I have lived in Lakewood for close to a half a century. During many of those years, I owned at least 7 rental homes in Lakewood. This was all before Lakewood decided to punish good landlords. Lakewood’s punishment in the form of the Residential Rental Inspection Program is set to begin in the year 2018.
Look at the math. Seven rental properties times say a $100 annual rental inspection fee is $700 the first year. Assuming the city never ever raises the annual fee, the property owner or tenant will have to pay $7,000 in the first decade. Fifty years of rental property ownership equals $35,000 of cash down the toilet; for what?
Is there any Lakewood citizen who would be happy when confronted in their bank parking lot by an armed robber who sticks a gun in their face and takes their bank bag containing $35,000 cash?
Would anyone be happy if their company bookkeeper embezzled $35,000 over a period of years from their company coffers?
A gun or a pencil matters not. The $35,000 is gone. That is a big chunk torn from a hard working business person’s retirement fund or from a low-income renter’s meager annual income. For what?
Pencil or gun? Actually, I would prefer the gun. In the gun scenario, I have a chance to do a gun-grab and beat the robber senseless with his own gun until he gives up the fight and begs me to call the police. In the end, the robber goes to the hospital, then jail and I still have my $35,000. That is much better than embezzlement or the City of Lakewood’s cash grab.
The City of Lakewood does not use a gun. They use the embezzler’s tool of choice, the pencil. Lakewood is not robbing or embezzling. They are legislating an unnecessary rental inspection program that will chisel innocent property owners and innocent renters by implementing a draconian city ordinance that punishes everyone in the City’s effort to solve a problem that is applicable to a minority of property owners who are bona fide slumlords.
Lakewood’s plan is an ugly money grab that will punish property owners and renters for no reason. Yes, there are slum lords in our city, but why should innocent people have to pay $35,000 for the sins of a few?
If I currently owned rental property in Lakewood, I would transition all my tenants out of my properties and sell my rentals. Our City of Lakewood is creating a hostile business environment with their invasive time wasting and money wasting rental inspection program.
If other property owners do the same, fewer rentals and higher rents will be the unintended consequence of their stated effort to help lower-income citizens. The Rental Inspection Program stands to harm the very people City Council professes to help.
Maybe Lakewood’s true goal is to reduce the number of rentals in our city so they can run lower-income citizens out and increase the tax base. If that be the case, our city will have missed their stated goal of helping lower income renters.
I have an idea. Why don’t Lakewood citizens ask the six councilpersons, who voted for the rental inspection program, to write a personal check from their retirement accounts for $35,000 each?
Seems reasonable to me. A seven-property landlord loses $35,000 to the city. Each council person, who voted for the rental inspection program, loses $35,000 to the city.
The six council persons who voted for the Residential Rental Inspection Program are as follows:
- Mayor Don Anderson.
- Deputy Mayor Jason Whalen.
- Council Person Mary Moss.
- Council Person Michael Brandstetter.
- Council Person Paul Bocchi.
- Council Person John Simpson.
To be fair I will endeavor to inform you as soon as I am made aware that any of the six listed council persons write their $35,000 checks to the City of Lakewood. Lakewood can use the $210,000 to help renters in need.
The City of Lakewood has announced plans for two informational meetings where they will explain what they are going to do to the citizens of Lakewood. Click on the link that follows for meeting details. RESIDENTIAL RENTAL INSPECTION PROGRAM.