Working with Rental Landlords and Property Investors
Rental housing is an important part of any city’s housing stock, particularly in older cities where homeownership may be unfeasible or unsuitable for much of the population. At the same time, rental housing tends to create many problems for code enforcement and community stabilization. This has become more urgent in many cities in recent years, as the wave of foreclosures has resulted in the loss of thousands of homeowners, and in thousands of houses being bought by investors, and in some cases, speculators.
While there are many irresponsible people buying rental properties, some of whom may plan to “milk” the property for a few years and then walk away, there are also many responsible landlords, who want to hold and maintain their properties. Some are successful, while others may be hindered by limited resources, lack of training or skills or adverse economic conditions in the neighborhoods where they own properties. This dictates that if a city wants to take steps to foster a sound rental stock, it should not simply “crack down” on violators, but develop a mix of strategies designed to encourage good landlords and discourage bad ones. That involves at least three distinct steps: