The 2014 mid-term election is behind us. We know the results: a Republican sweep. As a landlord, I honestly didn’t care which party the candidate was in: I voted for the person who I believed to be the most qualified to support my business. I voted for candidates from both parties. But the Republican sweep doesn’t mean our laws should stay static: there is a place in Arkansas for common-sense change.
While many people think immediately about evictions, I think about the condition of housing. Most landlords are very good at taking care of their properties. The units are safe, in good repair. We never hear about these rental relationships.
Unfortunately there are a minority of landlords who make all landlords look bad. Their properties are falling apart, nothing is repaired, crime flourishes and as a result, the neighborhood values fall. These “landlords” are a disgrace to us all and we need to do something about it.
In the past, well-meaning people tried to run bills to take on the bad landlords. Unfortunately these bills were not well written. There were unintended consequences that would have badly hurt the good landlords as well. These bills have been defeated in the past, which perpetuated the “us vs. them” attitude.
It should not be “us vs. them.” We have laws to protect our water and our food. I believe it is VERY possible to have a common sense law to protect housing as well.
The Landlords Association has stated publicly that we’re willing to work together with tenant advocates to find common-sense, fair and balanced laws to protect tenants from bad landlords, while not impacting the good landlords. That is still true, no matter what party has control. It will take time: there is no overnight solution. But if we work together, we will find common ground and we will improve our state.
I look forward to the coming session!
Landlords Association of Arkansas