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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Landlord/Tenant housing statutes, what changes would you make?

WANTED, landlords seeking change in the Minnesota state rental housing statues. Property rights advocates are meeting with Senator Limmer Tuesday to discuss this issue, your input is greatly appreciated. Please leave your suggestions in the COMMENT section.


Anonymous Link here said...

Metro Property Rights Action Committee: proposed changes in state legislation

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about no inspection by a code enforcement person if the rent is not paid. Renters more often than not use the code inspector to gain an unfair advantage over the landlord in court when they do not want to pay the rent.

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How bout a civilian revue board?

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about having it reviewed by someone who does not have an interest or agenda in the outcome of the review? Curently you go before a city counicl members aide and she does what she is told to do ahead of the hearing and that is to deny the appeal. How can they even try to pull a sham like that with a stright face? It happens every single day and it is all about the money not the safety as the city claims. They are making work for the union members who elect them election after election. Right Kathy?

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read what the proposal is before the dumb, city of Saint Paul only related comments....

There are 5 proposals there. The first four are reasonably simple changes in the law. I'd agree with 1, 3, and 4. Particularly, 3 and 4 are changes that any reasonable person should agree with. In fact the way the law is in 3 is pretty damn stupid...

But, the last proposal is to destroy the tenant remedy act which would be a bad thing. I would like to see when people have felt it was misused. It is used so rarely and only in the most extreme circumstances now.

As someone who disagrees with you on a lot of issues, I hope you don't destroy your chances on the cleaner, making the relationship more balanced issues by linking them to destroying the tenants remedy act.


Chuck Repke

9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They've got to go back to a Housing Appeals Board like they used to have. Get rid of Moermond and the Hearing Officer BS. The Housing Appeals Board had responsibly appointed people (integrety in the appointment process) from different disciplines who were knowledgeable and cared about responsible code enforcement. Get the political shit out of it.

The fact about codes is they are infinite in number, with more written every day. It is impossible to enforce to the "letter of the law." We don't need the idiotic comments from the city's lap dogs about "just trying to be safe," or "just trying to enforce the law," etc.

This is not new and is not rocket science. Just identify the people who know which citys do well, and emulate those cities.

Also get rid of the sleaze balls who have proven that they don't care about the City of St. Paul. This would reach into high places in City Hall.

The city is already going to have to pay massive $ for their misconduct in using the ambiguity about codes for their own political ends. Let's starting on a solution now before more $ add up.

Bob G.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A couple other thoughts, since I had discussed this with some of the members of St. Paul's Housing Appeals Board.

The board should be sophisticated enough to detect when inspectors are lying to them.

Also, traditionally, a number of inspectors have been failures in other lines of work. They should not be built up with high status unless they can show they deserve it.

Bob G.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about a requirement that the inspectors must have an education in building inspections and be required to pass an exam on building inspections, codes, and etc...

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob G - when did Saint Paul have a Housing Appeals Board to deal with these kinds of cases?

My memory of the last twenty-five years is that in the 1980's these cases all went directly to the City Council for hearings. Inspector wrote you up, you didn't like it, you went to the council.

Then in 1990 when Thune got elected they created a committee of the council who heard all of the cases (he was the first chair). That was when they started video taping the trash removal complaints for assessments. Thune wanted the City to tape so they could see what was removed and that it was actually done.

Then when the voters made the council part time they got rid of the committee and gave the pre-council hearing responsibilities to staff (first Jerry and now Marsha).

So, if Saint Paul had some committee to deal with it, it had to be more than 30 years ago.

Remember, any committee is appointed by someone and they will always look political to someone that doesn't like what the decide.


Chuck Repke

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My father was on the St. Paul Housing Appeals Board for 9 years. I think he stopped doing it in the 80's.

With inspectors, its both technical competence and ethics. He said the board consisted of an attorney, people from the trades (such as an electrical contractor), he was a president of an engineering company, and probably an architect. Such a group, with their vast experience, is able in most cases to have some good judgment on something as complex as code issues.

Inspectors need to have both integrity and knowledge. Some of the issues go beyond anything inspectors can reasonably handle.

It is impossible to completely take politics out of it, and politics needs to be taken into account. To perform a quality service, it's got to focus on safety, codes, intent of the codes, reasonableness, and common sense. It cannot be perfect. If political agendas drive it, it fails.

Bob G

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the City Council to thoroughly consider housing, it would be too burdensome. Also they would have to rely on the inspections department. While the inspections departments have deep knowledge, they would not be seen as impartial.

Remember justice is the first of the Cardinal Virtues. An impartial board is the only way to get beyond the rebellion stage and get back to being constructive.

One additional thing I remember, is the City Architect appointed well seasoned and respected people to the board.

Bob G

6:52 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Chuck, the Tenants Remedies Act has been abused by con artist renters to gain an advantage over their landlords. And looking at the evidence it appears the city is all to happy to partake in the con job.

I suspect the law is rarely used now for one reason and one reason only, the city is facing multiple serious federal lawsuits and this piece of legislation is a big part of the hot water the city is in.

9:06 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

In the following article Dawkins refers to our friend Jim Swartwood as a slumlord. Jim should sue Dawkins for slander. It has been proven Dawkins is the fella who doesn't maintain his property.

And note this, after many years the Federal Fair Housing Lawsuits are STILL HERE! The city will make one last futile attempt to have them dismissed, but it isn't happening, a jury trial is on the horizon.

The lawsuits have already cost the city a bundle in defense cost. The evidential settlement will likely be in the millions. Who is footing the bill? YOU THE TAX PAYERS OF SAINT PAUL.

From the Duluth News-

Dawkins dismisses Swartwood as “a slumlord” (Swartwood says he’s not) and the lawsuits as “frivolous”, saying a judge will likely dispose of them as baseless in a summary judgment hearing. Yet, 22 months after the first one was filed, in May 2004, that has yet to happen.

A lightning rod for controversy, Andy Dawkins isn’t the story in Duluth, and officials and activists here say they still see merit in the Tenant Remedies Act. Duluth’s slum housing is legendary, and something must be done about it.

But it would be wise to wait until the RICO suits against St. Paul have been decided before adopting the program here. Duluth needs effective action to repair problem properties, not costly litigation."

From March 6, 2006 "Our View: Before acting on slumlord law, Duluth needs St. Paul verdict - Official touting tougher enforcement had problem property of his own"

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I've gotten going on this.

My Dad had some specific thoughts about St. Paul's current situation before he died. He didn't like a number of things about it. He had discussed it with high level people, some retired.

He specifically commented that Marcia Moermond could not detect when she was being lied to by inspectors (same for Chuck?).

He particularly objected to the electrical inspector in my situation.

He was disappointed by Robert Humphrey.

He thought the code compliance report was the most poorly written inspection report he had ever seen.

Bob G.

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob J.

Two things:

1. Do you have an example of TRA being done like you said? I thought they were pretty few and far between. I mean, there has to be issues with the property and a group willing to come in and repair the problems using only the rent to do it. Not a lot of up side for the group that agrees to take on the project.

2. Remember when the law suits were called the RICO suits? Remember when it was a conspiracy? Don't forget the entire case now is: Did the City's code enforcement policies cost landlords so much that it reduced the availability of affordable housing in Saint Paul and did that impact minority groups? That's it. After all of that time, money and energy that is the only question appropriately in front of the court. Everything else is gone. Done. Over.

So, good luck with all of that. One of the judges on the panel that granted that last little crumb to get through didn't think that the FFHA actually covered that issue and dissented from the majority.


Chuck Repke

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am amazed at how you are able to spin things Chuck. Those tenant remedy laws are manipulated to hurt decent people that are trying to maintain their property. Your spin indicates to me that you are either very uninformed or you are just the same scum you accuse the landlords of being. Whichever it is I'll leave up to you.

1:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:54 - no, I meant that sincerely.

Can you give me an example of someone whose property was put into receivership because of the TRA and you guys thought it was done as a stunt or on a lark by a tenant?

I mean, come on guys what was the issue that causes you to go off of the deep end. I am agreeing on some of the changes that were listed.

So, give me the case that was that unjustified.


Chuck Repke

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert Humphrey runs the show in the DSI.Watch this guy!
He is a jerk.

12:57 PM  

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