Author Topic: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"  (Read 1898 times)

Milkshake

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Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« on: May 24, 2019, 06:54:30 AM »
I saw this article today, and thought it was interesting.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/thelma-smith-landlord-seeks-evict-102-year-old-woman-los-angeles/

Seems to me that the landlord is just choosing to not continue a lease with a tenant, on a property he owns. Yet CBS is really villainizing this guy. Saying "she's being forced out of her home" as if he grabbed her by the hair and hurled her down the stairs.

I can see where it sucks for this elderly woman. But to go to the news and "band together" with friends and family, I don't know, seems a little over the top to me. And sloppy journalism like this is what can get some radical to go crazy on this landlord. Maybe I'm just identifying with the landlord too strongly, so I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

Mods, feel free to move this to off-topic if necessary.

ElleFiji

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2019, 07:02:26 AM »
I think that there is a perceived lack of compassion and patience from the landlord. These are qualities we ask of some business owners like landlords, grocers and medical teams, but not others. It doesn't appear that the landlord is doing anything wrong, but maybe needs to work on their skills.

I also think that given her situation, the family might be going to the news so that someone compassionate finds her a home, more than so that the landlord is demonized. And if it were my news station I'd be running the story, to try to remind landlords of their duties. I very much believe that in unfair economic situations the rich have an obligation to the public.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2019, 07:03:27 AM »
Interesting reason he gives--so his daughter can move in after she graduates from law school! "Would you take care of your child?"

The guy has every right to not renew the woman's lease, but in my mind, that's a pretty weak reason he's using to try to defend his decision. If daughter is graduating from law school, she probably doesn't need to live in daddy's rental home.

BeanCounter

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2019, 07:14:31 AM »
I can see both sides. If it were my financial plan to purchase a rental to rent out until my child graduates college and then gift it to them to live in so they can get themselves established, it would be hard to let something derail that plan. If the renter was not elderly we wouldn't even be discussing this. It's his financial plan.
But it would also be really hard to kick out an elderly renter.
Honestly I think the family of the renter should have had a plan for this. IMHO it's one of the biggest draw backs to renting. You may have to move when it's really inconvenient.

GuitarStv

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2019, 07:16:17 AM »
Need more info than what's provided here.

I'm surprised that a 102 year old woman is living on her own to begin with.  It's pretty rare for someone of that age to be able to care for him/herself and not have serious mental problems going on.

It does seem kinda heartless to turf the old lady out . . . but at the same time, the landlord is a businessman and from what the article says is following the law.  It's his property.  If you want to have a secure place to live as you age, don't rent.  If you rent, you have to expect and plan for this kind of thing happening.

Milkshake

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2019, 07:19:27 AM »
If daughter is graduating from law school, she probably doesn't need to live in daddy's rental home.

I agree, the landlord and his daughter are definitely very well off compared to this woman. I was originally thinking that maybe it was downtown LA or something extremely difficult for his daughter starting out to get a house with little or no commute, but the article says it's just outside the city limits.

I also wonder which non-profit this woman was an executive for. Even at non-profits, many executives make a lot of money. Not victim blaming, financial messes can hit even the best of us.

I also think that given her situation, the family might be going to the news so that someone compassionate finds her a home, more than so that the landlord is demonized. And if it were my news station I'd be running the story, to try to remind landlords of their duties. I very much believe that in unfair economic situations the rich have an obligation to the public.

This is also probably true, and hopefully it works for her. I wonder how long she's been a tenant at a presumably low cost of rent? Does his societal obligation to help this woman not end until she dies? I would just hate to see a landlord (even a rich guy) get his head smashed in by some Robin Hood vigilante.

I can see both sides. If it were my financial plan to purchase a rental to rent out until my child graduates college and then gift it to them to live in so they can get themselves established, it would be hard to let something derail that plan. If the renter was not elderly we wouldn't even be discussing this. It's his financial plan.
But it would also be really hard to kick out an elderly renter.
Honestly I think the family of the renter should have had a plan for this. IMHO it's one of the biggest draw backs to renting. You may have to move when it's really inconvenient.
Need more info than what's provided here.

I'm surprised that a 102 year old woman is living on her own to begin with.  It's pretty rare for someone of that age to be able to care for him/herself and not have serious mental problems going on.

It does seem kinda heartless to turf the old lady out . . . but at the same time, the landlord is a businessman and from what the article says is following the law.  It's his property.  If you want to have a secure place to live as you age, don't rent.  If you rent, you have to expect and plan for this kind of thing happening.

100% agree with both of these.

Malkynn

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2019, 07:27:48 AM »
Wow.

I just...wow.

I can't fathom making a 102 year old woman move after nearly 30 years of renting to her.
I just couldn't do that, and can't fathom ever being someone who could.

Wow...


Milkshake

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2019, 07:48:14 AM »
I missed the 30 years part of the article.

So as mentioned above, if you bought this property 30 years ago with the intention of renting it out until your daughter graduated from at least 6 years of college, and then planned to gift it to her or something, would you change your entire plan because your tenant was elderly and had no backup plans of her own?

Would you change your plan if your tenant started living there at 25 and was now 55?

Frankly if I were a landlord, I would never expect a 102 year old woman to live alone and not in assisted living.

MrDelane

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2019, 07:57:08 AM »
I missed the 30 years part of the article.

So as mentioned above, if you bought this property 30 years ago with the intention of renting it out until your daughter graduated from at least 6 years of college, and then planned to gift it to her or something, would you change your entire plan because your tenant was elderly and had no backup plans of her own?

Would you change your plan if your tenant started living there at 25 and was now 55?

Frankly if I were a landlord, I would never expect a 102 year old woman to live alone and not in assisted living.

Granted, if your plan were so well thought out that you purchased the property before your child was ever born then you would think you'd be organized enough to give the tenant a heads up at some point in their 30 year run that you would be turning the property over to your child on X date.

Enigma

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2019, 08:09:07 AM »
Such a biased article painting the owner as the villian.  Goes to the whole debate of "rent vs own" and where you are going to live in your golden years.

This will be a bigger issues with Millennials as they get older since they are less likely to 'own' their homes.

Milkshake

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2019, 08:15:11 AM »
Granted, if your plan were so well thought out that you purchased the property before your child was ever born then you would think you'd be organized enough to give the tenant a heads up at some point in their 30 year run that you would be turning the property over to your child on X date.

This is a fair point. He at least knew when his daughter was graduating a year or 2 ago. A heads up letter/discussion then would've gone a long way, rather than just a standard, legal 60-day notice. The article didn't say whether he had mentioned his plan to her in the past or not.

Such a biased article painting the owner as the villian.

I think what irked me the most was the way the reporter asked the landlord her question about kicking out a 102 year old woman. In the video it's clearly with the intention of demonizing this guy. Is this CBS or TMZ?

former player

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2019, 08:47:36 AM »
I'm surprised that a 102 year old woman is living on her own to begin with.  It's pretty rare for someone of that age to be able to care for him/herself and not have serious mental problems going on.

Frankly if I were a landlord, I would never expect a 102 year old woman to live alone and not in assisted living.

Can we stop with the ageism, please?  I've known two people live to the age of 101 with mental faculties entirely intact and living in their own homes with daily help.  That's one more people than those I've known who've had dementia: old age does not inevitably mean dementia or helpless disability (although I accept it does almost inevitably mean a degree of frailty).

Milkshake

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2019, 09:01:52 AM »
I wasn't meaning to imply that elderly people cannot function mentally (or physically, for that matter). I was meaning that if I had to make an educated guess given statistics on lifespan and general health decline in old age, I would not expect my tenant who started living in my property at 72 to still be living in my property at 102. I think it is a safe assumption that the tenant would be in assisted living by then or have died (American woman's life expectancy: 81.6 years).

Good for her for hanging in there, and pretty healthy it seems. Hopefully she turns out like Jeanne Calment (died at 122), who:
Quote
In 1965, aged 90 and with no heirs left, Calment signed a life estate contract on her apartment with notary public André-François Raffray, selling the property in exchange for a right of occupancy and a monthly revenue of 2,500 francs (€380) until her death. Raffray died in 1995, by which time Calment had received more than double the apartment's value from him, and his family had to continue making payments. Calment commented on the situation by saying, "in life, one sometimes makes bad deals."[11] In 1985, she moved into a nursing home, having lived on her own until age 110.[1]

GuitarStv

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2019, 09:02:31 AM »
I'm surprised that a 102 year old woman is living on her own to begin with.  It's pretty rare for someone of that age to be able to care for him/herself and not have serious mental problems going on.

Frankly if I were a landlord, I would never expect a 102 year old woman to live alone and not in assisted living.

Can we stop with the ageism, please?  I've known two people live to the age of 101 with mental faculties entirely intact and living in their own homes with daily help.  That's one more people than those I've known who've had dementia: old age does not inevitably mean dementia or helpless disability (although I accept it does almost inevitably mean a degree of frailty).

A little over 40% of all people over the age of 90 have dementia.  (https://www.dementiastatistics.org/statistics/prevalence-by-age-in-the-uk/).  That means that if you know two people in their 100s without it, you're bucking the odds.

calimom

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2019, 07:55:20 PM »
I too, see this story from different angles. We don't know if the landlord has owned the property this whole time. What if he bought it 10 years ago with a 92 year old tenant in place. How many units are there in the property?

As a landlord, I see the complications with this. Shouldn't my family be able to live in a property I own?  As a human, it's hard not to see the other aspects of evicting a 102 year old woman from a home she's lived in for years. She's lovely, by the way. It sounds like she worked hard and has likely outlived her assets. She's probably been retired for at least 25 years. But why is our society not better? Why can't we guarantee all older people a clean, safe, healthy place to live? The very rich can afford high end assisted living and there's but a patchwork system of options for those on the lower rungs. Collectively we have the resources to do more. Like the need for universal childcare and healthcare, we need to find a way to take care of all the youth and the elderly in this country.

MrDelane

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2019, 07:58:07 PM »
Here's a twist I don't think any of us saw coming....
...she's friends with Arnold Schwarzenegger?


https://ktla.com/2019/05/24/schwarzenegger-offers-to-help-woman-102-being-evicted-from-ladera-heights-home-to-make-way-for-landlords-daughter/

MrDelane

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2019, 08:01:54 PM »
I too, see this story from different angles. We don't know if the landlord has owned the property this whole time. What if he bought it 10 years ago with a 92 year old tenant in place. How many units are there in the property?

As a landlord, I see the complications with this. Shouldn't my family be able to live in a property I own?  As a human, it's hard not to see the other aspects of evicting a 102 year old woman from a home she's lived in for years. She's lovely, by the way. It sounds like she worked hard and has likely outlived her assets. She's probably been retired for at least 25 years. But why is our society not better? Why can't we guarantee all older people a clean, safe, healthy place to live? The very rich can afford high end assisted living and there's but a patchwork system of options for those on the lower rungs. Collectively we have the resources to do more. Like the need for universal childcare and healthcare, we need to find a way to take care of all the youth and the elderly in this country.

If he bought the property more recently than a few weeks ago he could have at least offered more notice.  Obviously he's not obligated to do that, but it would have been a decent thing to do.

calimom

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2019, 08:53:56 PM »
I too, see this story from different angles. We don't know if the landlord has owned the property this whole time. What if he bought it 10 years ago with a 92 year old tenant in place. How many units are there in the property?

As a landlord, I see the complications with this. Shouldn't my family be able to live in a property I own?  As a human, it's hard not to see the other aspects of evicting a 102 year old woman from a home she's lived in for years. She's lovely, by the way. It sounds like she worked hard and has likely outlived her assets. She's probably been retired for at least 25 years. But why is our society not better? Why can't we guarantee all older people a clean, safe, healthy place to live? The very rich can afford high end assisted living and there's but a patchwork system of options for those on the lower rungs. Collectively we have the resources to do more. Like the need for universal childcare and healthcare, we need to find a way to take care of all the youth and the elderly in this country.

If he bought the property more recently than a few weeks ago he could have at least offered more notice.  Obviously he's not obligated to do that, but it would have been a decent thing to do.

Agree, Mr. Delane.

SwordGuy

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2019, 11:31:54 PM »
I use a property manager.   

Unless I have some business need to visit the property and happen to meet an existing tenant, I have no idea about how old they are other than at least one person is a legal adult (which might be less than 18 if an emancipated minor).   

The only reason I know the tenant's name is because we send a Christmas card with a 1/2 month's rent as a gift if they've been there a year and taken good care of the property.

That name is the only clue I have to the tenant's gender or race or ethnic background, and we all know that's not reliable.

So if I wanted to re-purpose a property that a tenant was in, I could end up sending a notice to a 150 year old for all I know.   

Now, if someone told me the person was 102 years old and they had also been a good tenant for 30 years, it would take a really compelling reason for me to proceed with my plans.     If I absolutely had to move her out and she didn't have family to help, I would ask my property manager to help her find a place and (unless I was broke) hire some people to help her pack and help her move.   

Not because I legally have to.  But because I can and it's a nice thing to do.   It's really hard for older people to move.  It takes a lot of energy to look for a place, pack things up and unpack them. 

I own 6 houses, 5 of which are owned free and clear.   I can afford to be nice to people that old, particularly if they've been a good tenant for 30 years.


Hula Hoop

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2019, 02:45:36 AM »
In the video the landlord said that his father purchased the property "for the family and not for rental".  But they've had a renter for 30 years so if that was the plan from the beginning then it's taken them an awfully long time to actually put it into action. 

My grandma died at around the renter's age and didn't have dementia.  However, by the end she needed quite a lot of help from family (just as this woman seems to need) doing daily tasks like cooking and looking after her garden.  She lived in her house to the end although one of my aunts moved in at a certain point and was able to look after her.

What concerns me is that moving at such an advanced age might kill her. It's a huge undertaking for anyone (especially if they've lived in one place for 30 years) and for an extremely elderly person it could be a real trauma.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2019, 05:57:04 AM »
I’m as by-the-numbers as they come but 102yo tenant whose been there for 30 years? Rent the daughter a place for the remaining time the tenant has left and have some compassion for a little old lady.

RFAAOATB

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2019, 08:25:37 AM »
I’m as by-the-numbers as they come but 102yo tenant whose been there for 30 years? Rent the daughter a place for the remaining time the tenant has left and have some compassion for a little old lady.

Is the old lady paying market rate for rent?  If not, how long does the landlord’s daughter have to live there before he can put it back on as a market rate rental?  Did anyone else think that’s what’s really going on or is that not how things work?

Milkshake

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2019, 08:38:50 AM »
Here's a twist I don't think any of us saw coming....
...she's friends with Arnold Schwarzenegger?

https://ktla.com/2019/05/24/schwarzenegger-offers-to-help-woman-102-being-evicted-from-ladera-heights-home-to-make-way-for-landlords-daughter/
To anyone who thought the media wasn't necessarily painting the landlord in bad light, even Schwarzenegger is calling him heartless, with a little bit of a threat in there: "Landlords, you'll hear from me too." Come on now.

As for the 102 year old who has no other options, she turned down at least one friend's offer to stay with her. According to the LA Times, her friend says she is paying very low rent, month-to-month. I don't know the laws of LA, but with a month-to-month tenant in an unincorporated area, I'm surprised he couldn't have already been raising rates to match market conditions.

I feel bad for this woman's circumstances, but the fact of the matter is she didn't buy this property, she rented it, so this was a risk she was willing to take. And to band together with friends and family to attempt to shame this landlord into letting her stay for the rest of her life, having Arnold himself call the landlord up, the media hunting this guy down... seems at least as wrong to me as not giving her a more advanced notice for eviction. Neither is illegal, but both are in poor taste.

GuitarStv

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2019, 08:49:42 AM »
To be fair, she is 102.  She'll be dead soon.  It's probably not going to be a huge imposition to let her stay the rest of her life.

Milkshake

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2019, 08:51:38 AM »
True, but the landlord probably thought that 20 years ago. Technically, she could live another 20 years yet.

PoutineLover

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2019, 09:29:18 AM »
In my province, landlords are usually allowed to evict tenants to give an apartment to a family member, but there are exceptions for tenants above 70, who have lived there for over 10 years, or are low income, so this probably wouldn't be allowed. Presumably this young lawyer could live somewhere else, I wonder if she is okay with forcing a 102 year old woman out of her home.

BlueHouse

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2019, 09:37:36 AM »
To be fair, she is 102.  She'll be dead soon.  It's probably not going to be a huge imposition to let her stay the rest of her life.

Call me heartless, but this is exactly why I would be trying to get her out now.  I don't want someone dying in my house.  Then what?  Do I also have to check on her everyday to make sure she's not rotting without one of her many "friends" checking on her?  If they're such great friends, why aren't they helping.

This was an ambush piece by the reporter and she should be blackballed from journalism for this.

Neo

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2019, 09:23:48 PM »
I'm going through this now. Recently bought a duplex that was owned by a very elderly man. The tenants living there are both paying only $400/month for very nice 2bdrm units. Market rent is about $750 but the previous owner just didnt keep up with rent increases. One unit is rented by a family (mother father and son about 5 or 6). They have been there a few years. The other unit is rented by an elderly woman who has been there 20+ years. She is a hoarder though not dirty or anything. Her place is just filled to the brim with stuff.

I sent each tenant a letter notifying them that we would be increasing rents in phases over the next several months in order to get them to market rent by October. I felt like this was more compassionate than raising it all the way to $750 in one shot next month.

I know the older woman was very concerned about a rent increase when she found out the building was being sold. While I feel for her, nobody has the right to receive extremely subsidized housing costs from a private landlord just because. In my opinion they have gotten a tremendous advantage in the past and now that advantage is over and they should be grateful they had that advantage as long as they did. Hopefully they recognized their good fortune and saved some of that money they weren't being asked to pay all those years.

I'm not kicking either tenant out but I do expect one or both of them will leave due to the increase. I really dont feel like I'm doing anything wrong or unethical/slimy. I do have cheaper 1bdrm apartments available in other buildings and I considered offering that option to the older woman but since she is a hoarder I decided not to offer that option. Hopefully it works out for everyone involved.

At the end of the day I'm not running a charity and I need to receive fair market rent in order for my business to be profitable.

NykkiC

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2019, 09:57:36 PM »
I too, see this story from different angles. We don't know if the landlord has owned the property this whole time. What if he bought it 10 years ago with a 92 year old tenant in place. How many units are there in the property?

As a landlord, I see the complications with this. Shouldn't my family be able to live in a property I own?  As a human, it's hard not to see the other aspects of evicting a 102 year old woman from a home she's lived in for years. She's lovely, by the way. It sounds like she worked hard and has likely outlived her assets. She's probably been retired for at least 25 years. But why is our society not better? Why can't we guarantee all older people a clean, safe, healthy place to live? The very rich can afford high end assisted living and there's but a patchwork system of options for those on the lower rungs. Collectively we have the resources to do more. Like the need for universal childcare and healthcare, we need to find a way to take care of all the youth and the elderly in this country.

If he bought the property more recently than a few weeks ago he could have at least offered more notice.  Obviously he's not obligated to do that, but it would have been a decent thing to do.

The Arnold Schwarzeneggar article linked earlier in this thread says he gave her notice on March 8 that she had to leave by June 30. So he gave her (and her family) more than three months to figure something out.

Also, a neighbour had offered the 102 a place to stay, but she turned it down. So she clearly has some options, even if they’re not what she would prefer.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 10:01:27 PM by NykkiC »

Milkshake

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2019, 07:28:25 AM »
I'm going through this now. [snip]

Now you've done it. I just sent your info to Arnold, expect a call soon! /s

In all seriousness though, I agree with you. Subsidized housing is fun while it lasts. They were under no obligation to ask their previous landlord to raise it to market rate, and you are under no obligation to keep it below market. It's not like you're jacking it up 50% over market rate.

Also, I imagine taxes/expenses have gone up over time too. I'd be surprised if that entire $350/mo extra is going straight into your pocket.

Malkynn

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Re: Landlord gives 102 year old woman the "boot"
« Reply #30 on: June 25, 2019, 07:08:07 PM »
I'm going through this now. Recently bought a duplex that was owned by a very elderly man. The tenants living there are both paying only $400/month for very nice 2bdrm units. Market rent is about $750 but the previous owner just didnt keep up with rent increases. One unit is rented by a family (mother father and son about 5 or 6). They have been there a few years. The other unit is rented by an elderly woman who has been there 20+ years. She is a hoarder though not dirty or anything. Her place is just filled to the brim with stuff.

I sent each tenant a letter notifying them that we would be increasing rents in phases over the next several months in order to get them to market rent by October. I felt like this was more compassionate than raising it all the way to $750 in one shot next month.

I know the older woman was very concerned about a rent increase when she found out the building was being sold. While I feel for her, nobody has the right to receive extremely subsidized housing costs from a private landlord just because. In my opinion they have gotten a tremendous advantage in the past and now that advantage is over and they should be grateful they had that advantage as long as they did. Hopefully they recognized their good fortune and saved some of that money they weren't being asked to pay all those years.

I'm not kicking either tenant out but I do expect one or both of them will leave due to the increase. I really dont feel like I'm doing anything wrong or unethical/slimy. I do have cheaper 1bdrm apartments available in other buildings and I considered offering that option to the older woman but since she is a hoarder I decided not to offer that option. Hopefully it works out for everyone involved.

At the end of the day I'm not running a charity and I need to receive fair market rent in order for my business to be profitable.

I think there's a huge difference between worrying about every tenant with a situation vs a 102 year old woman who has lived there for a very long time.

At some point, I firmly believe there's a line, and I think that line is somewhere at the tenant being over 100 years old.