It wasn’t even close. The runaway winner for number of reader comments last week was an article by Charles Hallman, North Minneapolis rental property owners refute slumlord label. Hallman was following up on an earlier article by interviewing two “slumlords” in person and visiting a couple of their properties. Both rejected the implication of neglectful and irresponsible ownership.
Hallman’s two articles were reposted by the Daily Planet from a media partner, the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. Ten different readers posted comments on the second and four others on the first, Small group of slumlords have big effect on Minneapolis.
It wasn’t a pro-and-con discussion, though. Judging by this sample, Daily Planet readers feel strongly about run-down properties and are not reluctant to make suggestions to landlords and reporters.
Here are some excerpts to give the flavor:
Dana Fisher: “If that wasn’t biased tour of the one or two places he has fixed up … I will take you on a real tour.”
Megan Goodmundson: “Has no one showed [the owner] his property at 26th and Oliver — still chewed up by the tornado three years ago.”
Daniel Field: “… buy a crappy property, slap some paint on, find some Section 8 tenants so you have a guaranteed check coming in for more than the market would allow … use the proceeds to repeat the process and collect on them until your horrid tenants destroy it so it is beyond repair. … Disgusting that these parasites are allowed to thrive largely because of a deeply flawed publicly funded safety net.”
Jeff Skrenes: “If [that owner] is so selective about his tenants, then why have I been to community meetings in three separate Northside neighborhoods where he has been called in to answer for criminal behavior of his renters?”
Rene Beaurline: So I must say … background check. Don’t they want to pay the $35? That’s all it is to make sure the tenant is a good renter. Or call prior landlords? … Make the lease work for you. Sounds more like a “lazy” landlord to me.
Mary Francis Galloway: Thanks for exposing this. I hope the city will again increase the budget for more inspectors, since the Minneapolis Police Department is arresting some activist people who are homeless and who have taken over a couple of empty houses … That money could go towards inspectors of the homes owned by slumlords.
Your comments make a difference: the Daily Planet has assigned a follow-up article, interviewing tenants of some of these properties. Look for Charles Hallman’s follow-up next week!
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