July 28, 2014

Elyria
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Elyria rental registry remains in debate stages

ELYRIA — City Council remains indecisive in implementing a rental registration and inspection program despite Mayor Holly Brinda backing the idea and some residents pleading for its creation.

The conversation is further muddied by landlords and property owners, who feel as if they are being targeted and labeled as slumlords as the city looks to shift the blame for the plummeting value of its housing stock. Another two-hour meeting was held Monday and opponents and proponents debated starting a registry.

The topic will be picked up in two weeks, which should give Council members time to consider the option of separating the registration portion of the program, said Councilman Tom Callahan, D-at large and chairman of the Community Development Committee.

“I think the only thing that was determined was we need more information,” he said.

It appears landlords and city officials alike have no qualms about the registration component, which would allow safety and health officials to know who owns a home in the case of an emergency. But allowing city inspectors to go into the private dwellings with a checklist in search of violations is another story.

A mother of two teenage children who moved to Elyria less than a year ago strongly urged Council members to pass a program that would include an interior inspection. Had it been in place when she was looking for a home, she said it may have caught problems she found after signing a lease.

“I though this was going to be a great place to raise my kids,” Christina Hoffman said of her home on Furnace Street.

But she said she spent several days without heat after the furnace went out. When repeated calls to her landlord went nowhere, Hoffman said she turned to Kevin Brubaker, senior manager in Building Department for help. Brubaker even gave her a space heater to use when temperatures dipped into the single digits. He was able to cite the owner for a property violation and get the heat back on.

“I signed a lease on Dec. 2, but didn’t move in for three weeks because the furnace wasn’t working, so when I made a call, it was not something no one knew about,” Hoffman said.

She was shaking and near tears as she spoke, telling Council members that she feared repercussions for speaking out.

Hoffman plans to use a protection program through the Elyria Municipal Court in which rent will go into an escrow account until additional repairs are made.

“We need to do something,” said Councilwoman Donna Mitchell, D-6th Ward. “I’m just not sure what that something is. The bad landlords are not sitting in this room, so they are not helping us make this decision.”

However, City Council President Mike Lotko, D-at large, said Hoffman’s story is more indicative of a program that is working. When Hoffman complained, the city’s Building Department did its job, he said.

“Compliant-driven is working,” he said.

According to Brubaker, the city has handled 503 valid complaints from tenant-occupied homes since April 2012. Fewer than 10 percent went to the level of prosecution, something Brubaker attributes to inspectors.

“The inspectors we have out there are doing the work,” he sad. “But I also think there are a lot of things we don’t know about. We don’t find them until after the fact, and it’s our belief we can change that with proactive inspections.”

Paul Drury, a resident and local Realtor, warned Council that a bureaucracy-laden inspection program would drive investors away.

“The Elyria real estate market rebounded after Lorain implemented their point-of-sale inspections,” he said of the new regulation that calls for code violations to be dealt with before properties can transfer.

“Now is not the time to create barriers to investment capital coming into this community,” he said to the applause of property owners.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.

  • SniperFire

    ‘ELYRIA — City Council remains indecisive in implementing a rental registration and inspection program despite Mayor Holly Brinda backing the idea and some residents pleading for its creation.’

    Bias much, Lisa?

  • Sis Delish

    Here’s another Greatest Hit: “as the city looks to shift the blame for the plummeting value of its housing stock.”

    Shift the blame from/to whom?

    Here’s a note for the City Suggestion Box:
    Residential Rental Repair Act of 2014–A.K.A.: You Break it, You Fix It!
    The only inspection is between Landlord and the Renter(s). If it works when you move in, and it breaks while you live there, You get the pleasure of bringing the defect back to 100%.

    This one modification to Lease Documents might just result in better, more valuable Rental Housing Stock and, perhaps even more affordable Rental Rates.

    A modest Insurance Policy could be underwritten by the City to handle those fixes called for in the Residential Rental Repair Act of 2014 and it would be up to the City to keep those premiums low. This modest insurance product would be similar to a Home Warranty Plan available to home owners transferring property between Buyer and Seller.

    Capice?

    • stop ur whining part deux

      One of the reason an individual rents is so they are not responsible for items that go bad. Like a furnace, a hot water heater, a stove and lighting fixtures. These things tend to wear out, especially in older homes.

      Any damages that are incurred by the tenant are paid for out of the security deposit when the tenant moves out. Pretty standard.

      Part of owning properties is maintaining them. I have three rentals and have zero problem with What Brinda is suggesting. It is smart. It is just a way to ensure that your property is in good livable condition and will aid in arguments over damages that can aid me, the owner.

      • Sis Delish

        “is so they are not responsible for items that go bad.”

        Sounds like a good definition of a Democrat, never taking responsibility for when things go bad and wanting everything paid for by another.

        • stop ur whining part deux

          For starters i am not dumb enough to tie myself to any political affiliation. If you think that republicans or democrats care one iota about anything other then lining their own pockets you are beyond saving. It is not red vs. blue it is us vs. them. The political infighting is merely misdirection. Just a way to keep the sheep, like yourself, ignorant.

          Secondly, when a tenant moves out do they take the fridge, stove, furnace and water heater? Of course they don’t. As a renter you should be, and are held responsible for items you destroy. You should not be held responsible for items that you do not own that go bad after years of use.

          • Oneday67

            “Secondly, when a tenant moves out do they take the fridge, stove, furnace and water heater?”

            It has become a new trend for some of the “slum” tenants to take the fridge and stove. You will see more and more owners not supplying those items in the near future(fridge and stove)

          • stop ur whining part deux

            For starters you need to supply proof to the statement that it is a new trend to take those items. Without concrete fact it is merely your opinion. Furthermore I have had rental properties for 10 years and i have never had any major appliance taken. So given your lack of proof and my personal experience in this field I am going to have to say that is B.S.

            Secondly, if they do take those items they are deducted form the security deposit. If the property taken totals more than the deposit you then file a civil suit against the former tenant.

          • Oneday67

            I’ll just say my information comes from people who own more than 3 properties.

          • stop ur whining part deux

            Then it is not concrete proof and therefor B.S. Again been renting to all walks of life for 10 years. My tenants have ranged from strippers, to drug dealers, and once a felon.

            If this is true, and the “people you know” had this happen then they know that you deduct it from the deposit and go to small claims court for the rest. It is really cut and dry and there does not need to be any rule changes.

            I, as an owner and landlord have no problem if Mayor Brinda’s plan is made a reality. It can only help the landlord. To suggest that it hurts the owner is foolish.

          • Oneday67

            You must supply junk for appliances if you’re strippers, drug dealers and felon’s $500 deposit will cover the stove and fridge. And good luck getting a dime out of any one of them when you take them to small claims. I hate to break it to you rookie but strippers and drug dealers don’t declare their income. 3 rental units, 10 years, tenants are strippers, drug dealers and felons is not much to brag about. You may want to keep that to yourself. Smh

          • stop ur whining part deux

            I purchase the cheapest appliances I can, as do almost every landlord i know. But cheap stoves and fridges do not mean they are junk. They work fine, look good. That is all that matters.

            As for my tenants…as long as the rent check doesn’t bounce and my property is not destroyed I couldn’t care less their occupation. I was merely proving a point btw. That I have rented to some people that turned out to be shady characters and still have never had any appliances stolen.

            You can say what you want but i have an extra 4k a month coming in. I keep my properties clean and up to code and have a great life. You shaking your head matters none seeing as i make more than you, am diversified and want for nothing. Im smh all the way to the bank hahahaha. loser…..

          • Oneday67

            Yeah sure you do….. and Obozo is the best president we ever had. Hey everybody, Whining part deux rents 3 units to strippers, drug dealers, and felons for over $1300 per month per unit. Any person who tries to brag about any money they make can’t be taken serouisly. All BS. Again, SMH

          • stop ur whining part deux

            What does Obama have to do with anything? What a moronic statement.

            …and it is six rentals in three duplexes. So lets do the math dunderhead. 6 units at $650 per unit totals $3900 per month. Again, i couldnt care less what you think about me. I work hard and make money and ask for no hand outs from anyone.

            SO you keep living hand to mouth and scraping by. Do not worry about me. I am doing just fine and will continue too. Best of luck, you will need it.

          • Sis Delish

            How much do you Net, after legal fees and renovation costs, Einstein?

          • stop ur whining part deux

            Actually the better question is how much do the motrgages set me back. I currently profit about 1000 per month. One unit is paid off, the other two i am knocking down the interest so they are paid off in hopefully under ten years. AS soon as the last two are paid off I am buying more.

          • Oneday67

            Don’t for the $7.50 you get a month from the strippers, drug dealers and felons you sued over the last 10 years.

          • Oneday67

            Ohhh I see, now you’re changing the story. Typical moonbat stategy when they are called out. Don’t worry I won’t be giving you any more helpful information, rookie

          • stop ur whining part deux

            How have i changed my story? As for your help…hahaha. I am doing just fine. Not too mention my guess is when it comes to business your advice would serve as a hindrance

          • Starryeyes63

            she did say 3 units before………..

          • Starryeyes63

            3 units and an extra 4K a month rent $1300.00+ a month???

          • John Peshek

            I owned rental properties and every time I provided appliances the tenants took them when they left

          • stop ur whining part deux

            Then i feel for you and you need to find a better class of renter and yes a civil suit. I currently am being reimbursed via wage garnishment for excess damage done to my rentals.

          • John Peshek

            Civil suit?? Hah.

          • Starryeyes63

            My stripped the house of appliance including washer/ dryer

          • stop ur whining part deux

            Then you need to take them to court. You also need to choose whom you rent to a little better. If you can not find a better tenant I suggest making improvements to get a high class tenant or sell it.

            Either way, you should have known what you were getting yourself into.

            I also see zero reason why Brinda’s proposal would harm any landlord.

          • Starryeyes63

            A the disappeared in the wind I did sue. B it was the son of an ex friend, thought for sure I could trust. C My kids now live in the house. Rent is free so I guess I am no longer a landlord and this law will not affect me.

          • Sis Delish

            I only commented on a character flaw seen in Democrats and their entitlement crowd who never take responsibility for improving their lot in life, but prefer to have others do it for them…

            Read others posts here about the Real World of attempting to be a gracious landlord, only to be ripped off.

            I made a thoughtful suggestion for the City to contemplate based upon solid economics and available insurance products which would protect all interests for a nominal cost structure that just might be an answer to the decline in the value of Elyria’s Housing Stock.

            You decided to defend the status quo.

          • stop ur whining part deux

            No sir, it is personal responsibility. I knew exactly what i was getting into when i purchased rental units. I fully comprehended the risk that was involved. I do not care what the rest of the world does. I worry about what i can control.

            AS for your political views. In my opinion, it is the dumbest thing you could do to believe that one party is the answer and the other is to blame for all our issues. If you think anyone in Washington cares about anyone other then themselves I do not know what to tell you.

          • Sis Delish

            I don’t recall endorsing any Political Party in this argument…rather, I merely point out the obvious. Democrats/Liberals/Socialists want YOU to give up YOUR Earnings/Assets/Properties to support THEM.

            I also provided a comprehensive proposal for which you have not offered a compromise. I therefore believe you agree with it.

          • stop ur whining part deux

            Believe it or not you are endorsing a party by that statement. You are biased to democrats. That is your right, but you should really accept it.

          • Sis Delish

            Believe it or not, the Democrats have been running things for decades in your town… yet, they wish to push the blame elsewhere, according to this story.

          • stop ur whining part deux

            pointless comment.

          • Sis Delish

            Direct Quote from the Article: “The conversation is further muddied by landlords and property owners, who feel as if they are being targeted and labeled as slumlords as the city looks to shift the blame for the plummeting value of its housing stock.”

            The city (democrats) looks to shift the blame for the plummeting value of ITS housing stock.

            Point On.

          • stop ur whining part deux

            not really. City officials are not shifting a blame anywhere other than where it should fall in the first place. It is up to the OWNER of a property to maintain it. There is nothing new about that.

          • Sis Delish

            The Story says: “… plummeting value of ITS housing stock…”

            ITS Housing Stock?? Plummeting Values?? Who’s responsible, if the City “looks to shift the blame”??

          • stop ur whining part deux

            The error is believing that it is 100% the city’s fault that housing has plummeted. Stroll down the streets off middle ave. Most are rentals, most are kept in deplorable shape. When entire blocks look like garbage it effects the housing market greatly.

            Now is that they only reason? Of course not. But it is a big part. Furthermore it is not just democrats fault. You can spread blame around plenty.

      • Starryeyes63

        And if you have tenants do $15,000+ in damages and then avoid all court dates and skirt the process server till time runs out it is out on YOUR pocket.

        • Oneday67

          She must rent to the clean and honest strippers and drug dealers. She inherited a few rentals and read Landlording for Idiots. She knows it all don’t waste your time

          • Starryeyes63

            Actually it was the son of an ex ” Friend”……….

          • stop ur whining part deux

            I actually purchased them, I have never asked for nothing. And please explain to me exactly what you own?

        • stop ur whining part deux

          And that is a risk you run when you decide to rent. If you do not want to take the risk, do not become a landlord.

          AS for someone racking up 15k worth of damage and skirting out. It is called a civil suit and ends in wage garnishment.

          • Bonnie Pickett

            Lots of luck getting a judgement. It’ up to the owner to find where people moved so they can be served and where they work in order to have wages garnished. I have had several people evicted over the years and never received one penny of damages or rent. I have even tried following a former tenant in hopes of finding where they moved. It isn’t worth paying court costs to bring an action against them if you never recover any money.

          • stop ur whining part deux

            You are speaking like i have never had to do such a thing. Yes it is a pain. Yes it takes a while to recoup but in the end that is a risk one should understand when becoming a landlord.

            I have taken three former tenants to court and am ruining their lives one paycheck at a time. AS for not being worth the costs…do you have any idea how much it costs to file? Furthermore, when you do win judgment those costs are added to the debt incurred…meaning it costs me nothing but time.

          • Starryeyes63

            Not when they skirt the process server for six months. and they did. The moved to Warren area, I found them several times. My insurance Company went after them all to no avail if you are dishonest and want to hide you will.

          • stop ur whining part deux

            Look I am not saying it is not difficult. I have been thru it 3 times and the last one took me a year. I am currently ruining 3 lives a paycheck at a time until the debt is paid off.

            I did however expect things like this to happen when i began purchasing rentals. It sucks, I will not dispute that one bit. But what does not suck is the almost 4k a month coming in. Im sure you like the extra income too, or you would not be renting. You have to take the good with the bad.

  • Larry

    Seems the only ones against this are those landlords that do not want to take care of their property. If you have good rentals, than you take care of them. The only ones hiding are the actual “Slum Lords”

    • SniperFire

      There is no pushback from the Section 8ers, that’s for sure.

      Wonder why?

  • SniperFire

    This is a good example of the media trying to make the news instead of just reporting it. Meanwhile, they ignore the real news of the day which matters.

  • GreatRedeemer

    The next thing you know just like Lorain, Elyria will be
    hiring more inspectors with fat salaries, lucrative benefits and pensions.
    Shortly after the courts will be complaining of all the violations in housing
    court.

  • SniperFire

    ‘A mother of two teenage children who moved to Elyria less than a year ago strongly urged Council members to pass a program ‘

    Section 8er, by chance?

    • Christina Rose

      NO I AM NOT ON ANY HOUSING ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS AND I BROUGHT ALL MY OWN APPLIANCES AND I PAY MY RENT AND BILLS MYSELF THANK YOU!!!!!!!

    • Christina Rose

      And if you had attended the meeting, you’d know that!!