The Michigan Daily-Thursday, April 17, 1980-Page 7
Landlords discuss rental
EDITOR'S NOTE: Five campus-
area landlords recently agreed to
share their perspectives on the Ann
Arbor rental housing situation with
*hree Daily staff members in a joint
interview. Together, the five lan-
dlords own some 500 rental units.
Some owned less than 20, while one
owned more than 100. These lan-
dlords, who oversee their property
without the services of a rental
management company, said their
views are probably somewhat dif-
ferent than those of the larger com-
#anies. Following are excerpts from
the landlords' discussion:
Fourth in a seven-part series
"If landlords are making so much
money, why aren't new buildings being
McKinley and some of the other rent
structures. They set the tone. You look
at their increases, and they're based on
increased operating costs. And we just
assume we have the same as theirs, ex-
cept that we have a lower overhead.
"We are all charging near the
economic limit. I'm sure some of us are
less than the others. Just for an exam-
ple, gas went up 30 per cent. If we don't
increase rent, then we can't pay the gas
bill, and so what's happened is all the
landlords have gotten this 30 per cent
increase in gas, and as a result, you
have an increase in rent for the fall, and
part of it is to take care of this 30 per
cent gas increase.
"Now, if there's an increase next
year, and we have to pay money in
,security deposits and interests, that
eats away at that margin of profits, and
at the end of the year, you analyze, and
'The students don't know anything about University medi-
ation, but they sure as hell know about the tenants union.
-An Ann Arbor landlord speaking about the
Tenants Union's attempts to prganize renters
built? If it's so profitable, then why isn't
everyone getting on the bandwagon?
The reason is, the only way they can be
run profitably really are by small lan-
dlords that can do things themselves
and run their buildings very efficiently.
"As soon as you get into the big com-
elexes that are run by a management
company in a large complex, you'll find
that there isn't any money being made,
4nd that the only reason it's there is for
a tax shelter for somebody who has in-
"As I look at my average rents,
they're always a little bit even below
what the University average rent is.
"The rental market is being deter-
mined by the large organizations,
By DAVID MEYER
The continued occupation of the
Israelisoccupied West Bank and Gaza
Strip areas is essential to the security of
,Israel, but negoti tions with the
Palestine Liberation Organization
(PLO) and the establishment of a
neighboring Palestinian state are not
out of the question, according to Roni
illo, the youngest member of the
Millo, 30, was interviewed Tuesday
during his brief stop at the University to
4ddress a faculty luncheon. He said to
return the occupied territory, which
was captured by Israel in the 1967 Six
Day War, to Palestine could mean the
destruction of Israel and therefore can-
hot be considered..
I"For us (Israelis), the question of
existence . . . is not a theoretical
question," Millo said, warning that if
Israel had been confined to its pre-1967
borders during the 1973 Yom Kippur
War, Israel would have been destroyed.
MILLO, WHO has been a member of
Israel's "noisy" Parliament for three
years, went on to say that if the PLO
recognized Israel's right to exist,
however, negotiations between the two
fierce enemies would be possible. "As
Israelis, as Jews, we are very much
*ware of the right of self-determination
of all people-including Palestinians,"
Yet, any Palestinian state that was
established as a result of such
negotiations could not be established in
the Gaza Strip or the West Bank area of
the Jordan River, Millo said. Instead,
Millo suggested, a Palestinian state
should be formed in Jordan on the East
Bank area of the Jordan River. That
*area, Millo said, is already 70 per cent
Millo said it has always been the goal
of Israel to seek peaceful relations with
Its neighbors. "This is the reason we
made fundamental concessions (in the
1978 peace treaty) to make peace with
Egypt," Millo said.
Millo said he felt U.S. involvement in
Israeli-Egyptian negotiations had been
generally beneficial, but that the U.S.
sometimes was a biased mediator.
* "Sometimes, we (Israelis) have the
feeling that the United States is not
playing the game of an honest broker,"
Millo said, indicating that the United
States' impartiality in the negotiations
was sometimes swayed by interests in
if that margin isn'tthere, then you just
have to raise your rents more."
"We find that when they get out of the
dorm, the first time they're renting,
you have problems. . . they're wet
behind the ears."
"You get a graduate student that's
rented for a couple years, and you find
a marked difference in how an apar-
tment is kept, and just when to call and
not to call. And typically, that's one of
my criteria. I need a landlord referen-
ce. I will not rent to a first-time renter.
"One of the things that's driving costs
up is just plain destructiveness by
students. It's amazing to believe that a
kid, going to college and with a certain
amount of smarts up here, the kind of
things they'll do in a building. Either
grafitti, marking up walls, kicking in
doors, stealing fire hoses. I'm currently
spending about $900 on new fire hoses
and nozzles because they came along
and clipped every fire hose."
"They have to be responsible for their
track record. . . and that is why a lot of
them are finding it hard to rent,
because if they haven't established a
track record, you don't want to take a
"I don't want a minister reference or
anything. I want a landlord."
The Tenants Union:
"The Tenants Union is really counter-
productive in what they're trying to
achieve. In other words, they are
creating not community between the
landlord and tenant, but. . . litigation,
everything has to go to litigation. Their
whole philosophy is that being in
business in rental property is not right.
"I think you're saying it's a step
"That's right. In fact, I asked a
tenant union representative just what
he thought.. . when you take your ren-
ts and deduct all your expenses, what
should be left over as profit. Well, that
was a sin to mention profits. In other
words, why nothing ... you should be
doing this just for the fun of it. They do
not understand private enterprise, and
indeed, a profit should be made after all
expenses. For some reason, we're sup-
posed to be a private welfare agency, or
just break even - do it for kicks. It's
not a good way of making a living.
The Tenants Union attempting
to organize renters;
"Well, if they do that, certainly on a
short term basis, it's a good deal for the
tenants. But the question comes up:
What does it do for the overall picture,
and if all my tenants organized, the
only thing I could do is to raise their
rents. If they organize-and do all the
maintenance for the whole city - then
rents would go up all over the city."
"If tenants want to organize, then this
will break down the rapport between
the landlords and the tenant because
you have a third party. The students
don't know anything about University
mediation, but they sure as hell know
about the tenants union. It's counter-
"I think this country became great on
free enterprise, and if they want to
regulate free enterprise, then it's not
going to work out."
"It's pretty easy for the tenants to put
up roadblocks. You've got to remember
students will be establishing their track
record, and they'll be held accountable
The University and
the housing market:
"If the University chooses to be in the
rental market, they should be under the
same regulations as the landlords.
Specifically, they pay no taxes on their
North Campus property, which means
their rents are being subsidized by the
rest of the people in the state and city.
They pay no property tax in the city.
"This even extends to the inspections.
This Pie in the Sky, God, Motherhood,
and Country of health and safety that
the inspectors contend that is the
reason we need the codes are not ap-
plicable to those rental units on North
Campus. I ask you, why? Why should
they be exempt? Is there a state law
that makes them immune from
providing safe and healthy property?
"A dorm would be a good example.
They have two people in a room much
smaller than we as landlords can
provide to the tenants."
The book landlords are required
to distribute to their tenants:
"There's a lot of good information,
there's no question about it - it's good.
But it's some 50 pages long. Who's
going to read it, and think of the expen-
se to produce that thing in three dif-
"It's just one more example of a cost
to the taxpayer.
"To force me to hand out someone
else's opinion is wrong. . . especially
when you don't agree with it."
The proposal that would
require landlords to pay interest
on tenants' security deposits:
"By the landlords paying the six per
Thursday, April 17, 1980
Department of Neurology
Cornell Medical Center
Regulation of Neuronal Development
MHRI Conference room 1057
3:45 to 5:00 p.m.
TEA 3:15 p.m. MHRI lounge
cent interest, they're going1
charge the tenant maybe sev
to take care of bookkeeping
this type of thing, so they'rec
convinced it's going to cost
"But it's publicly and p
good bill to pass. It's rea
benefit, and it hurts the tena
"I think that most of usc
maintenance all along. Ther
dlords that don't, I'm sure th
a bad name.
"Normally, I don't go in ap
and nose around. It does give
cuse, when every two to th
when I'm going to have an in
call up the tenants and tell t
the inspection's going to be,
them I'm coming through a
at the apartment. And I foun
paint job. If the guy had toldn
ths before that the paint w
to have to probably would have gone ahead and
costs, and painted it. But I didn't go into his apar-
completely tment ... until I went in to prep it for
the tenant inspection. .. and I think that's true:
when you get ready for the test, you
olitically a prepare for it. But I don't know that I
ally of no can be criticized for not knowing the
at and the paint was bad in the guy's apartment.
"They don't know when to call you
and when not to call you. They think
they're doing you a favor by not
do regular bothering you."
re are lan- About being landlords:
hey give us We're glad we're in the business.
"Anybody can get in the business. We
partments, went to the University of Michigan and
me an ex- the whole thing and we were engineers,
ree years, and we were laid off. We wanted to stay
hem when in Ann Arbor and we had to put on a dif-
and I tell ferent hat. Anybody can do it the same
nd Iooking as we did it.
nd looking "We're satisfied, becduse if we
nd this bad weren't, we'd be doing something
me six mon- else."
was bad, I
SIR JOHN VANBRUGH'S
"' pm ai
The U-M.Department of
Theatre & Drama
SATURDAY at 8pm
ts at PTP
nd at P
SUNDAY at 2pm
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ht. Call 764-
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The University of Michigan Men's Glee Club
Leonard Johnson, Director
CANTERBURY LOFT presents
THE FESTIVAL OF
SOUTH AFRICAN CULTURE
April 10-19, 1980
with distinguished guest
with the Friars
For further information re-
garding Festival events and
scheduled appearances .of
our guests ...
332 South State St.
-- - .
: ., I
Y. h; , f
Tckets: $4.00; $300 (Students 51.50)
Hill Boxr Office Openrs April 14. 9 arm-5 pm.
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024 Administration Building
Ann Arbor MI 48109
Gonzomania Strikes Ann Arbor!
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN'S OFFICE OF
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