We were disappointed to read the recent Kingston Times article with the city getting behind the Kingston tenants movement with no consideration of the local landlords’ side.
We have a lot invested in our rental properties. We want long-term tenants who take good care of the properties. When tenants take possession, we go over our nine-page rental agreement which explains what we expect so there is no confusion down the line.
If a tenant damages our property, or is noisy to the point other tenants decided to move out, or adopts a breed of dog that jeopardizes our ability to get property insurance, or takes a roommate without going through our process so we have a person on premises who could be a danger to other tenants, or when the tenant does not pay their rent; we should be able to remove that tenant without the current time frame of two to three months and expenses/lost rent/damages of upwards of $2,000.
Rents go up because expenses go up — utilities, insurance, maintenance. Taxes have more than doubled since we bought our first property in 1996. We didn’t then have to pay an exorbitant fee to have inspectors go through the properties. When tenants were allowed to post a notice that they did not want the inspection, most did. Now Corporation Counsel Gartenstein tells us that if the last inspection was a year ago, that is “probable cause” and a warrant can be obtained to check an apartment. An inspection on our six-unit building costs $450. In 1996 we supplied trash bins. Now we are given one per building and have to pay $450 a year for each additional bin required for larger buildings.
I don’t understand how with mortgages, taxes, utilities, insurance and maintenance, the City thinks local landlords are making so much money.
Part of Rupco’s funding comes from government grants — which means taxpayer funding — to create low-income housing. If 56 percent of the city is living in rental units, perhaps it would be better to focus more on development and attracting better jobs. In our six-unit mentioned above, there are seven occupants. Two have jobs. Therefore our tax money is helping pay for rent, food and medical care for the rest.
We would like the city to work with both tenants and landlords to create a solution.
Marlene Graham, Jeffrey Graham