Editorial: Let’s Educate our Residents in our Rental Properties

A recent Article “Now Seattle Wants to Require Landlords Give Tenant Voter Information” from the Rental Housing Journal explains how in Seattle the Lanadlord already has to provide a packet of information provited by the city’s Departmetn on Construction and Inspections about housing laws and is proposing that they need to educate the tenant about registering to vote.

Here in Kansas City, the local city councils are assuming our tenanats are to stupid to really look at a property before they move in.  They are also assming the Tenant isto afraid to complain to the city regarding poor upkeep issues for fear of retaliation from the landlord.  And that because they don’t use current housing regulations, they don’t turn in their bad landlords.

So in an effort to help our “uneducated” and “fearful” few tenants that have issues with the repair, maintenance and upkeep of their homes, they are poposing new laws that require interior inspections by the city.

To combate these rules, I contend that the landlord might want to impose and self regulate their new tenantprocess to do just what they Seattle City Council is putting into law.

  1.  First provide a one page sheet to the tenant about the new or proposed inspection ordinances and show how they violate the tenants rights and how much of their rent goes to pay for this inspection.
  2. Second provide them with a second one page sheet that tells them how to report to the landlord any maintenance issues (I am pretty sure most landlords do this anyway) and also a list of current places with the city they can go to complain if you don’t maintain the property and respond to maintenance request.
  3. Third provide them with a sheet that explains to them how to register to vote and a list of the current council members that voted to put new lawas in place or when and where they need to go vote for proposed laws if they go to a vote.

And I contend, we need to provide these three sheets to all current tenants . . . AND provide them to all tenants at least once a year a few weeks before election time.

This will do several things.

One:  It will educate our tenants, that they do in fact have a way to complain about their current housing and that their landlord does in fact care.

Two:  It will educate them that a certain portion of their rent every months is actually going to the city in a round about way as tenant tax.

Three:  It will educate them on what are not landlord maintenance issues and what they are responsible for as far as keeping the property clean, properly disposing of food and trash and who needs to maintain the yard.

Four:  It will hopefully get them to the voting booths to vote, and if I were a tenant, I would be voting on the side of the landlord because I don’t want the city in my house on a regular basis and I don’t want to pay an extra $50 in rent so the city can inspect my house without my consent.