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Is the landlord petition honest?

How to read the landlords' proposed charter amendment.

Anybody who's been involved in College Park for a few years knows what the landlord organization wants to do with this initiative petition.  The City Council has called that .  Is that just politics, or do they have a point?

To be fair, I have decided to write down, as neutrally as I can, the language of an honest referendum petition that would do what the landlords want to do.  Read it, and then decide for yourself whether you understood the petition would do that.  A plain English statement of what they are trying to do would read as follows:

"It shall be unlawful for the City to require annual inspections of residential rental property for violations of health and safety codes.  

It shall be unlawful for the City to charge property owners for such inspections.  

It shall be unlawful for the City to make the collection of rents conditional on compliance with health and safety codes.  

It shall be unlawful for the City to regulate residential rents."

The City's health and safety inspection regime applies to rental units, not to owner-occupied, and this qualifies as "discrimination by economic status," which the landlord organization wants to prohibit.  The City is not about to start inspecting owner-occupied units.  If you signed the petition, did you understand that you were supporting an end to inspection of rentals?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Pamela Torro May 13, 2011 at 02:14 AM
Oh yeah. Because our house values are going to DOUBLE in one year. We pay less, but in NO way is it EVER DOUBLE. You pay more yes... but not double. No all landlords do not need to sell. And it's fine for you to use the Patch as your platform for landlords rights in our city since you have no real say.
Pamela Torro May 13, 2011 at 02:15 AM
Plus Roy, please explain how the city taking personal attacks on landlords will cause your property to be undervalued?
Jon Gulbuny May 13, 2011 at 02:17 AM
Pete(r) I can debete this with you above your 3rd grade personal attacks. Just tell me this: 1. How did I misrepresent the facts? 2. How do you know I'm making a profit - especially after this rent control law? And if I was why is that bad? 3. Does every other business have laws capping the amount they can charge their customers? YES OR NO??? 4. Your argument about personal responsiblity proves my point. You say when you dont install smoke detectors in your house and it burns down and kills your kids its on you. But if I was a landlord then I should be treated to a different standard and should be held personally (which I would be), criminally (which I would be) responsible/negligent. So why shouldn't you be negligent you asshole for not installing smoke detectors to save your kids?? 5. If you truly had Lasik surgery...blah...blah...blah...I am the one who is personally attacking you. Um, shouldn't you be asking yourself about your fact and fantasy world? So you are admitting to a split personality and then saying that I have a difficultly navigating between fact and fantasy while not coming across as an absolute d-wad?? Huh? Too bad you can't use your real name so that you can be embarrassed tomorrow when you re-read what you actually say!
Roy Harold Scherer May 13, 2011 at 02:21 AM
Pam/Pete it just seems like you are unhappy with landlords. Maybe you have justification. Maybe not. Thats not for me to decide. But instead of taking personal shots against John maybe you should refute what he says using facts instead of just calling him names. Thats all I want to add
Peter May 13, 2011 at 02:24 AM
This is my real name actually...I accidentally posted under my fiancee's account. Sorry for the confusion. If you had above a 3rd grade education, you would be able to tell the difference between our posts...she's calling you out with facts and truths while I'm just more or less saying you're a jerk.
Jon Gulbuny May 13, 2011 at 02:25 AM
Thank you Roy. At least someone else in the city can have a rational discussion. I'm glad that not everyone in the city is as shallow and jealous as some of the people that have commented today.
Jon Gulbuny May 13, 2011 at 02:34 AM
Actually she hasn't had any facts or truths as in apparent by our discussion (read above) You are calling me a jerk only because your fiancee is getting railed (literally) by facts and can't defend herself so you came to her rescue. Very noble sir for trying to defend her honor.
BGC6 May 13, 2011 at 02:36 AM
Pete gots pwned!! ROTATE!
Jon Gulbuny May 13, 2011 at 02:44 AM
Finally...if the goal of the inspections is to keep people safe lets keep all citzens safe. Dont be narrow minded and say you are concerned for the safety of your neighbors if you only want some of them to be safe using inspections. Some of you must be logical and understand the a/b conversation. And btw, I'm 100% for inspections for my rental property...why would any citizen not want that inspection to keep them safer? hmmm
Pamela Torro May 13, 2011 at 02:45 AM
Nope, not unhappy with landlords and if you read all the comments you would see that and you would also see my facts. I took no personal attacks until they were taken against me. Continuing to chastise me for personal attacks when you do not do the same for Jon clearly means you are not on the fence.
Pamela Torro May 13, 2011 at 02:48 AM
"Actually she hasn't had any facts or truths as in apparent by our discussion (read above) You are calling me a jerk only because your fiancee is getting railed (literally) by facts and can't defend herself so you came to her rescue. Very noble sir for trying to defend her honor." Wow - Jon. I have had plenty of facts. You just don't want to admit them. You will NEVER pay double the taxes of residents. NEVER. Re-read the act. Also, YOU GET THAT CREDIT ALREADY AT YOUR HOME. Why do you deserve it twice? As for getting railed? No sir, that is you. You are just too naive to admit it. You cannot understand that there are laws and that you must abide by them. I can defend myself fine. He just hates assholes.
Pamela Torro May 13, 2011 at 02:50 AM
Talk about someone who can't post under their own name. Is this you Jon after too much cognac? WTF does pwned even mean? What are we rotating on? The Earth? Nice one.
Pamela Torro May 13, 2011 at 02:52 AM
FACT: Pamela Torro 3:20pm on Thursday, May 12, 2011 Jon - please explain to us non landlords how you are paying DOUBLE taxes? That claim seems outrageous and in fact a fabrication. The only difference in taxes on our properties is that you DO NOT get the MD HOMESTEAD CREDIT on your income properties. BUT - you do (or should) receive this on your primary residence. That sir, is a MD law, not a CP law. That is a fair law laid out by the state granting homeowners who live in their primary residence a break on property taxes as THEY are the ones paying their monthly mortgage, not RENTERS. Aside from the tax issue, I found 3 more charges landlords have to pay the city and they seem paltry. $235 (for a single family home) yearly for a Residential Occupancy Permit, $30 for a Rent Stabilization Registration Fee and $180 for trash pick up. Just a note that these inspections that you claim you are charged for are FREE provided it is available at a scheduled time (a $50 fee is charged if you break the appointment). So if you are claiming that an extra $445 a year prevents you from making a profit (or at least earning equity without money from your pocket), then you sir are a bad business man.
Jon Gulbuny May 13, 2011 at 02:55 AM
I dont want to call you any names but its getting old trying to explain to you how this works... "Wow - Jon. I have had plenty of facts. You just don't want to admit them. You will NEVER pay double the taxes of residents. NEVER. Re-read the act. Also, YOU GET THAT CREDIT ALREADY AT YOUR HOME. Why do you deserve it twice?" TAX. NOT CREDIT. Again its hard to explain to someone who gets money from the gov instead of giving it. If my property tax in 2005 is $2k and then in 2006 it is $4k that is called "doubling" Right? That happens because assessments increase and non-primary homeowners pay 100% of that increase. YOU DONT. So yes I pay DOUBLE. I dont know how many times I have to explain this to someone that probably doesnt even own a home. Its interesting that you say "You cannot understand that there are laws and that you must abide by them" Can you tell me ANY law that I have broken? Nope. Go read all my posts and you will see that I will abide by all laws. So why would you continue to make up your own facts (perhaps you have no real argument except you are mad at landlords??) "I can defend myself fine. He just hates assholes" Why am I an asshole? Cause I dont attack you personally and try to have a rational discussion?
Richard in College Park May 13, 2011 at 05:25 AM
The poll was in 1990 and the percent agreeing was 93%, but more important: College Park knew what it was doing when it adopted rent control. The purpose was NOT to increase the number of single-family homes available for rent, but rather to limit the conversion of single-family homes from owner occupancy to tenant occupancy. This was necessary after the neighborhood closest to the University became 90% tenant-occupied. High-rise apartments are not rent-controlled, because the City wanted to increase the availability of high-rise apartments for students. There was no nefarious conspiracy between developers and Council members. The Council just acted intelligently to steer housing investment away from buying up neighborhood homes and toward new development along Route 1. And remember, the rent control law protects all rents that were being charged when rent control took effect, and allows them to rise with inflation. The law did not try to roll back conversions from owner occupancy to tenant occupancy; it just tried to limit further conversion. Anyone who bought a house after the law went into effect, and then converted it to a rental, can't complain about being forced to take low rents, because the law was on the books and was well known among real estate agents and investors.
Pamela Torro May 13, 2011 at 01:26 PM
You have attacked personally plenty of times. In fact it was your comment about class envy that opened this discussion up to attacks. Please go back and re-read. (third grade education, shallow, jealous). Also, it is a TAX CREDIT. Yes, a credit. Which you receive on your primary residence. (if you have one). You will NEVER pay double the tax % that an owner resident pays. That is a FACT. Home assessments will NEVER double in one year so you will NEVER pay double taxes. A resident owners tax is capped at a 10% increase in assessment. So if assessments go up 13% you would be paying taxes on 3% more. It's not that large of a difference if assessment are kept in check. As for the "asshole" thing. I was just taking your word and throwing it back on you "So why shouldn't you be negligent you asshole for not installing smoke detectors to save your kids?? "
Pamela Torro May 13, 2011 at 01:27 PM
And with that I am done. If you still want to claim double, we can agree to disagree. If you still want to blame all person attacks on me and not take credit for yours, we can agree to disagree. Have a nice day Mr. Gulbuny.
Pamela Torro May 13, 2011 at 08:32 PM
Richard in College Park - you make a great point. Rent control was enacted in the city in 2005. That was over a year before the market crashed. Anyone who wanted out of this law had ample opportunity to do do.
Rick Hudson May 13, 2011 at 08:56 PM
WOW!!! Jon that is a super current poll that was done... late seventies or wait... 1990!!! We should all make decisions on opinions given when information that was gathered somewhere between when Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush was in office!!! Way to stay current on a topic.
Jon Gulbuny May 13, 2011 at 10:53 PM
"WOW!!! Jon that is a super current poll that was done... late seventies or wait... 1990!!! We should all make decisions on opinions given when information that was gathered somewhere between when Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush was in office!!! Way to stay current on a topic." OMG Rick you are so right. Thing have changed so much that not all of the economist have changed their positions! Its effing amazing! Good point - I would have never thought of polling recent people. (I can provide about 10 sources within the last 2 years saying the same thing) didn't want to embarasse you though
Rick Hudson May 13, 2011 at 11:24 PM
Then why didn't you.
Jon Gulbuny May 13, 2011 at 11:28 PM
Rick, how about you do the work. Show me 1 economist or perhaps ANYONE who thinks rent control will do good for the city. I bet you wont cause you dont care - you only care about hating on the landlords. Instead of being logical and trying to find out why you hate them you just go down that road of illogical bs. So eff you and good luck.
Rick Hudson May 13, 2011 at 11:34 PM
Jon, I will pray for you.
Pamela Torro May 14, 2011 at 12:44 AM
Wait, but are they Swedish too?
Pamela Torro May 14, 2011 at 12:48 AM
amen.
Jon Gulbuny May 14, 2011 at 12:49 AM
Rick, your lack of logic shows. You should pay to some god that will help you.
Rick Hudson May 14, 2011 at 01:28 AM
Jon, if you had the sense that God gave a Billy goat you would realize that was my way of saying I will not reduce my self to all but cursing at you. That is inappropriate, juvenille and, as you like to point out, illogical. I have said nothing warranted an" eff you" comment you directed at me above.. You have spread venom all over this web site at multiple people. All that being said, Jon I forgive you for your hateful unkind words.
Pamela Torro May 14, 2011 at 01:41 AM
Jon- "You should pay to some god that will help you." What God are you paying to help you?
Rick Hudson May 14, 2011 at 01:48 AM
Pam, that is very generous advice you gave Jon. How kind of you to point him in the direction of a much coveted tax deduction!!!
Clarissa Balmaseda May 23, 2011 at 08:23 PM
CB I was recently relocated out of state for another job. I decided to rent my house knowing that I may have to return to College Park in two to three years. As an owner/landlord, I don't mind that I have to abide by the city's required annual inspections. I think this prevents having slumlords in College Park. I initially had a concern renting out to students for fear of my property becoming a frat house. But when I finally found four good grad students, they told me that the reason they wanted to rent my house was the fact that it was clean and in good condition. The other houses they looked at for rent in the College Park area was in horrible condition. I've since inspected my home and found that the house was still in good condition. Why? - because the tenants knew that they had a landlord that took care of the property and knew that inspectors would come in to do an annual inspection - therefore, they wanted to make sure that the house was kept in good and a safe living environment. Maybe I'm just lucky, but there's a reason for these regulations. Besides, I can write off theses costs on my rental expenses. So whoever was part of this petition, get over it and deal with it.

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