Author Topic: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits  (Read 2879 times)

Neo

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As a landlord I have serious doubts about this. I could write pages about why I think it's a bad idea. Insurance companies make money by NOT paying out damages. This could actually drive rents up and make landlords less likely to take a risk on tenants with shaky histories. How quickly will the insurance companies pay out? Are the going to send someone out to review a $50 damage claim? How quickly? Doesnt seem to make economic sense to send someone out so landlords will probably make lots of small claims just because they can. I could go on and on. What do you think?


https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/using-security-deposit-insurance-to-sign-new-apartment-lease/

Wrenchturner

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2019, 09:15:21 PM »
will have complicated knock-on effects that I fully don't comprehend.  What happens when a bad tenant gets blacklisted from all the insurance companies?  Will another law be written to mandate that insurance companies insure these people?

LordSquidworth

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2019, 08:57:10 AM »
If the policy pays out all damages, not just up to x amount like the security deposit I say go for it.

If the policy pays out the $900 security deposit... I'd rather they just put it down.

Neo

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2019, 11:42:35 AM »
The point is landlords wouldnt have a choice. We would be required to accept the insurance no matter how crappy it turns out to be.

Zamboni

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2019, 12:32:59 PM »
I hear your points, all of which are valid. I agree that this sets up a dangerous situation ripe for abuse by the worst of the damaging tenants.

However, I think landlords, as a group, have set themselves up for this. Some (certainly not all, but enough) landlords engage in the shady practice of just keeping all of the security deposit monies even in cases where tenants have caused no damage beyond normal wear and tear. This practice leaves many tenants, who are typically in an inferior economic position to the landlord, no recourse other than the courts to recoup their money. Many tenants don't have the will or the time to take it to court, so landlords often get away with it. Even big corporations that own apartment complexes have developed a systematic method for doing this (walk throughs PRIOR to move out without the tenant present in which they document areas that require "cleaning" . . . I got charge $250 to clean a stove top that was in fact sparkling spotless clean when I left. They had a photo with some crumbs on it from the week before I moved out. $250 to wipe crumbs off a stove? That I had already wiped off?)

How much of a hassle is this for tenants? If you are moving out of your apartment to another state, then do you want to travel BACK to the apartment state two months later to go to court over $500 that the landlord is unlawfully withholding? Sure, you probably need the $500, but by the time you factor in the time and cost of travel, it may not be worth it. Tenants are basically in a situation right now where they have to be vigilant in documenting every tiny detail of the property condition both before and after occupancy, and then good tenants STILL often have to fight to get their deposit back from some landlords and property management companies.

Been there, done that. This is what is driving this legislation.

Wrenchturner

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2019, 12:43:46 PM »
I hear your points, all of which are valid. I agree that this sets up a dangerous situation ripe for abuse by the worst of the damaging tenants.

However, I think landlords, as a group, have set themselves up for this. Some (certainly not all, but enough) landlords engage in the shady practice of just keeping all of the security deposit monies even in cases where tenants have caused no damage beyond normal wear and tear. This practice leaves many tenants, who are typically in an inferior economic position to the landlord, no recourse other than the courts to recoup their money. Many tenants don't have the will or the time to take it to court, so landlords often get away with it. Even big corporations that own apartment complexes have developed a systematic method for doing this (walk throughs PRIOR to move out without the tenant present in which they document areas that require "cleaning" . . . I got charge $250 to clean a stove top that was in fact sparkling spotless clean when I left. They had a photo with some crumbs on it from the week before I moved out. $250 to wipe crumbs off a stove? That I had already wiped off?)

How much of a hassle is this for tenants? If you are moving out of your apartment to another state, then do you want to travel BACK to the apartment state two months later to go to court over $500 that the landlord is unlawfully withholding? Sure, you probably need the $500, but by the time you factor in the time and cost of travel, it may not be worth it. Tenants are basically in a situation right now where they have to be vigilant in documenting every tiny detail of the property condition both before and after occupancy, and then good tenants STILL often have to fight to get their deposit back from some landlords and property management companies.

Been there, done that. This is what is driving this legislation.

One bad apple spoils the bunch.  On both sides of the deal.  In Alberta we have a landlord and tenant board that deals with small issues like this outside of the court system. I haven't had to use that service but I haven't heard it's non-functional; I don't think inserting a third party insurance system is going to fix this, it will probably serve to push around liability even more than it already is.

Zamboni

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2019, 01:02:04 PM »
I agree that inserting insurance companies into the mess is probably a bad idea.

My personal preference would be for:
1. smaller "normal" deposits. Half of a month's rent instead of a full month?
2. laws that provide the ability of tenants to seek punitive damages equal to the amount of the deposit if the landlord is found by the courts to have withheld it unlawfully, as well as fines by the city for landlords found guilty of this multiple times. Some jurisdications may already have this, for all I know.

I think the smaller deposit amount would still encourage every day Joe to repair damage that occurs in hopes of getting his money back, which protects the landlord. But, the smaller deposit also helps people afford to move in.

Honestly, my experience with landlords unlawfully withholding deposits has been so bad that I would be okay with landlords not being allowed to ask for damage deposits at all. Instead, landlords would have to seek remedy for real damages through the courts. While that sucks for the landlords, it already happens for major damage in amounts that exceed the deposit amount. Basically, it prevents landlords from nickle and diming tenants and puts the costs of more minor maintenance between tenants back upon the person who owns the property.

FIFoFum

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2019, 03:15:07 PM »
I agree that inserting insurance companies into the mess is probably a bad idea.

My personal preference would be for:
1. smaller "normal" deposits. Half of a month's rent instead of a full month?
2. laws that provide the ability of tenants to seek punitive damages equal to the amount of the deposit if the landlord is found by the courts to have withheld it unlawfully, as well as fines by the city for landlords found guilty of this multiple times. Some jurisdications may already have this, for all I know.

I think the smaller deposit amount would still encourage every day Joe to repair damage that occurs in hopes of getting his money back, which protects the landlord. But, the smaller deposit also helps people afford to move in.

Honestly, my experience with landlords unlawfully withholding deposits has been so bad that I would be okay with landlords not being allowed to ask for damage deposits at all. Instead, landlords would have to seek remedy for real damages through the courts. While that sucks for the landlords, it already happens for major damage in amounts that exceed the deposit amount. Basically, it prevents landlords from nickle and diming tenants and puts the costs of more minor maintenance between tenants back upon the person who owns the property.

+1. I would love to see real recourse for tenants introduced. My personal experience includes so much unlawful withholding (that you can't really do anything about) to the point where I consider unlawful loss of a security deposit to be another cost of moving.

I'd rather pay a deposit and lower rent, but that only works when you actually get the deposit back for leaving behind a relatively clean apartment minus normal wear and tear.

waltworks

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2019, 04:45:28 PM »
I think, at least in the US and Canada, that we will see more and more of this sort of stuff, simply because RE prices (and rents) have outpaced wage growth, and people are generally pissed about it/pissed about everything.

It's one of the reasons I think you need an "oh shit" set-aside for any rental/should take the 50% rule seriously.

-W

Bloop Bloop

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2019, 06:29:14 PM »
That's completely fucked. It's basically requiring landlords to self-insure (to a greater extent) against the shitfulness of their tenants, since in so many cases it will be impossible or impractical to recover damages from a tenant who's already left teh property and, most likely, the jurisdiction. In my state the equation is already incredibly skewed towards tenants - they are allowed to break a fixed term lease (for no reason); landlords cannot; the residential tenancies tribunal is very pro-tenant and will rarely evict; etc etc

Roland of Gilead

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2019, 08:01:49 PM »
The end result of all of this is landlords just go higher and higher on required credit scores to weed out tenants who would likely be trouble.

Thus the housing shortage continues and this law does nothing or makes things worse.

Seadog

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2019, 08:26:38 PM »
I agree that inserting insurance companies into the mess is probably a bad idea.

My personal preference would be for:
1. smaller "normal" deposits. Half of a month's rent instead of a full month?
2. laws that provide the ability of tenants to seek punitive damages equal to the amount of the deposit if the landlord is found by the courts to have withheld it unlawfully, as well as fines by the city for landlords found guilty of this multiple times. Some jurisdications may already have this, for all I know.

I think the smaller deposit amount would still encourage every day Joe to repair damage that occurs in hopes of getting his money back, which protects the landlord. But, the smaller deposit also helps people afford to move in.

Honestly, my experience with landlords unlawfully withholding deposits has been so bad that I would be okay with landlords not being allowed to ask for damage deposits at all. Instead, landlords would have to seek remedy for real damages through the courts. While that sucks for the landlords, it already happens for major damage in amounts that exceed the deposit amount. Basically, it prevents landlords from nickle and diming tenants and puts the costs of more minor maintenance between tenants back upon the person who owns the property.

+1. I would love to see real recourse for tenants introduced. My personal experience includes so much unlawful withholding (that you can't really do anything about) to the point where I consider unlawful loss of a security deposit to be another cost of moving.

I'd rather pay a deposit and lower rent, but that only works when you actually get the deposit back for leaving behind a relatively clean apartment minus normal wear and tear.

I couldn't agree more. I ended up losing about $700 to pay for a 1/8" size ding on the lower edge of a SS fridge door, that was likely not worth much more, especially since it was 4 years old. Specialty order of panel from factory that they didn't make any more, and a professional technician to come out to install it. Did it actually get done? Who know, they said they had to get someone in to do an estimate before they could even tell me what it would cost, and 12 hours later I was driving 5,000km away, so I figured it was a money grab - especially since every time they came by they lamented to me the purchase of it. I don't wish badness on people, but in that sort of financial play, a part of me smiles when I get confirmation I made a smart financial move.

That's completely fucked. It's basically requiring landlords to self-insure (to a greater extent) against the shitfulness of their tenants, since in so many cases it will be impossible or impractical to recover damages from a tenant who's already left teh property and, most likely, the jurisdiction. In my state the equation is already incredibly skewed towards tenants - they are allowed to break a fixed term lease (for no reason); landlords cannot; the residential tenancies tribunal is very pro-tenant and will rarely evict; etc etc

What's to protect against the shitfullness of landlords who are borderline thieves, and what is the tenant's recourse after they've already left the jurisdiction when the LL wants to play games?

I always found it funny that there seems to be such a presumption that the LL is so much smart and financially responsible than tenants, and societal rules have reflected that. I would say that average landlord is probably better off than the average tenant, but I'd also wager that both groups tail off into the top and bottom 1%s.

It's one of the few instances I can think of (aside from say a bond to get out of jail, or a retainer to retain a lawyer) where you not only have to pay the entire thing up front (contrasted with say a meal, or most business relations that are on net 30 terms, with cash on delivery being almost a slap in the face, but here it's cash upfront, before delivery, along generally with another month for the last one in case you're so shifty you have to be evicted, and another sum to make sure you don't damage the place.

The restaurant equivalent would be like having to pay $1000 cash up front (just in case you order everything), then once your bill was settled they'd send you a refund.

Honestly I kind of side with the no damage deposit thing. I mean how often are places legitimately damaged vs just elaborate claims of what is actually wear and tear? And then going one step more saying that "that quarter size ink blotch in the closet means that the entire carpet is now worthless and you owe me what it would cost to redo the entire unit since it has to match", Most hotels do a couple hundred pre-auth for calls and food, not $10k on the possibility of you setting fire somewhere in the room. 

On the other hand, the potential for a LL to get screwed is there, and unfortunately they type of person to damage a place, is likely also the type to run and hide. At the same time, I feel the whole DD thing is a greatly abused back door way to pad rents, especially in places where LLs are cash flow negative... 

Neo

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2019, 08:28:49 PM »
I really do appreciate the comments from the couple folks who are siding on the side of the tenants (zamboni and another). I was a renter for a long time so I do get it. But now going from a tenant to a landlord, I also see the shitty position landlords are in. We are just as powerless. We cant really take a tenant to court if they fuck us over. Blood from a stone in many cases. Judgments that cant really be enforced. But this legislation will hurt the tenants more than the landlords in my opinion. But it will hurt both parties. The winners will be the insurance companies and the legislators (whose pockets were probably lined by the insurance companies).

Bloop Bloop

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2019, 08:37:44 PM »
"What's to protect against the shitfullness of landlords who are borderline thieves, and what is the tenant's recourse after they've already left the jurisdiction when the LL wants to play games?"

Simple. The landlord has a house, and therefore has assets to recover against. Not all tenants have any assets, meaning that even if the landlord wins in the tribunal, any order can't be enforced. Tenants in my state have a legal service specifically dedicated to providing free legal advice for their interests, plus a pro-tenant tribunal.

As another person said upthread, this just means landlords will just screen harder. I already only take tenants that "have something to lose", i.e. I require professional references and I prefer young families whose children will go to school in the local area. That way you know they have skin in the game. I follow those principles and have never had any issues with tenants (and I think they have never had issues with me). So that's all great. But now getting rid of security deposits means that less marketable tenants are going to be the ones losing out.


Villanelle

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2019, 02:57:20 PM »
This would likely cause me to consider just selling my rental (and assuming that many landlords do this, it drives up rental prices even more) or increasing rent because I would need more profit to hedge against the likelihood of damages.  And I would absolutely institute more strict income (or asset) requirements, so that if it came to me having to sue, I would have a greater chance of collection.  And that's *if* I decided to keep landlording at all.

I think this is a bit like limits to rent increases.  Rent control sounds tenant-friendly but in the end it does the opposite of making housing easier and more affordable for renters. 

waltworks

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2019, 09:02:53 PM »
The real solution for housing affordability (whether renting or owning) is building up/more density. But nobody will apparently go for that (I love hearing my super-liberal friends complain about the lack of affordable housing in our area, then seeing them turn up to city council meetings to advocate stridently against increased density anywhere nearby), so here we are, with dumb laws that hurt basically everyone.

-W

theoverlook

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2019, 08:21:31 AM »
It sounds to me like just another way to tax being poor. Yes some landlords keep your security deposit unjustly, but security deposit insurance has premiums that the tenant must pay and they never get back. I looked at an example policy and for $1000 in coverage it was a $250 premium! So you're now guaranteed to lose 25% of the original deposit amount. And that policy is only good for up to 5 years at the same unit, so if you move you lose that policy and if you stay for more than 5 years you need another one.  100% of the cost of this change is going to fall on the tenant. I'd be interested to find out how much Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld got in campaign donations from the companies that offer this type of insurance.

Omy

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2019, 08:50:11 AM »
I'm a landlord. I've had 5 good tenants (who got their entire deposit back + interest) and one horrible tenant who did thousands of dollars worth of damage - large holes in carpet, dog pee everywhere (no pets allowed in the lease), smashed glass stovetop, splash stains on the ceiling and grime on all walls, roach infestation, etc. I was only allowed to retain $1100 from their security deposit and gave back the remainder with interest per our strict landlord-tenant laws.

In my county all of the laws are pro-tenant. Landlords must pay 3x the security deposit if they don't give back the deposit correctly and with interest.

If security deposits were no longer allowed, I would definitely screen harder and charge more in rent.

JLee

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2019, 08:58:12 AM »
I think, at least in the US and Canada, that we will see more and more of this sort of stuff, simply because RE prices (and rents) have outpaced wage growth, and people are generally pissed about it/pissed about everything.

It's one of the reasons I think you need an "oh shit" set-aside for any rental/should take the 50% rule seriously.

-W

I'd like to see some of this blowback hit my area - it's standard practice to have to pay a "broker's fee" of one month's rent for a rental listing, in addition to the first month + security.  A $2500 rental will be ~$7500 to move in, and 1/3 of that is gone forever.

Villanelle

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2019, 09:15:16 AM »
I think, at least in the US and Canada, that we will see more and more of this sort of stuff, simply because RE prices (and rents) have outpaced wage growth, and people are generally pissed about it/pissed about everything.

It's one of the reasons I think you need an "oh shit" set-aside for any rental/should take the 50% rule seriously.

-W

I'd like to see some of this blowback hit my area - it's standard practice to have to pay a "broker's fee" of one month's rent for a rental listing, in addition to the first month + security.  A $2500 rental will be ~$7500 to move in, and 1/3 of that is gone forever.

Interesting.  In my area, the landlord pays any broker's fee.  It's common here to use an agent to find a place (as a renter) and even that service is "free" to the tenant.  I put 'free' in quotes because one could argue that the fee is passed along though higher rents.  But it's not money that they have to come up with as a lump sum.   

On the other hand, we we moved in to our place in Japan, we had to come up with about $10,000 in cash.  I can't recall all the details, but it was intense.  Thankfully, we had been warned and were prepared.  That was 1st month, deposit, key money (which I was told is like a gift to the landlord) and perhaps more (it's been a while). 

Jon Bon

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2019, 11:07:22 AM »
I'd like to see some of this blowback hit my area - it's standard practice to have to pay a "broker's fee" of one month's rent for a rental listing, in addition to the first month + security.  A $2500 rental will be ~$7500 to move in, and 1/3 of that is gone forever.

Yes this practice is in fact bullshit.

Does that money go to the actual landlord in any way (kickback?). Or is it just another way that real estate agents/brokers/leaches being scumbags?

I have only heard of this practice in major cities. It is just a result of not enough housing. There has to be a middle ground in terms of getting things built. Not every building needs to be 747 proof and have to bribe all the proper officials to get built.





PoutineLover

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2019, 11:29:58 AM »
My province doesn't allow security deposits and landlords can't ask for more than the first month of rent when you sign the lease. For tenants, it's good because it doesn't cost a whole lot to move, and landlords can't take advantage of you and keep the deposit when you leave. The downside is that there's no incentive for landlords to maintain their apartments all that well, especially combined with strict rent control. Previous tenants can move out and leave a whole bunch of junk and grime and there's nothing that I can do about it as a new tenant. Technically they are supposed to deliver the apartment in good condition, but with moving day on July 1, there's so much competition for moving trucks and so on that I would usually accept to move in early with no cleaning just so that I could get my stuff there. There's also no clear definition of "good condition" and it's such a hassle to try to fight for it with our rental board that I would never even bother for something that.
I've also never caused any damage that would have required a deposit, but I've had some shady landlords that probably would have tried to keep it if they could. There's no perfect system, but as a tenant I'm glad to live in a place without security deposits.

JLee

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2019, 12:20:21 PM »
I'd like to see some of this blowback hit my area - it's standard practice to have to pay a "broker's fee" of one month's rent for a rental listing, in addition to the first month + security.  A $2500 rental will be ~$7500 to move in, and 1/3 of that is gone forever.

Yes this practice is in fact bullshit.

Does that money go to the actual landlord in any way (kickback?). Or is it just another way that real estate agents/brokers/leaches being scumbags?

I have only heard of this practice in major cities. It is just a result of not enough housing. There has to be a middle ground in terms of getting things built. Not every building needs to be 747 proof and have to bribe all the proper officials to get built.

Bingo.

Samuel

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2019, 01:34:53 PM »
This would likely cause me to consider just selling my rental (and assuming that many landlords do this, it drives up rental prices even more) or increasing rent because I would need more profit to hedge against the likelihood of damages.  And I would absolutely institute more strict income (or asset) requirements, so that if it came to me having to sue, I would have a greater chance of collection.  And that's *if* I decided to keep landlording at all.

I think this is a bit like limits to rent increases.  Rent control sounds tenant-friendly but in the end it does the opposite of making housing easier and more affordable for renters. 

Here in Seattle the city council is beginning to look at outlawing all evictions between November and March, no matter the reason. 
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/no-winter-evictions-in-seattle-city-councilmember-kshama-sawant-to-propose-ban/

This comes less than a month after courts upheld a different law that requires landlords to take the first applicants that meet their posted criteria for tenants in order to avoid "implicit bias" in deciding who to rent to.

There is also a recent law capping all deposit and move in fees at 1 month's rent (not including pet deposits, which are capped at 1/4 of monthly rent) and requiring landlords to accept this in installments over 6 months.

The only reason we don't have rent control is because current state law forbids it.


Being a landlord here is getting riskier and riskier, which means landlords are seriously tightening requirements, raising rents, and getting out of the cheaper end of the rental market. Which only hurts the low income, dinged credit, but decent tenants these laws are trying to help.

I would not be a landlord here, which also means I'm reconsidering buying since I would like the option to rent it out down the line.

Neo

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2019, 01:48:03 PM »
Holy crap that is terrifying. Banning evictions for any reason!? Why would anyone be a landlord there? I guess we are just supposed to save up our money to buy properties and then just hand them over to anyone with zero protections for ourselves. What a joke.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #25 on: December 09, 2019, 01:52:32 PM »
It's completely fucked. In my state rental bidding is about to be outlawed so we can't even set a rental range, and if you as a tenant want to pay a bit more in order to secure a good tenancy, you won't be allowed to. Join the crapshoot!

FIFoFum

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2019, 02:26:56 PM »
Tenant/Landlord laws and rights are extremely varied across jurisdictions.

Seattle has powerful landlord lobbying groups and, historically, very poor tenants rights. It takes less than 30 days to evict a tenant in Seattle. Many evictions are for less than one month's rent owed. In many cases, tenants who do receive subsidized housing (paid for by government, not the landlord) get hit with late fees that are grossly disproportionate to the amount actually owed to the landlord. Landlords are allowed to shift the attorneys' fees to tenants as well.

Due to the lack of affordable housing in Seattle (mostly due to zoning/NIMBY stuff) and the dramatic rise of rents, landlords have every incentive to evict tenants as fast as possible the moment they can plausibly claim "just cause" so they can raise rates on the next tenant. The laws here largely allow them to do so.

I don't know that anyone thinks there actually would be sufficient support to pass a "no evictions" ordinance in the city of Seattle. But it sure is attention getting at what that "crazy Socialist" Kshama Sawant will propose!

It's easy to look at your own jurisdiction and make judgments about how terrible a specific policy would be when you live in another country and thousands of miles (or kilometers) away.

Samuel

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2019, 11:53:48 AM »
Tenant/Landlord laws and rights are extremely varied across jurisdictions.

Seattle has powerful landlord lobbying groups and, historically, very poor tenants rights. It takes less than 30 days to evict a tenant in Seattle. Many evictions are for less than one month's rent owed. In many cases, tenants who do receive subsidized housing (paid for by government, not the landlord) get hit with late fees that are grossly disproportionate to the amount actually owed to the landlord. Landlords are allowed to shift the attorneys' fees to tenants as well.

Due to the lack of affordable housing in Seattle (mostly due to zoning/NIMBY stuff) and the dramatic rise of rents, landlords have every incentive to evict tenants as fast as possible the moment they can plausibly claim "just cause" so they can raise rates on the next tenant. The laws here largely allow them to do so.

I don't know that anyone thinks there actually would be sufficient support to pass a "no evictions" ordinance in the city of Seattle. But it sure is attention getting at what that "crazy Socialist" Kshama Sawant will propose!

It's easy to look at your own jurisdiction and make judgments about how terrible a specific policy would be when you live in another country and thousands of miles (or kilometers) away.

Who knows if it would pass now, but it's not just Sawant. In that article I linked the Counsel President is quoted in support (but concerned about it's legality):

Were Seattle to adopt Sawant’s legislation, the city would likely be sued, Council President Bruce Harrell said Monday, suggesting the proposal could prove “somewhat problematic” on legal grounds.
Harrell described the proposal as “a great policy,” saying, “We don’t want people evicted during the cold months.” But he said the council may want to investigate what money the city has allocated to help tenants avoid wintertime evictions.


If evictions can be completed too quickly then they should address that, not push this feel good BS. I've lived in cheap apartments (in Seattle) most of my adult life and had a few truly terrible neighbors, some of whom were evicted for noise problems, damaging the property, theft, drug activity, etc. Do they honestly think that landlords and other tenants should have to put up with that stuff for 5+ months before they can do anything about it because it's cold outside? Landlords and other tenants will suffer, while the ne'er-d-well's play. They should focus on strengthening the financial assistance programs already in place for decent tenants who are having money problems rather than throw out these crazy schemes.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2019, 11:56:51 AM by Samuel »

Wrenchturner

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Re: My city is considering legislation to get rid of security deposits
« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2019, 01:20:35 PM »
I think we have laws like this in Canada preventing wintertime evictions.  But again, smaller disputes are resolved through a government run board.