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The battle of real-estate gentrification vs. apartment renters trudges on. Will Potter’s article (“Pioneer Press,” 11/21) is just one example of how difficult it is to survive in Washington, D.C., on one salary that is being absorbed and targeted toward overpriced rents. Somehow, the way things are going, there won’t be much left to spread around for the other bare essentialshealth insurance, child care, food, clothing. A vacation is out of the questionunless it is in a hospital for pain and suffering from overtime work on the two or three jobs needed to take care of all of your living expenses.
As the battle continues to go forward, some foresee another change blowing in the wind. Hark! It won’t be the continuance of gentrification, but landlords and real-estate moguls in dire need of occupants who can afford to pay their outrageous top-dollar rents. Such occupants will become scarce, if the economy continues to sink and unemployment continues to rise. In the meanwhile, there will be a flow of defaulting renters adding more cases on the now overcrowded Landlord and Tenant Court docket.
It is often sad, but true, that landlords may continue to get a new renter here and there, but they tend to overlook the importance of retaining their current tenants and maintaining good business relationships with their best tenantsthe ones who stay and pay their rents on time. Too often, in return for the tenants’ dedication and timely rental payments, they get landlords who continue to cut down and eliminate services and fail to make timely repairs of requests that were made many moons ago. All the while, the rents continue to go nowhere but up, up, and away. Is it a bird? A plane? Or could it be…many tenants moving away?
Like the person in the article thinking about moving back to Texas, I often wonder what it would be like if half the tenants in any given apartment complex moved out and returned to their roots someplace else. Indeed that would be a culture shock to landlords, as well as a tug on their purse strings.