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An Open Letter From A Landlord To (a few) Tenants

By Jeff Wallach

Hate mail? Really? That’s what it’s come to?

Despite what you think, I’m not your enemy. Yes, I own rental property that you’d like to live in, and yes, rents are high — not as high as in many cities, but certainly high for Portland, given its population of folks like you who make art and save honeybees and wish to live well in a hip metropolis full of bicycling nonprofit workers.

For the record, I am also an artist, and I actually save honeybees and support nonprofits, too! And I ride a bicycle!

But additionally, I have worked seven days per week for more than 25 years — and assumed great financial risk — to afford the property that you are so angry about.  

Whatever your politics, we’re still residing in a capitalist society. And just as you hope to make a few dollars on the reggae hats you’ve been knitting to sell at the farmers market, rent is the way I get paid for all my time and effort and money spent taking a nearly ruined 100-year-old building — the kind of house that makes Portland unique and that you rail against demolishing — and repairing all the neglect that the truly bad landlords allowed, rather than knocking it down and making scads more money than I ever could by lovingly restoring this century-old landmark.

And just for the record, I’ve had hundreds of renters who would tell you that I’m actually a tenant advocate — that I let them slide on late rent (even the third time and despite the fact that I still have to pay my full mortgage. I’ve even reversed a rent raise because the tenants couldn’t afford it.)


Click here to continue to read Brother Wallach preach on.

One Response to “An Open Letter From A Landlord To (a few) Tenants”
  1. Darn good letter. But will it change the mentality of those who expect “free stuff for everyone?” I doubt it.

    George Lambert
    Author, What You Must Know BEFORE Becoming a Greedy Landlord. How to build a portfolio of investment properties for an income that lasts a lifetime.

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