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ConstantChange 10-18-2009 07:33 PM

Do renters ruin a neighborhood?
About a year ago my neighbors directly East of me had to relocate to Florida because he's in the military. They tried to sale the house for a few months, but ended up leasing it.

The previous leasing tenets moved out earlier today and the new ones have already started to move in. Based on the way they just threw all their crap in the back of a truck, unload it, and come back 10 minutes later with another load of crap. It's obvious they don't spend much time taking care of their stuff.

Based on what I've seen in the neighborhood in which I grew up and what I'm starting to see in the neighborhood I live now....I really do think rental property is a sign the neighborhood is going through a paradigm shift and it's lost some of its appeal.

This isn't a "I hate renters" thread. I'm really interested what you guys think about the character and value of a neighborhood once it starts having rental properties.

concretemasonry 10-18-2009 09:29 PM

The people owning the property are also responsible. They should require deposits and a checks to preserve theit investment.


zpm 10-18-2009 10:12 PM

Neighborhoods with lots of rentals are less desirable.

It usually has less to do with renters themselves and more to do with the landlords. If they rent to "anybody" and don't monitor and maintain their property, then YOUR property value goes down. Since the real estate market sucks right now, some people will have to rent their property until the market recovers then sell. Smart people don't want to be landlords. Tenants have all the rights, and bad tenants can cause thousands of dollars of damage that the deposit can't cover.

If possible, keep in touch with your former neighbors and let them know what's going on with their property. I've heard some horror stories about property management companies just collecting the rent and not managing anything.

cdat 10-19-2009 12:04 PM

Welcomes to the ghetto. Yes, I'd be worried when renters move in. They have no stake in the neighborhood.

hyunelan2 10-19-2009 12:16 PM

From my personal experience (limited), yes.

In my last neighborhood, we purchased a new townhome in 2004. It was complete and we were the 2nd ones on the block to move-in in 2005. Our block was a horseshoe shaped cul-de-sac off of another street. Throughout that first year when more buildings went up, there were 2 properties bought by investors that rented those buildings out.

No problems. The renters seemed to be higher-class professionals, and everyone else was in an owner-occupied unit. The renters cycled through a few times, and it seemed like everytime the next renter cared less and less about the upkeep/appearance/cleanliness of their place. One of my neighbors moved, tried to rent the place, had a 3 different tennents within 2 years (one of which paid nothing more than the intial 1st/last months rents), and it got foreclosed on. Some other people relocated and tried to rent their houses too. In those situations, the standards the landlords have for the tennents will drop dramatically for every day they don't have someone paying rent.

Our nice, newly-built neighborhood went from pristine and new in 2004/05, to "the highest crime rate in the town" by 2009. Not exaggerating - I read about it in the paper after we moved in May. There are nice renters, and by no means are all of them bad. The higher the proportion of rental properties, however, the more likely you are going to get some riffraff in there.

user1007 10-19-2009 01:30 PM


Originally Posted by cdat (Post 342773)
Welcomes to the ghetto. Yes, I'd be worried when renters move in. They have no stake in the neighborhood.

And unfortunately, landlords who just grab properties for rental income don't either. When greed is the only motivator, things are likely to fall apart in a hurry. When neither the owners of the properties or people living in them care at all, what else is to be expected but rapid decline?

In fairness, a lot of people are currently stuck with property too and cannot move it when circumstances change. They are forced to do just about anything to keep the property solvent and proper screening of tenants goes by the wayside.

I have always had wonderful tenants that treat properties with great care and who also respect and like the neighborhood. When I have rented, I have been a good tenant myself---usually making substantial improvements to what I rented. In both roles I have been an involved community citizen. I guess I have been fortunate to never live in such fragile neighborhoods as described.

drtbk4ever 10-19-2009 03:13 PM

You can blame it all on those real estate infomercials where they are flogging their rental property strategies. Don't get me wrong, rentals as an investment can be a fantastic way to increase (or decrease) your wealth.

There are some very good landlords out there and many many more that shouldn't be allowed to own real estate period, let alone rentals.

Oops, was that my outside voice...

Leah Frances 10-20-2009 03:44 PM

DH and I were renters for five years in Portland, Oregon. Our landlord was a 'slum-lord' he owned hundreds of properties in the city. We rented a double wide in a very nice neighborhood. Renting was the ONLY way we could afford to live in the neighborhood.

While we were tenants we: installed a luxurious rose garden, put several hundred dollars in capital improvements into the inside of the home (LL and I reached an agreement about $), actively participated in neighborhood concerns including stopping the daily drug activity outside our house, and we adored living there.

Three points of note:
1. Our neighbors made us feel very welcome - I think it matters a lot that renters feel like they are part of the neighborhood.
2. We weren't shmoes, we maintained the property, gave out candy on halloween, etc.
3. LL kept us on a TIGHT leash. He even wrote us a letter to complain when we planted a bunch of annuals (A**hole!) without his permission.

n0c7 10-20-2009 05:48 PM

My family were renters for numerous years while I was growing up. We kept up our place including planting flowers in the garden, keeping everything neat and tidy, and even doing home maintenance when the slum landlords would refuse to come out.(Yes, I've earned the right to call them slum landlords when their neglect almost kills your family of CO poisoning).

Now in the present day, they own a new home in a city that has boomed and caused many people to buy houses at outrageous prices who now are trying to rent them out. We've seen up to 5 people in some of these homes only 5 years old completely trashed and not taken care of.

So I'm on the fence. If you get decent people in there, you'll be alright. If you're just looking to get your mortgage paid by someone else, the rest of the neighborhood is in for heartache.

rusty baker 10-20-2009 08:18 PM

All the homes in my area are owner-occupied except for two. There have been probably 30 visits by the police to those two in the last year. Fights, all nite parties, drugs. Burning garbage in the back yard, junk cars, etc.

Just Bill 10-21-2009 06:06 AM

Developement of 80 homes, with about 5 rentals. Several are eyesores, a couple are fine. In general, renters devalue the neighborhood. The house next door was a rental for years, with one exception the tenants were slobs, and definitely not a welcome addition to the neighborhood. But there are also a couple of owner occupied houses that fit that category.

Scuba_Dave 10-21-2009 06:49 AM

My last house it was 2 low life owners that ruined the neighborhood
One moved out & rented out the house - BIG improvement
The other loser didn't move (lost the house) until after we had moved

user1007 10-21-2009 09:06 AM

Rented or owned, it comes down to involved communities. You need to be active in neighborhood associations and attending city council meetings once in awhile. Annoy your council people or alderman with phone calls if necessary. Support tenant rights organization so those who want to live responsibly (the majority of people I hope) can get things fixed and black list slumlords. Be noisy, total nuisances---hopefully as a group---to get local property ordinances enforced and hold questionable homeowners and tenants accountable. A few hefty fines or litigation threats from city attorneys can change things rapidly. Most communities have such on the books and will come out and enforce them if there is enough outcry. It is easy to ignore them if they don't hear about violations. Petition for new ordinances if they are needed.

Mr Chips 10-22-2009 08:43 AM

From my experience it has been more about the people, and to a large degree the RENT itself. I have seen plenty of homeowners who took the attitude of "i pay the morgatage, I'll do what I want" and allow their property to go to hell, and made terrible neighbors. I have seen some renters who will actually leave the rental in MUCH better shape than it was when they got there, doing improvements out of their own pocket because they wanted to enjoy their home, even if it wasn't their house.
Ususally people that pay higher rents, and higher deposits, are more likely to make better neighbors, but of course this isn't always the case...

rusty baker 10-22-2009 10:27 AM

I can remember renting in my younger days. As a carpet layer, I had a bunch of nice 6 month old carpet given to me. I asked my landlord permission to replace the 30 year old shag that was in the place, free of charge. He was thrilled. But when I moved a year later, never could get my security deposit back. Maybe that's why some renters don't care.

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