Landlords often left on hook
I would like to respond to Mr. Mauriello’s and Ms. Paritz’s letters to the editor. As a landlord, I take offense to the assertions that landlords do not educate themselves on the law regarding eviction of tenants.
My lease is from the Vermont Renters Association. My rentals comply with all regulations. My experience with the process of evictions is a negative one. Evictions are costly and require time to enforce. During this process, you have a tenant living on your property that is not paying rent, you are forced to pay all property expenses, and generally in the end, the landlord is left with hefty repair bills to put the rental unit back in a rentable state. This process can take months.
Many landlords pay the tenant to move to avoid the expense and time involved. To me, this just perpetuates the problem.
These tenants know how to play the law to the fullest. Some go into court representing themselves. They are given time allowances for filing paperwork. Then they may get free representation, while I am paying for a lawyer, and time is marching on. The process then starts over, and more time is lost. Every time a paper is served, the landlord pays. Every time there is a court date, the landlord pays. Every time the tenant is finally evicted, the landlord pays. All this time, there is no income on the rental property.
Some tenants are just irresponsible, some know how to play the system and prolong the process. And some are just going through hard times. I have always tried to work with the latter. I have one rental apartment that I no longer rent because it has cost me more to evict and maintain than I received in income.
It is a fact, not a “myth,” that landlords are legally disadvantaged. It should be: You don’t pay, you don’t stay. I wonder if Mr. Mauriello and Ms. Paritz have ever been landlords.