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Reader Live There: wrote:

You sound so sincere. You are for the noise ordinance fines (although you think that neighbors misuse them to persecute the poor quiet college students). You are sad for the residents who live near certain minidorms (although you know for a fact fact fact that these are not like your minidorms at all). You recognize that the laws are changing (although you acknowledge that you have no intention to comply with them and will exploit any loophole). Again- where is your address? If you are such a great model, I implore you to allow me to verify this by operating an exact copy of your business adjacent to your home. I promise, I will be just as sincere and diligent as you are.

Why do you consider it a “loophole” to comply with the new rules?  If they change the laws, it means they “WANT” me to make master leases.  I am just following the changes as they happen.  I’m sorry, I won’t leave the place vacant and I won’t expose myself to violations of the Fair Housing laws by denying housing to young people.  I will rent to old or young people, as long as they are quiet.  Yes I will take your challenge.  If you can run an operation as good as me, I would welcome you to move next door, especially if you are a considerate, responsive neighbor.  I love young people, (at least most of them). 

 Reader Ray: wrote:

I deserve what I get because I work hard for it. I do a good job and provide a need that the University has neglected to take care of. ” —- Oh brother. The old “I’m doing God’s work” bit. Look, buy all of the houses you want, just don’t pack them full of students like rats in a cage. If you can’t come up with a model that allows a reasonable number of tenants to fit the home, and still gives you a profit, that’s your problem.

I am not packing anyone like rats in a cage!  There typically is one or two per bedroom n 4,000 square feet is a big place.  If a large family moved in there, it would be far worse. Families tend to have a lot of visitors, kids’ playmates non-stop, birthday parties and much more. The impact of a large family that would want my house is so much worse than some students who are not part of a big social network. Universities are notorious for drugs, especially marijuana. I must be doing something right because I have had no drug users in years. If I ever did, someone in the house would tell me because they don’t want to jeopardize their records for someone else and they specifically chose my house for its drug-free profile. 

 To Everyone:  I welcome some relevant comments about how to solve the true problem:  the loud party/drug houses —  littered unkempt houses. I want to fix this problem as much as you—I don’t want to take all the heat for other landlord’s negligence.

I ask City Attorney Mike Aguirre to prepare a suggested disclosure form about parties and fines that more landlords can add to their leases.  It could be something in the form of a waiver of “warning” rights.  If the students disrupt the neighborhood in the form of a loud, disruptive party, they would receive an AUTOMATIC fine — no mercy.  The form is necessary because it is unfair to slap $1,000 fine on some unsuspecting kids who aren’t even aware that parties are considered “evil” in this area.  Parties are usually associated with fun for most people, remember?  Kids need to be informed.  They come and go every year and so each year a new education process is necessary.  

I ask Mr. Aguirre to explore ways that we landlords can expedite evictions.  The quicker the better, once a bad tenant is discovered.

On the issue of trash:  Ideally every landlord & homeowner would maintain and control trash and unsightly frontscape.  Homeowner associations don’t have this problem.  They have CC&R’s to regulate what people can and cannot do.  Tenants get fined by the association for anything violating the regulations and they don’t discriminate by age. A warning letter is tacked on the occupant’s door and they have so many days to fix the problem — otherwise they are fined. In many cases, the fines are immediate.   Plain and simple, with a well-run homeowner association these problems you are all concerned about would not generally exist.  The grounds are patrolled as well.  It would be nice if neighborhoods could have quasi-associations like these, not vigilante groups roaming around harassing as they see fit. 

— DIANE MILBER

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