Sep 27

Landlord tenant

Owners and tenants are two sides of the same coin. We need our tenants to succeed, and the tenants need housing to succeed. People that portray landlords and tenants as opposing forces do so to increase their own political and power base, not because it is truthful.

Immediate action:

If the rent is being paid there is no need for eviction moratoriums. We need to reach out to our members and urge them to write every politician out there, from the President to the local dogcatcher, asking for emergency rent funding.

The NAA has a tool to allow people to write their Congressperson and Senators without knowing who represents them. (Many folks do not pay attention to politics)


The moratoriums without rent assistance will destroy the viability of much of the rental housing, causing owners to fail financially, which in turn will adversely impact municipal budgets and future housing choices for tomorrow’s tenants. Lower valued housing will be abandoned on a scale far greater than what we saw in 2008. Large corporate owners will buy up the middle as they did in the aftermath of 2008.

The Census finds that rental units generate $1,196 per unit per year in wages. Then you must factor in the local income multiplier, the property taxes paid, and everything else, and we are a huge part of the local economy. More on the economic impact of rental housing.

The Census also found that last month 16% of tenants nationwide did not pay rent. They previously reported that owners on average receive 7% of gross rent in return for their efforts and investments. If the gross rent is off by 16%, leaving the owner to decide who doesn’t get paid this month. In Milwaukee, the city eats two to four times the rent that an owner receives in good times. AASEW letter to Milwaukee Mayor Barrett on the need to include owners in the dialog on housing issues:

I spoke to an owner a week ago who had a March eviction canceled because the property was covered by the CARES act. That tenant told his neighbors that his attorney said they could not be evicted. April five more joined in, leaving six of eight tenants not paying now for six months. He is now facing foreclosure and personal financial hardship. He wants to give the building to the bank, hoping they do not go after his home and his retirement savings. The bank said they will not take a deed in lieu of foreclosure. I told him to hire an attorney. He said he has no money left.

A long term solution:

Housing at the lower end of the rent scale has always been fragile as tenants are one paycheck away from failing. The long term answer is portable housing vouchers, similar to FoodShare, that tenants can use to rent the home of their choice. Note this is not the same as Section 8, but instead like food stamps

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