Thought it would be interesting to know if other landlords have any stories in their area that involve landlords getting in big trouble. Here in Cedar Rapids Bob Miell was at one point the largest private landlord in Cedar Rapids...he owned approximately 80million dollars worth of real estate. The amazing part was his portfolio was made up mostly of single family homes. He owned I believe around 1,000 units in the city and out of that about 400 were sfh. Cedar Rapids is only about 125k in population. I've heard stories from people that the guy was totally weird...
Link below outlines what he got in trouble for.
I am not a landlord, but there is one in my area that had plenty of articles written about his properties. Anyone that drives Route 51 from Pittsburgh to the South Hills area will know exactly who I am referring to. He passed away but his family still owns most of the properties. There have been some improvements since his passing, but I don't think that well travelled corridor will live up to its potential until they decide to sell.
In NYC, bad land-lording has been distilled into a fine art.
Unfortunately, many landlords have been encouraged to be 'bad' by city policies that will not reward them for good management (rent controls, etc.). Furthermore, housing is in such short supply, availability and price are really the only things that matter. Quality of management is so low in the minds of just about every tenant we know. They say that tenants reward landlords with good management. In NYC, tenants reward any landlord with a vacancy.
There are an encyclopedia of city organizations you can appeal to for landlord issues, but it's sad that we can't take advantage of the market effect seen in other metros. Property managers that we know in Memphis, Atlanta, and Texas seem to compete on the quality of their management.
Here's the Pittsburgh version:
In the 1990s there was a woman in our town who immigrated from Eastern Europe was determined to stay in the U.S., so she married an American. The couple bought an apartment complex. They systematically forced all of the the tenants to move, then rented only to Russian speaking recent immigrants who did not know English and did not know American norms or tenant rights. She made the tenants do all of the property upkeep. She also reportedly told quite a number of them that she would be their interpreter at medical appointments and if they asked for another interpreter, then they would lose their housing. This went on for quite awhile until the tenants enculturated, learned English and move on. Then she would go after the next wave of immigrants. Many people in the Russian speaking community talked of it, but were afraid to report anything to authorities at the time and didn't have the evidence later.
The landlords in our area that really give landlords a bad name are the ones who say they will and do manage to keep the security deposit no matter what. This really burns me because with our student tenants we have legitimate damages that need to be charged to the tenant. No matter how painstakingly fair you are it comes up that landlords always keep the security deposit and we are gouging the students all the time because we are greedy. It leads to two issues, kids who don't clean up at the end of the lease figuring they won't get the deposit anyway and those kids/parent who complain when legitimate damages are withheld that landlords are just being unfair and things must have been broken in the first place. Just gives landlords in general a bad name.
Account Closed Thanks for posting the link. You have the right guy!
@Tyler Smiarowski , my 4-plex is right at the end of a row of about 10 of Bob Miell's! I am hoping some of his go up for sale haha. He has quite the reputation around here.
Yeah..looked at a 4plex a few years back on 21st ave sw when one of Miell's places went back to the bank. It was a complete dump...pretty sure none of the tenants were paying rent once it went back to the bank. It was listed for 105k. Each unit needed to be redone. Since it was on the SW side ended up not pursuing it.
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