Who is going to ‘win’ under new ordinance?

As the city of Fairmont, landlords and a group of concerned citizens continue to work out details a proposed local rental ordinance, we are not seeing a “win” for anyone involved. And that includes those who support the measure. Someday, they will regret their insistence.

The city as a whole will be a loser when landlords decide being in business is not worth the effort of maintaining units that meet “a minimal standard of living.” Especially when bad tenants trash their property. When landlords quit, some housing – usually the most affordable – goes away. On the flip side, those landlords who make upgrades in the wake of city inspections are going to charge higher rents, pricing the poorest citizens out of housing.

Taxpayers are going to lose, because the current plan is not to charge landlords for the new inspections they will face. If the city pays for inspections, that means local taxpayers foot the bill.

Renters will lose options in housing.

Landlords will lose. Time and money. The rental ordinance discussions have included talk of city mediation in landlord/tenant relationships. Really? Disputes between these two parties should be settled in civil court. Period. Landlords will have to be approved for licenses, pay to meet new city guidelines for housing, etc. They will have to devote energy to all the red tape and appeals made through a city board and at City Council meetings.

Those who believe there are dastardly landlords fleecing poor renters will lose face when reality strikes home. These do-gooders who believe they are doing renters a favor are going to find out otherwise. And look pretty dumb in the end.

Why, exactly, is the city talking about this ordinance after decades and decades of living without one?