June 11, 2011

"A huge chunk of affordable housing progress will be wiped out with just this one bill... This is very, very bad."

The GOP state legislature is about to trump Madison's restrictions on landlords:
The bill's critics say the loss of these protections will reverse decades of efforts to help people in Madison afford decent housing and avoid homelessness. They say that the city regulations helped keep the actions of inconsiderate, unscrupulous and even biased property owners who cared more about milking the value of their properties than the rights of their tenants in check, especially important given the high numbers of young student renters here....

Advocates predict that bigger landlords in the city with more desirable housing stock will use the screening tools handed to them by the new state law to “keep certain people out,” as Konkel puts it, while smaller landlords with deteriorating properties will accept the tenants nobody else wants.

People typically viewed as problem tenants include minorities with criminal records, undocumented immigrants without Social Security numbers, people on public assistance, and people with disabilities on fixed incomes, say advocates.
The newspaper — The Capital Times — passes along an assertion about how landlords "typically view" people. With "minorities" thrown in as if state and federal law didn't clearly make it illegal for landlords to discriminate based on race and ethnicity.

52 comments:

Shouting Thomas said...

No way you should hold a criminal record against somebody who wants to do business with you... especially if they're a minority!

Seeing Red said...

Affordable housing "progress"

See San Francisco & NYC.

Fred4Pres said...

Rent control results in less affordable housing.

Seeing Red said...

biased property owners who cared more about milking the value of their properties than the rights of their tenants in check,




Milking the value of their properties


THE HORROR THE HORROR!



Maybe these "advocates" should combine under 1 umbrella org, buy the properties & manage said properties how they see fit?

Radical concept, I know - it's much easier to complain, whine & stamp your feet about unfairness.

Become part of the solution, walk your talk.

Steven said...

People typically viewed as problem tenants include . . . undocumented immigrants without Social Security numbers

Oh my. People who, by law, aren't supposed to be in the United States at all might have trouble finding housing.

Jay said...

People typically viewed as problem tenants include minorities with criminal records, undocumented immigrants without Social Security numbers, people on public assistance, and people with disabilities on fixed incomes, say advocates.

Um, they are "problem tenants" because they are criminals and the most likely to a) not pay rent and b) destroy property.

But don't worry, the government is all benevolent and fixes this stuff.

AJ Lynch said...

What does UW charge for rent per student in one of its dorms? I bet it is higher than the average rent per student in privately owned housing.

Chip S. said...

The Capital Times reported, yet failed to understand, a pretty big clue about the bill's likely effect on the affordability of housing in the Madison area:

Senate Bill 107, introduced on May 26 with the backing of landlords and property owners, as well as the construction and building industry...

Let's see...what could possibly explain the enthusiasm of builders for this bill? Could it be that allowing landlords to screen out probable deadbeats will make rental properties more profitable even at current rents? Could it possibly be that greater profitability will induce the construction of more apartment buildings, thereby lowering rents overall?

Nah. Not possible. Everybody in Madison knows that you achieve lower prices by raising the cost of doing business.

Econophile said...

...use the screening tools handed to them by the new state law...

No screening tools are being handed out, rather they might no longer be prohibited. Not allowing potential landlords to obtain information on potential tenants has bad effects for the majority of renters in a few ways.

The actual cost of renting is greater for everyone as landlords must somehow recover what they'll lose by renting to people who are more likely to damage property or just not pay. They might be able to figure out who these people are with the new bill. Also, the value of renting to the renter living next to bad tenants is lower.

The current restrictions on information could very well be discouraging people who might otherwise rent out a room from doing so, which would also lead to higher rent.

Decent tenants should want screening.

The article presumes landlords--especially "bigger" ones, you know--value discrimination itself more than the rent they would be receiving from otherwise responsible tenants.

AJ Lynch said...

"People typically viewed as problem tenants include ...... undocumented immigrants without Social Security numbers .....say advocates."

Do these advocates understand the risk involved when landlord rents to a mystery person aka illegal immigrant with no soc sec number? That is a dumb question I know. These advocates don't understand the meaning of the word risk or the concept of return on investment.

galdosiana said...

AJ Lynch said: What does UW charge for rent per student in one of its dorms? I bet it is higher than the average rent per student in privately owned housing.

For next year, room and board at the UW is about $7700 for the academic year (9 months).

Pogo said...

That the actual result of the current regulations have always and everywhere led to a shortage of available rental stock -and fewer "affordable" units- is of no concern to the left.

For theirs is a mighty religion, and their faith in the magic beans of State Control undiminished by their endless failures.

One.
More.
Try!!

Carol_Herman said...

Poor people can make the best tenants! It's the middle class scumbags; and men who leave their families high and dry ... that are really the landlords worst nightmares.

You can't fool me.

Most poor people work hard to pay their bills.

You want to find the scum of the earth, though? Look no further than Bill Clinton's friends. FOB. And, all the rot at the top.

The GOP? If they're not brain dead, yet. They're still just the stupid party.

Come November 2012 ... anyone running as an independent will stand a better chance of getting "in" than a GOP candidate.

Maybe, that's why Pelosi is hanging around? She figures Boehner has HER office for one term, only. (Even with weinergate.) The GOP runs 3rd.

SDN said...

Actually Carol, the very best tenants are current and former military. Current military, even though otherwise young, are constrained by the fact that not paying your bills is defined as "conduct unbecoming" and will have you and your sgt in a heart-to-heart punctuated by physical activity that will ensure you're too tired to cause trouble or want to spend money on parties etc....

Carol_Herman said...

I had a girlfriend who was very savvy about real estate. Home was in Pasadena. And, she converted her garage (illegally)to a rental. By building in a bathroom, and a mini kitchen. Then, she did the same thing on top. So, her "other rental" necessitated climbing up stairs.

She NEVER looked for tenants! What she'd do is look at people. When she shopped ... if she saw a sales clerk that pleased her. Because she saw an honest person who stood all day to make a living. She's say something to her ... that she could rent closer to work.

In one of her apartments was an artist, I remember. She ALWAYS got income coming in from her apartments. When she bought another house, she was already a successful realtor. So she showed the man who bought her place ... how he could capitalize on the rented units income to pay off the mortgage he'd need to buy a "single home" residence. Right off Huntington Drive. By Rosemead. Not what you'd call a great location. But, oh, so convenient. To get Pasadena's approval for the sale, she just dragged out the kitchen equipment into her yard. (We both laughed.)

When the sale went through, she put the stuff back inside. And, recently, just out of curiosity, I passed the old place ... And saw that the man who bought the property added 4 MORE UNITS. Money, money, money. He also built up the wall. And, anyone living in these units ... Did I say they were small? Could also use the pool ... which was at the front of the house.

Maybe, it's your definition of "poor" that lacks the savvy to know they can be your best tenants! If they fool around, you shut off their water.

WV: GANDE. According to Winston Churchill, he was a faker.

SteveR said...

Among the groups likely affected will be career "students", mariginally employed, potheads used to living with no responsibilty or ambition. This is a group which struggles with concepts like profit and legality not to mention hygeine.

edutcher said...

God forbid, someone should make a profit off the property they own.

This is the mentality that gave us subprime mortgages.

Michael K said...

Chip S made the comment I was going to make. The building industry will get involved in rental property if the rules are sensible. The left is constitutionally unable to understand that stable and sensible regulations will encourage economic activity and the reverse is also true. This is why our economy is stuck in neutral but they just can't see it.

TMink said...

Carol, from your posts I'm beginning to think you're mental.

Trey

Freeman Hunt said...

"minorities with criminal records"

People want to rent to white people with criminal records?

AJ Lynch said...

Galdosiani:

Thanks for that info. So the students pay $855 per month for dorm. That is not cheap or generally considered "affordable" IMO. My rental property in a nice, suburban town offers a two bedroom apt for $1100 per month plus utilities and includes garage parking.

Unfortunately, libruls live off the word "affordable" when it comes to campaign promises of affordable healthcare and affordable housing an affordable college education but we can never pin them down to give us a precise define of the word "affordable".

AJ Lynch said...

Michael K:

You are right- we have a big confidence deficit in addition to a ginormous fiscal deficit.

If we could turn that gloomy outlook around, maybe we could add a confidence premium to the economy and that could help spur GDP growth to that 5% Pawlenty wants!

But it will never happen with the central planners we have in charge now.

Steve Koch said...

Those pushing independent candidates rather than GOP candidates will just deliver the election to the Dems (remember Perot?).

I have plenty of experience with renters who do not pay their rent and/or trash the house. These services that permit a landlord to check into the background of a potential renter before signing a contract are a good thing.

Chip S. said...

Trey: Not a fan of James Joyce?

AllenS said...

If you can't afford the housing in Madison, move to Walkerville. It's free there.

Kirk Parker said...

Trey, at least it's a somewhat-interesting mental, don't you think?

AJL, the quoted rate is room and board, isn't it?

PatCA said...

San Francisco has strict tenant protection and still rampant "homelessness." Not to mention empty units because it's cheaper to not rent them at all.

On Wisconsin!

Chip S. said...

at least it's a somewhat-interesting...

Michiko Kakutani would call it an insightful, picaresque depiction of supply conditions in the housing market. And I would nod in agreement.

Maguro said...

What a shame. Does this mean that Madison is going to lose the "vibrant diversity" for which it's world-renowned?

I'd hate to see the place turn into a refuge for pasty white liberals with pretensions of intellectual superiority.

Joanna said...

If you can't afford the housing in Madison, move to Walkerville. It's free there.

Ah... but Walkerville doesn't have arnica salve. Deal breaker.

Crimso said...

Can't you fools see the slippery slope? Next, banks will demand identification from undocumented account holders.

Bruce Hayden said...

It is a bit scary that do-gooders could think that they are really doing good by restricting what others do with their property, etc., ignoring all of the well known obvious consequences of their actions.

It is somehow good that the rental cost for everyone else is increased so that those who have made, and continue to make, bad choices in life, don't work, etc. can get less expensive housing. And, yes, this also usually causes a reduction in the housing supply at the same time.

Wonder how much housing has been destroyed in Madison because it was turned into a meth lab, because the landlords weren't able to screen out the tweakers and other criminals?

I am glad that all of these do-gooders feel good about themselves, but would rather they did so by taking in the homeless, illegals, or criminals, instead of forcing everyone else to.

Henry said...

...decades of efforts to help people in Madison afford decent housing...

"We had to destroy the village in order to save it."

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Synova said...

The nearest rental to "slum" that I ever looked at wasn't even cheap. There was good stuff in the San Bernardino area that had lower rent. It was nonsensical. I suppose there was a reason, somehow, but I couldn't even guess what it was.

In San Francisco I'd see a property next to others that were nice that was all run down. That didn't make sense either, whoever the owner was. A poor owner who couldn't fix it up ought to have been able to sell it for darn good money to someone who could. And it would have seemed that the rent was so high that fixing it up and renting to a higher end market would be an economic no-brainer and an easy bank-loan for improvements.

Skipper50 said...

Very, very, good.

The Crack Emcee said...

Freeman Hunt,

People want to rent to white people with criminal records?

Yeah, unfortunately, white collar crime pays better.

Synova said...

White collar criminals probably are better neighbors than drug dealers or what not.

But seriously, this is Madison. They only wish they had a nice big population of urban minorities like real urban centers do.

I'm convinced that the inclusion of "minority" with "people with a criminal record" is mostly wishful thinking.

Synova said...

If every person in Madison Wisconsin gave you $1, you could buy a fixer-upper in San Francisco.

Chip S. said...

the inclusion of "minority" with "people with a criminal record" is mostly wishful thinking.

No, it's a cheap rhetorical ploy. Eliminate "minority" from that statement and you can see how idiotic it really is. The only arrow in their quiver is the suggestion that this bill is somehow motivated by racism.

Synova said...

I say "wishful thinking" because if it were less subconscious than that it would be impossible to miss the racist implication that minorities are criminals. If someone were cynically choosing to stick "minority" in there, or I should say *merely* cynically choosing to stick "minority" in there to suggest the bill is racist, which I'm sure is a big part of it, I think it would be too obvious what the *other* implications would be.

What is going on in Wisconsin and Madison seems like a willful fantasy to me. People want to have a cause, want to be oppressed, and want to have a disadvantaged minority population to be outraged on behalf of.

Synova said...

My husband has been saying things like; it's too bad we don't have dragons that swoop down to eat you when you leave the house. He thinks that having that vital, primal, struggle would be exciting.

Madison wants to have dragons.

Cindy Martin said...

I was unaware that property owners could not be given information that would tell if their potential renter had the ability to pay, the history of good payments and behavior, a crimial record, etc.

Who the hell makes these stupid laws.

Jose_K said...

undocumented immigrants without Social Security numbers. someone had problema as a vp candidate for hiring someone who broke the law to enter the USA.
Criminal record? they have problem with people avoiding renting to them why they allow the criminal record to be public anyway. If would not rent to a convicted pedophileor rapist for sure

Jose_K said...

BTW: here nobody rent to us, lawyers, or army men, they are not like yours,and priest. They dont pay and you wont find a lawyer to evict them

Rabel said...

Following Ann's link I ran across this bit of news:
"Madison School District may face sanctions for inadequate test scores."
How can this be in a mid-sized, progressive education center like Madison?
A little research at the Madison school district's web site shows that the district's minority enrollment has jumped from 20 percent in 1991 to 53 percent in 2011.
I had no idea that Madison had such a high minority population.
So a little research shows that - it doesn't.
Apparently the good non-minority folks in ultra-liberal Madison don't like to send their kids to public school. Sorta like those awful rednecks down south.
This ties indirectly into the topic of the current post in that there must be an awful lot of free-floating white guilt in Madison that is looking for relief. Thus the great concern for the minority discrimination on the horizon with the new rental regulations.

Thanks to the Althouse blog, I think I'm beginning to get Madisonians figured out.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I had no idea that Madison had such a high minority population

White people are a minority in Detroit and Oakland.

Penny said...

Some landlords just want to make money. They take Section 8, and laugh all the way to the bank, and still can in Madison.

More conservative landlords respect their property, their investment and their time. Within the law, they should be allowed to protect their assets and make some money.

If the angst is about student housing, then put pressure on the university. If this is about the homeless, then raise some financial commitment from local residents and businesses, including property owners.

Given the rules for landlords that I read, I can't imagine anyone renting who was not all aboard that Section 8 train.

Methadras said...

OH NOES!!! Property owners can't seek market value for their properties, rentals, or homes. Oh what shall we ever do?

enicar333 said...

WHEN the free market reign again - as it might shortly, after the POMO (QE2) supported stock market fails - housing will fall to what the economy can support. You might hate it - but if all you have is minimum wage jobs - housing prices (and property taxes) will adjust - or you get DETROIT. Ain't so bad being homeless - I've slept a few "unique" locations myself. If you counted on your house to be an asset - you guessed WRONG. Lessons to come in the near future.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"Advocates predict..."

"The Capital Times — passes along an assertion about how landlords "typically view" people."

Predict, assertions...here's my prediction: if you ARE a scumbag who does not have a way to pay your bills, or has a track record of disrespect for others' rights or property (i.e., criminals), then yes, you will and SHOULD have a more difficult time being considered as a tenant, or a property owner.

People that fall into this category have the onus of proving they no longer show callous disregard for others. Seems property owners here have once again been painted as the villains. Those that live on the fringes, whether they happen to fall into a government-defined minority category or not, unknowingly forfeit some perceived 'rights' in the minds of those that are responsible. Its the same law of nature we all learn when bitten by a creature we should not try to handle - you wouldn't pick up a porcupine, and given the choice, you wouldn't rent your upper apartment to a bank robber or child molester.

The liberal mind, however, cruelly tries to deny this fact of life, and attempts to force the honest folks to accept porcupine-handling. Of course, liberal land lords are hypocritical and only wish this upon others...their version of liberal landlording is HUD housing.

Liberals are the kings of NIMBY. Ignore their cries of discrimination. It is self-protection they hate, but, not for themselves, of course.

AST said...

inconsiderate, unscrupulous and even biased property owners who cared more about milking the value of their properties than the rights of their tenants

In other words, people act in their own self-interest. I'm shocked, shocked, that people want to make money by renting their property.