I love business and capitalism for all kinds of reasons, but when you add the element of greed to business, I have nothing but disdain for those responsible for giving capitalism a black eye.
A few days ago an incident involving cut-throat capitalism was reported in TV news and print media. It was reported that Mr. Abdulaziz Karim (AKA Aziz), a local business owner and landlord, appears to be using business practices to force at least two families out of their homes in order to make giant bucks renting his homes to B.T.O.s (Big Time Operators) associated with the 2015 US Open Championship. He stands to make $38,000 per house during the US Open Championship in June, 2015.
Ms. Dawn Brundage is one of his victims. I met Dawn at the Lakewood Starbucks around 1998. During the past 17 years I have had plenty of time to discover what kind of person Dawn Brundage is. I can tell you this. From my observations, contacts and conversations with Dawn, she is a high quality, caring, hard working and competent human being. She has maintained all of her positive qualities while suffering from many of the stresses that can flow into anyone’s life. Dawn has spent many of her years as a dedicated and responsible single mother of five.
My background has allowed me to serve as a mentor to Dawn over the years with our last project focussing on her successfully becoming a Washington State Patrol Dispatcher. The fact that she was able to become a WSP Dispatcher speaks volumes regarding her character and quality as a human being.
Below is a photo of Mr. Karim’s rental home Dawn has resided in for the past 8 plus years. After four decades as a landlord, I can tell you Dawn is a top caliber renter. She pays her rent early and takes wonderful care of Mr. Karim’s property. Not one rock is out of place.
Dawn pays $1925 a month. Mr. Karim expects to grab $38,000 by renting the same house to US Open high rollers during the month of June because the house is located across the street from the June, 2015, US Open Golf Championship.
To show you how much class and maturity Dawn has, she is on record stating that she understands why Mr. Karim would want to make $38,000 instead of $1,925. She has no problem with the profit motive. She understands and agrees that as the owner of the home Mr. Karim has the legal right to ask her to leave with only the Washington State required written minimum 20 day notice. Dawn is going to comply in a timely manner with Mr. Karim’s vacate notice. She understands that Mr. Karim is in violation of no law.
Dawn’s issue involves an ethical complaint.
According to Dawn, she specifically asked Mr. Karim early and often about the impact of the US Open on their rental arrangement. Dawn reports that Mr. Karim lied to her repeatedly over a long period of time and lied again just before he kicked her out, treating his excellent renter like a common deadbeat.
Had she not asked and had he not repeatedly told her, “No problem”, Dawn admits she would not have anything to complain about. She knows that. But she did ask Mr. Karim.
I find the actions of Dawn’s landlord morally repugnant. In fact in the small chance I have failed to express my opinion clearly with my chosen words, I asked my world renown cartoonist, SWS, to draw a cartoon for us that tells the Karim – Brundage story in one cartoon image. Making money is not evil. Lying and stepping on a single mother with children to make money is evil.
All Mr. Karim had to do to maintain ethical business standards was to not lie to Dawn. Had he been truthful instead of deceptive about wanting the house back, there would have not been a problem.
Because Dawn has been an excellent renter for 8 years, he could have chosen to show her some appreciation and courtesy for the fine care she has taken of his home and for the obvious inconvenience caused by his forcing her out.
As if that is not enough, Mr. Karim plans to keep Dawn’s rental and pet deposits because he wants to clean the carpet and paint before renting the property for $38,000.00. If Dawn had moved in and out in only 8 months, I can see some deposit retention because a quick in and out puts Mr. Karim in the motel business. Dawn did not do that. She stayed for over 8 years. Keeping deposits for painting and carpet cleaning after Dawn has resided in the home for what is pushing close to a decade, spells and smells like greed to me.
If Dawn was not the excellent person she is, she could refuse to move out. Mr. Karim could evict her, but by the time he prefects the eviction, he might well miss his $38,000 hole in one.
Mr. Karim, won’t you consider rewarding your good renter with a one month rent refund? How about helping her with her moving and new rental expenses? Consider the math. Two houses = $76,000 — $2,000 for Dawn Brundage = $74,000 for you. How much money is enough money?
Mr. Karim, it is still not too late for you to take the high road to do the right thing.