upstate New York i would have to say that the claims are overblown and the balance of power is still generally on the side of landlords for the most part. Local government can make a larger difference in this though, especially if your local courts have especially tenant friendly judges seated. Probably more than elsewhere, it's imperative to follow the legal process correctly and timely to avoid ending up with those "tenants for life." And if you do, you can always just buy them out. I do believe the Northeast usually offers superior returns though, so this ends up being part of the trade off.
    R.J. Petrillo
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Places like NY & CA have already implemented measures like those outlined in the article. So I mean...
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied about 2 months ago
    I would say it tends to be worse in blue states, but red states are by no means unaffected.
    Barry H. Investor from Scottsdale, AZ
    Replied about 2 months ago
    JOHN....I started in AZ and then, like Andrew, went to KC MO. If you read the BP Forums, this war against landlords is pretty much nationwide. I am liquidating in KC as we speak, offering turn key occupied props with Seller financing which pretty much guarantee above 20% annual returns (even with loan costs), because I see the longer battle not worth fighting, even with those types of returns. I will continue to be a real estate lender, but not a landlord.
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Despite all this, we're still buying in KC as well, so if you do decide to liquidate, please let us know.
    Jesse Smith Rental Property Investor from Kansas City, MO
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Barry - Do you have a list of properties in KC? I'm here for the long haul (live locally), so I'd love to take a look at what you're offering.
    Barry H. Investor from Scottsdale, AZ
    Replied about 1 month ago
    JESSE Feel free to send me a message through BP.
    Christopher Smith Investor from brentwood, california
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Not just landlords being assailed, anyone who is successful is fair game. The more successful, the bigger the target. Accordingly, politicians are increasingly seeing the career benefits of pitting one class against another to climb the ladder to higher office. As such the counter productive nature of the laws being passed shouldn't be a surprise as they are more responsive to the mood of the angry mob than to the problem they were ostensibly to intend to address.
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied about 2 months ago
    There does seem to be a growing animus toward property rights these days. It will just make things worse and is really quite unfortunate.
    Terry Lowe
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Great article! For us, landlording has been a great way to supplement our retirement. It is also a great way for tenants to have a home when they cannot or do not want to buy a home. What else would all these people do for shelter? My father was a slumlord. When I inherited a couple properties from him, I was told by attorneys, friends, Realtors, family to SELL and do something else with the money. These slum dwellings supported my father for many years, even through Alzheimer’s and the high cost of memory care. I decided to keep the properties, renovate and rent. It’s the best financial decision I have ever made. Each property was renovated by ourselves and/or contractors. Each property became the nicest on its street and inspired others to clean up and renovate. We enjoyed counting the dumpsters in other driveways. Economics make rents expensive, but it hasn’t always been that way. Property tax, insurance, liabilities, city codes etc contribute to high rents. Any new laws regarding rentals will also increase rents. Rent controls will make the housing crises crater and will help no one. I am proud to help others live in very decent housing. Occasionally, a tenant lets me know that I have made a difference in their life. We are a mom n pop business, and that is what make our country great!
    Ryan Bray Rental Property Investor from San Diego
    Replied about 1 month ago
    This is a great reply! We are trying to get into the landlord business to supplement our retirement as well. I truly hope we can also help people and the neighborhoods we invest in by improving the properties over time and being fair with our tenants.
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Very well said Terry!
    Martina Collum Investor from Snoqualmie, Washington
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Absolutely Terry! I learned the business from my folks and we have always prided ourselves on having a well kept property for our tenants. We have low turnover as we keep prices lower than the average and have many good strong relationships with them because of it. Government intrusion would make it so much harder on us little guys to keep up with new restrictions. Let's keep power in the hands of the people, not bureaucracy!
    David Tilney Real Estate Investor from Naples, Florida
    Replied about 2 months ago
    "I am proud to help others live in very decent housing. Occasionally, a tenant will let me know that I have made a difference in their life." Great comments, Terry Lowe, and great article Andrew Syrios! I feel the same way as Terry, but would add that many of my tenants have also made a big difference in my life. They have done wonderful things for me and made improvements to my houses, their homes. Vacant houses are liabilities that drain landlords economically. Tenants turn vacant houses into assets. Landlords couldn't exist without good tenants. Legislators create 'feel good' laws that have major unintended consequences. When laws are enacted to prevent landlords from pulling credit reports to verify the applicants' ability and willingness to pay the proposed rent and when landlords are unable to verify that applicants have been good stewards of their current and prior rentals, then landlords will be doomed to fail. They will lose money and rentals will be sold (or foreclosed) removing inventory from the rental pool. Remaining properties will deteriorate as landlords' profit margins dissolve. I believe that laws that limit people's ability to freely contract with one another only hurt those for whom they were created to protect!
    Katie Rogers from Santa Barbara, California
    Replied about 1 month ago
    How did landlords screen tenants before credit reports existed? We can screen them the same way now.
    Wilson Churchill from Madison Heights, Michigan
    Replied about 2 months ago
    The ultimate goal of the communists is to eliminate all private property. The reality is that most people don't want to live in public housing. This is true wherever it is tried, including Germany, under Hitler. But that won't stop the commies from working to push their plans and bring all property under their control. Socialist policies are never designed to actually help people, but to teach them to be willing slaves. Look at how welfare has impacted the poorest communities, in terms of marriage, crime rates, etc. Socialism is dysgenic, promoting breeding among the least intelligent, least able people at the cost of the productive. It only serves to create a large class of dependent, slave people. The serfdom of which you speak is created by this system.
    Wilson Churchill from Madison Heights, Michigan
    Replied about 2 months ago
    And, I hate to say it, but this creeping towards no private property will only continue as demographics continue to change with unabated, intentional migrations of socialist voters. Texas is about to go the way of California. All levels of government will ultimately be controlled by foreigners and their communist donors. Once evil whitey is gone, they will live in the utopian paradise of "smart cities". They'd better keep a good social credit score, or they get the gulag.
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Perhaps a wee bit on the hyperbolic side. I don't really think this kind of rhetoric is going to help anything.
    Katie Rogers from Santa Barbara, California
    Replied about 1 month ago
    You are being diplomatic. Extremely (and inaccurately) hyperbolic is more like it.
    John Walsh Rental Property Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Great article, I can tell you put a lot of objective thought and perspective into this and truly appreciate that. Politicians as well as those who often unfairly criticize landlords lack the ability to look at both sides of the equation objectively. As you mentioned in your article what would it look like if we did not reinvest anything into our own communities? No one wants to talk about the problems that could create, just push their uninformed agenda.
    Andy McQuade
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Great Article Andrew. You missed that New York State passed statewide tenant protection laws combined with an opt-in rent control law on June 14th of this year as well, most of it effective immediately.
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied about 1 month ago
    The article was already 3500 words. Unfortunately, there are lots and lots of laws I didn't mention.
    Christopher Holba New to Real Estate from SC/NC/FL
    Replied about 1 month ago
    What do you mean by an opt-in rent control law? Just curious, I am unfamiliar with this term. Thanks
    Ruth Lyons
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Great article and a lot of great comments. Thanks for sharing everyone.
    Aexandra Toledo
    Replied about 2 months ago
    We need federally subsidized housing that is not Section 8. We have a slice of our country that can't find housing with Section 8 and can not afford market rents. For example, very poor seniors or the mentally or physically disabled. I am a real estate investor, and a licensed real estate agent in California. We have to get back to building and maintaining housing for the poor. It is a moral obligation we have and always have had throughout human history. Otherwise, we are facing more and more crazy laws that will force us all to close shop.
    Mark JOhnson Investor
    Replied about 1 month ago
    One of the better articles here. Thanks for sharing.
    Christopher Holba New to Real Estate from SC/NC/FL
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Much agreed...not a quick two paragraph article with some bullet points.
    Richard Bonisa Investor from Indianapolis
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Great article! Thank you Andrew!
    Jesse Smith Rental Property Investor from Kansas City, MO
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Hey there fellow KC investor! I've been following this Tenant Bill of Rights Movement closely. I posted about it in a Kansas City subreddit. A troubling number of comments were basically, "Boo-boo, pooooor landlords and your piles of cash." Too many people have anecdotal stories of unscrupulous landlords, who tainted their view of the actual situation. Unfortunately, the Mayor seems to have come from that sort of background. He is well-intentioned, but this will end up hurting tenants in the long-run, by scaring off the good landlords in KC.
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied about 1 month ago
    I think I'm going to quote you in my next article. Why do people think this about landlords? Some have had bad experiences with landlords, but most of the people I've talked to have had a fairly neutral opinion of their landlord. It's like they were talking about they mechanic or something ("yeah they're OK but they are slow with maintenance... want to do repairs I don't think are necessary") or something like that. I think a lot of it has to do with these gurus who are always advertising about how being in real estate just means you lay back and money is poured onto. "Have your tenants pay your mortgage," "retire by 30!" etc. Everyone on BP knows real estate is harder than that. But I wonder if those gurus have created a perception in the mind of many tenants that we landlords live lives of absurd luxury at their expense...
    John Daley Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, MO
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Great article, Andrew. To sum up, the more constraints/restraints put on landlords the higher operating costs become. At some point the competent investor/landlord is forced to either raise prices (rents) in order to justify the investment or sell property, reducing the supply of rentable housing, thereby raising prices. Both outcomes are directly opposed to the reason the laws were passed in the first place. Discrimination is a buzzword that we all want to avoid at all costs, but there is a reality that some sort of differentiation is needed to keep economies from collapsing. Lenders ‘discriminate’ as to who they lend money to for good reason. Landlords ‘discriminate’ about who they let possess their hundred(s) thousand dollar assets. If the ability to discriminate in these instances are removed then so will the ability for these industries to exist and everyone loses the ability to obtain those services, removing any middle ground between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. Talk about social division based on economics...there you go. Dystopian future becomes reality.
    Katie Rogers from Santa Barbara, California
    Replied about 1 month ago
    You are equivocating the meaning of "discrimination." Of course you are allowed to discriminate individuals on the basis of screening. You are not allowed to discriminate whole groups. T
    Curt Smith Rental Property Investor from Clarkston, GA
    Replied about 1 month ago
    @John perversely not being able to screen (other restrictive business operating regs) actually forces landlords to raise rents to levels just above what poor folks who are higher risks can afford. LOL Geeze!!! As our only means to screen tenants. Hows that for unintended consequences of stupid laws, hoping to allow more unqualified tenants into housing???
    Ted Irvine
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Landlord Tenant relationship is tenuous at best. Feudal experience describes it best. We have found few seeking renting as a long term choice. Too often it's foisted upon them by a life event. We searched and are in the process of solving the relationship dilemma and the encroachment of government. Nothing perfect, but a win-win solution is worth a try.
    Curt Smith Rental Property Investor from Clarkston, GA
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Georgia at the state level passed; A landlord may not retailiate against a tenant by filing eviction when a tenant complains about a maintenance issue... Ok ok I agree that bad landlords are out there, but the unintended consequences might be is that tenants argue in eviction court that they are being retaliated against. Magistrate court judges in GA do not have to be attorneys, know the law or even follow the law. Each judge actually sets what they do in their court, so tenants can make stuff up and some courts let it fly. I not painting with a broad brush,,, but sort of, landlords are cheap when it comes to paying $100, $1000 toward a lobbying fund. We need to put $$$ or shut up. ;( Next is; we need to be apprised of such lobbying groups that we can donate to? Next is; we need to go to the capital, city council and speak. Call our reps. Put time and effort into protecting our business model. Or.... you'll guess,,,, shut up and take what comes. We are being out lobbied is what these bad regs are saying. Am I right? Read Nasim Taleb's Skin in the game; the vocal minority is who rules,, not the majority.
    Mia Capodilupo Investor from Chicago, Illinois
    Replied about 1 month ago
    I enjoyed this article a lot - before I became a landlord I rented for many years and would certainly not have wanted to live next door to criminals, rapists or people who were not paying and/or damaging the property. My tenants appreciate my screening process because they know that overall it creates a much better, safer environment for the whole building. I think one of the greatest challenges in being a landlord is creating a safe, nice place to live while keeping rent at a decent level for average working people.
    Joshua Diaz Rental Property Investor from Bronx, NY
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Wow this was a fantastic article. And I’m also loving the responses. I currently live in NY so I see all this happening in real time lol. It’s crazy
    Terrence Evans Investor from Lomita, California
    Replied about 1 month ago
    This is a good article. However, what I am not seeing here and of course from comments in response are strategies to truly mitigate this. All I see are people launching into tirades about the country falling into communism and socialism which is fed by their political POV. Are we trying to engage with the govt officials least inclined to want to listen to our point of view? Are we able to express this point of view without the "help" of the deep pocketed groups out there? I say this because the reason people have a negative perception of property owners is because normally the loudest voices pushing for legislation and influence ARENT mom and pop landlord, but 7,8,9-figure corporations who normally do not have any sensitivity towards the problems out there.. As a person who invests but rents his home, I understand both sides. In America, right now you have an increasing number of people (in the middle class) who do not feel in control of their lives whether it is due to lack of steady paycheck(s) or exorbitant HC and housing costs. They are literally screaming for the govt to do something about rent and voila they are and they have. So now what? What can be done to reverse the trend? What nuanced changes would you support to help lower rents in your area instead of folding your arms and endorsing the status quo? I do think that we cannot stop the folks with pitchforks from coming but we can help determine how many of them will come or how sharpened the forks will be.
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied about 1 month ago
    This is a good point, we definitely need to be thinking of solutions. One thing we can try to do is think of ways to mitigate the risk to landlords of people seeking a second chance. One thought I had was setting up a charity that would work with organizations that deal with the poor or ex-felons and ask them to vouch for people they think have turned their life around. Then the charity could co-sign on their lease, which would entice a lot of landlords to accept them I believe.
    Charles Perry
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Great article. As in all things there are no silver bullets. Divide and conquer is the way of the day. Solutions will not be found in adversarial relationships. So what's a person to do? There will be wise people in all camps. Find people looking for solutions to specific problems. Each area has unique needs. If a locality needs more affordable housing because they have a demographic in need, then find a way to incentivize a solution to that need. Large corporations get tax breaks all the time. A well defined problem seeks its own solution. Clearly state what the problem is. Break down the separate issues. Work on the solutions that provide the greatest ROI for all involved. Or just circle the drain and enjoy the ride while it lasts.
    Ryan Bray Rental Property Investor from San Diego
    Replied about 1 month ago
    As a renter in CA for almost 20 years, I can tell you there has always been a lot of animosity towards landlords, and with good reason. I have been screwed repeatedly by landloards, and property management companies for things like... replacing an existing doggy door with a newer/better one ($700), not shampooing carpets deeply enough ($300), drinking from a bottle of tequila left in garage ($250), giving a deposit to a deadbeat landlord that got foreclosed on ($600), and many others. The fact is if you treat people with respect, they may or may not respect you back. I don't think attitudes to wards landlords are any worse now than they were 20 years ago, if anything young people are happier renting than ever. Just my $0.02...
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied about 1 month ago
    I certainly wanted to make clear that there are bad landlords out there and tenants do need some protections. One thing I didn't get into in this piece (I thought it was long enough already) was that a lot of non-crazy stuff being proposed is already law. (For example, if a landlord doesn't do repairs, a tenant can put rent in escrow instead of paying, at least here in MO, or call the codes department). A lot of what is needed is just for that info to be disseminated. One thing I would favor is a hotline for tenants, although I would be nervous it would be run by the most radical of the radical, but such fears shouldn't dissuade us of reasonable policies. The charges you got sound ridiculous (particularly the tequila one). We often have disputes over deposit dispositions, and that's just a tough thing I don't know a good way to fix. There's always a degree of subjectivity to it and will often come down to disagreements. People often question each others motives in such disputes, although I suspect most of the time, each side is trying to be fair. That being said, most of the policies I see being discussed have little to do with deposit dispositions.
    Katie Rogers from Santa Barbara, California
    Replied about 1 month ago
    The tenant is in a pinch. If a former tenant call the code department on a place they just vacated, the department will not send anyone because there is no one to open the door to their inspector. If a present tenant wants to make sure to experience retaliation from the present landlord, the tenant will call the codes department.
    Ryan Bray Rental Property Investor from San Diego
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Also want to add that in the 20 years I rented... I was never late on rent, never trashed a property beyond typical wear and tear, and always had the place professionally cleaned when I moved out. Other than owning a large dog, I was an ideal tenant.
    Fernon Meeks Real Estate Broker from Denver, CO
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Awesome article. I agree completely. More housing stock is the true solution. Simple supply and demand. I avoided Section 8 for years not because of the tenants but because of my prior experience with mismanagement, incompetence, and constant high turn over at the Denver Housing Authority. Now I am required to put up with it. Why should we as private business owners (Landlords) be responsible to subsidize housing (rent control) for those that need it? This should be shouldered equally by everyone in our collective community with tax dollars. Grocery stores are not required to cap someone's food bill that is struggling to afford it. Instead, the government provides SNAP and WIC. If I as a Landlord can not properly screen tenants in order to protect my personal investment, then the government should not be able to screen those same people for home loans. It is absurd that I am required to take on more risk for my private investment than the government is willing to. Many years ago as a new Landlord I would require a double deposit from applicants with questionable credit/income/background. It quickly became clear that those were the ones I still ended up evicting and the expense of unpaid rent, damages, and turnover was never covered by the 2X deposit. It was an expensive lesson to learn and one I do not want to be forced to repeat by a bill attempting to protect tenant's rights and solve a housing shortage/ affordability issue. Ceiling on rents? Okay, why not ceiling on mortgage payments for government loans regardless of interest rate or loan amount? Maybe a sliding scale based on your current income. Or Just cap the price of all properties so everyone can buy one? All of these are just as ridiculous and unrealistic to me as rent control on private landlords. I don't understand why Landlords have become the target and the blame for the "housing crisis".
    Chris Adair from Eugene, Oregon
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Great article. I couldn't agree more about the "Landlord" term needing to be changed. It just sounds bad and implies that you have power and authority over others. I don't want to think of myself as the "lord" of anything.
    Fernon Meeks Real Estate Broker from Denver, CO
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Instead of standing by Landlords need to be a voice with and brainstorm solutions... -Why is it acceptable that only 25% of those that qualify for housing assistance and WIN the Housing Voucher lottery receive assistance??? This program is NOT working for the other 75% that equally qualify for housing vouchers but are not lucky enough to be selected. -Why do we even have local HOUSING Authorities to poorly run this program? We could cut out the expense, red tape, and the reason most landlords hate the voucher program and just load the money into the person's account like SNAP and let them pay the landlord directly. Let people be responsible for payments just like in the real world. If they get evicted for non-payment then they lose the program benefits. If the 75% were not receiving benefits prior they are accustomed to managing what liitle money does come in. -Most homeless people are not ready for a 2-3 bedroom home to care for. We need to build all-inclusive bridge housing. Housing that is intended to be temporary. Small micro-units that are a step in the right direction without being overwhelming. -Even a 2 bedroom house for a family of 4-5 works fine for the short term. 2 adults in a bedroom and 2 sets of bunk beds in the other until the family gets back on their feet. -Let's think outside the box to spread our housing dollars to help more people than we have in the past. Smaller units, tiny homes, micro-apartments, community dorm-style living with communal kitchens and shared spaces near transportation, roommate and co-living finders. What are your ideas for a solution? -
    Meinklang Sudatrol from Williamsburg, VA
    Replied about 1 month ago
    The perfect article, but you got one thing horribly wrong. A lot of your words seem to carry the assumption that these laws are intended to improve things. They are not. The purpose of these laws ultimately are to make things unbearably worse. If you can't accept that fact, you do not have a sufficient understanding of what leftism is.
    Derrick Kabanuk Rental Property Investor from Colorado Springs, CO
    Replied about 1 month ago
    My 84 year old mother was taken to the cleaners by a “professional tenant” and a Hennepin County (Minneapolis) judge. The tenant refused to vacate and it took 9 months for the tenant to leave without paying rent as well as about $15k in damages. She destroyed the property. She (the tenant) presented photos to the judge of poor living conditions from a unit that was not even my mothers unit. My mother explained this to the judge and the judge sided with the tenant anyway. My poor mother has had cerebral strokes from tenants who are pure evil and take advantage of her old age. And this is just one story of many that are a similar theme. My mother was a single parent and invested in real estate to lift us off welfare and she receives little social security because she has been self employed. She needs her small rental income to survive and save for future health emergencies. I believe Minnesota attempts to go after landlords as a form of wealth redistribution. My mom can only mentally handle a couple of units but she needs the money to support herself but the county and some tenants would be completely okay with financially destroying her for some sort of payback for her being an “evil landlord”.
    Edward Meiner Professional from Orlando, Florida
    Replied about 1 month ago
    I talked with a landlord from Minneapolis who stated that they had to register and pay a fee to rent their unit and that the city then classified the property as A,B,C or D and depending upon which class determines the amount of inspections per year. Insanity in my opinion, if this comes to Florida I am selling and holding notes. As a landlord tenant attorney I see the large amounts lost to poor screening and tenant selection and the real risks of this business. Layering more rules and regulations and laws will swamp even the best and brightest landlords.
    Bruce Runn Investor from Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Replied 17 days ago
    Being from Minneapolis, the classification or tier system puts a rental unit in a category based on condition and violations. It's a way to weed out and make slumlords bring apartments up to livable standards. Just wondering how can you be against that? There is no room for slumlords who have places that create health and safety risks. Those should be shut down
    Alex G. from Eastern Mass & Central Maine
    Replied about 1 month ago
    You are preaching to the choir. The truth is that nobody likes landlords which makes them a politically expedient target for politicians. If a Tenant Bill of Rights can happen in Kansas City, it can happen anywhere. The popular BRRR strategy is partially responsible for rising rents and the resulting political backlash.
    Brendon Burke Rental Property Investor
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Slumlords are not making us good guys look bad, huh? Great landlords do have responsibilities, it's not for everyone. You do need to maintain and replace appliances and change tires as needed, not talking trailer park tires here as they can make a lot of $ if you're like my man, Brandon. I like the idea of licensing landlords, voluntarily. A simple online state specific course/class that would license landlords and keep everyone on the same page is not a terrible idea. Your drivers license was fairly easy and painless, right? Insurance is a must in car-ownership/real-estate and not to be looked over, to be licensed you must prove "properly insured". Also maybe require a licensed attorney, I truly believe you should have one anyway. Inconsistency is not my thing and laws are just this... inconsistent. Would you like having a non-licensed/un-insured person crash into your family car? Don't get me wrong, I don't look forward to continually increase regulations but feel it is inevitable and regs might as well be in favor of the great landlords and not the slumlords. Why not start our own rules/regs that show we are great landlords and slumlords are the problem before we get titled as “slum”. Let's continue to rent better quality no matter what, renters should pay all their bills+ and landlord wins in the end for being great kind humans that stuck their neck out for the tenants. The banks are making money alongside investors. What do the banks think?
    Byron Law from Lebanon, Indiana
    Replied about 1 month ago
    This is not a bad idea. Coordinate through REI associations to proactively create some form of governing association that * defines a body of governing principles and standards by which responsible property renting/leasing members agree to abide in return for a certification that let's renters know up front what they can expect from their leaser * provides a governing body to which matters can be reported and documented and through which matters can be overseen and addressed in a manner that is fair to both sides (perhaps through a binding, non-R/E, independent arbitrator where there is a dispute) * Gets ahead of the legislating efforts by demonstrating self-regulation and advocates on behalf of members when legislation is being debated. Rentors/leasors are a fragmented industry with no voice in legislation. Perhaps it is time they formalize their industry and practices and advocate for their trade.
    Byron Law from Lebanon, Indiana
    Replied about 1 month ago
    So I just did a search. I guess there are a couple organizations, but they seem to be more organized for the benefits of the landlord rather than a mutual benefit of the landlord and the renter and there does not seem to be much advocacy on behalf of the industry where legislation is threatening sound practices. I don't know if it would be better to evolve these organizations or create a new one. Coming up with a new market friendly term for landlord wouldn't be a bad idea.
    Clinton Davis Rental Property Investor from Memphis area
    Replied about 1 month ago
    There is a way to fight this....vote the appropriate people into office. i hope this crap never happens in Mississippi.
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied about 1 month ago
    I think it educating people on economics is even higher on the list. But yes, voting helps for sure.
    Christopher Holba New to Real Estate from SC/NC/FL
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Really enjoyed this article Andrew. Baffles me that in some parts of the country (i.e Seattle), they prohibit landlords from screening their tenants. Makes zero sense to me on any level...would love to hear someone's counter to this. Same goes for the rent controls. I have heard many examples of predatory rent raises, but if left alone, this issues could be solved in the market with simple supply and demand. The market will remedy those issues and I am not a fan of government dictated rents for landlords. We should incentivize our landlords to constantly be investing and improving fatigued properties. Would love to hear some of your guys thoughts on these matter!
    Edward Meiner Professional from Orlando, Florida
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Great Article and loved the comments. I thank god I grew up and live in Orlando, Florida where the law favors investors and owners. As an Eviction attorney I have come across very few really bad vindictive landlords and the thought of over regulation and rent control scares the hell out of me. I would never advise any client to buy in an area considering these new rules like KC, and would advise them to sell or be prepared to. The Social Justice Wave keeps growing and seeks to wipe out anyone who works hard for financial independence. Bad laws, bad judges, and delayed evictions can wipe out years of hard work and appreciation overnight. Keep your eyes wide open and vote. and if necessary move to a better spot.
    John Murray from Portland, Oregon
    Replied about 1 month ago
    I'm a single family home landlord in Oregon, you have good tenants and bad tenants. The Oregon 7% raise limit plus cost of living is pretty liberal. This does not pertain to buildings newer that 15 years of age. The Portland relocation fee is steep but the city just began a program actually tracking rental properties. I have never read or heard of anyone ever collecting the relocation fee. Before 2018 the city officials I guess were never that interested in tracking. I do know that there are 400 less SFH rentals in Portland because of landlord ordinances instated. That's is a backfire that made families relocate. I have few in Gresham and that city actually has an inspection program and tracks rental properties. No other city in Oregon that I know of has an inspection program.The homeless problem is great, mostly men and a large portion military vets that have some disabilities. Deaths of despair are increasing in our society and it will only get worse. The problem is not rent control, the problem is why hard working people cannot afford to pay rent. That is the real problem and it will only get worse and I'm not a social warrior or very smart. I just work hard and hope for the best
    Bruce Runn Investor from Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Hi Andrew This was a very clear, fair representation of a perspective that is hardly ever presented. Would you be willing to have this reprinted in Minneapolis with selective edits that shorten and take out some "investor heavy" info? Minneapolis has an online housing & transportation blog called StreetsMN that this would be perfect for. I have written for pro housing articles in the past. Bruce
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Hi Bruce, thank you and I would have no problem if you used it but the article is owned by BiggerPockets now. I would be happy to reach out to them about it you would like. Just let me know, thanks.
    David Krulac from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Andrew, Excellent article and well researched, kudos to you. The cost of developing raw land into housing to provide homes for a growing population is ever increasing costs due to government regulations. Most costly studies, longer lead times from inception to home owners or tenants moving in, and requirements for bigger land area for each home all contribute to the escalating cost of housing. In one area here the government requires 5 acre minimum size lots; what a waste of valuable land. And who wants to cut lawns of 5 acres of grass fed by chemical weed killers and fertilizers. In one area in order to build one house you have to pledge one other lot as non-buildable. This kind of anti-building code doubles the costs of roads, sidewalks, an utilities. People want walkability, yet 5 acre lots and every other lot designated as not buildable run counter to what people say they want. New York City has rent control established as a "temporary" measure during World War II over 70 years ago. Comunities not only hate landlord, many also hate the tenants. Rental Inspections are pushed along as health and safety issues, but never are those same standards applied to owner occupied residences. Do the towns not care about the health and safety of non-renters? I agree with Thomas Jefferson, "The government that governs best, governs least." More government regulation and restrictions are not the answer, they are the problem.
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Thanks David and in general, I would agree. Many housing problems are the result of bad policy (draconian building codes, red tape, rent control, etc.). This can lead to housing shortages or high rents which are blamed on landlords and thus there are more calls for government intervention. It's all very Misean.
    Heiner Giese
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Besides shortages of low-income housing supply and stagnant ability to pay increasing rents, another chief reason why there is so much focus on regulating landlords is the huge continuing publicity given to Matthew Desmond’s 2016 book EVICTED. He is quoted extensively – recently again in Emily Badger’s NY Times 12/13 story which claims falsely that “many “ tenants are being evicted when they owe $600 or less. I have emailed and talked to Desmond several times and he is not per se anti-landlord. At times in interviews he even says, “We need landlords to help us solve the eviction crisis.” But in his book and subsequently he will promote misleading narratives to garner sympathy for tenant causes. EVICTED is about my hometown Milwaukee where I was a landlord and currently work as attorney and lobbyist for our local apartment association. So naturally I dug into his stories about local tenants and landlords and discovered the real names of some of the protagonists in the book. I have the top-rated review of the book on Amazon (pseudonym “Milwaukee Joe”). Desmond claims the inner-city landlord “Sherrena” and her husband were clearing $10,000 monthly on their 36 rental units in a chapter entitled “The ‘Hood is Good.” Turns out she started losing all her properties to mortgage and tax deed foreclosures in 2009. None remain in her ownership today. She had to bring over 70 evictions in her brief career as an inner-city landlord, which surely contributed to her financial demise. Andrew, articles like your excellent piece need to get out into the general interest media to counter the false narratives about rental property owners.
    Jeremy Clayton
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Your spot on with article. Basically with anything government gets involved in makes things worse. Government is not the answer people it’s the problem. People should help people not invasive government telling people what to do causing people to not want to help because so many benefit who don’t want to do anything to contribute back to society, just eat better than the ones that do bust their ass. That equals people not wanting to do right. Wish we had Ronald Regan back!
    James Rice
    Replied about 1 month ago
    The core premise of the attack on landlords is the idea that housing is a "human right". The problem with this idea is that you cannot carry it out without violating the property rights of others. I hold it as self evident that their cannot be a right to violate someones rights. to say that their is, is to turn the idea of human rights into a combate zone where anyone who can gather together a large enough group can, by petioning the government, impose thier "rights" on others at the expense of others. This country was founded on the idea of inalienable human rights, that is to say, rights granted by nature (or if you prefer, by natures creator) to each and every human being on the planet, by virtue of being a human being. such rights are inalienable, meaning, not open to vote because , by the laws of logic and reality, their cannot be a right to violate someones rights. the attack on landlords is but a small expression of a much deeper movement - an attack on free market capitolism and a move toward socialism. free market capitolism is the only economic system devised by man that rests upon a foundation of individual freedom. freedom rests upon two human rights, property rights and freedom of speech. an attack on either is an attack on the most sought after and rare condition of humanity, FREEDOM. there cannot be a "right" to housing, or medical care, or food, or any man made good or service. there is only the human right to seek these things in the market place or to create them for oneself. for those who honestly cant make it, the only moral recourse is voluntary charity. there are those who cry out that under such an arrangement people would be starving in the streets. BS. For the 1st 150 years of this countries existance, their were no government welfare programs of any kind. there were no forced transfer of wealth programs, and yet, this country went from nothing to the highest standard of living on earth. Freedom works.
    Derrick Anderson from Katy, Texas
    Replied 26 days ago
    Great post!! I wish we had more like it on this site.