Rent control is still a bad idea

Why do politicians keep digging up old, bad ideas? Rent control was buried by most cities decades ago because it doesn’t work. I own and live in a duplex in the Summit Hill neighborhood. I also own a triplex in Minneapolis, and have had renters since 1994. I am a good landlord, and my tenants are generally long-term.

I used to rent at or near market rate and not raise the rent if the tenant was good and paid on time until they vacated, at which time I reset the rent to market-rate again. This, obviously, will no longer occur at my Saint Paul duplex. I purchased it in 2014. It was the worst building on the block and now, after renovation, competes with the best on the block.

My tenant would like new windows in her home office since they leak in the winter. That will not happen. My value went up $100,000 in 2022 and my taxes went up 38 percent. With that 2022 value increase, my property taxes are all but sure to increase in 2023. But I can only raise rent 3 percent?

With rent control in place, this is what I envision happening when my tenant leaves (and probably happening with other small rental property owners):

   

1. In my neighborhood, there are many applicants for available units. The more people in the unit, the more expense, so I will avoid renting to families. Single or couple only.

2. I currently pick up the costs for trash and water, and the washer and dryer are included in the rent. No longer.

3. The windows are 100 years old and leak. I will continue to replace my windows on the second floor, but the tenant will need to continue to stuff paper towels where the leaks are.

 

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4. Since rent restrictions reduce property value, I can see conversion of small rentals to single-family homes in good neighborhoods.

5. Rental properties in less desirable neighborhoods will receive repairs only when required by the city for health or safety.

Rent control will reduce the number of units available. Families will find it difficult to rent in good neighborhoods since landlords will have a large number of applicants from which to choose. Families who rent will find themselves in deteriorating units in less desirable neighborhoods.

Politicians should stay out of the rental market.

Marri Renne
Summit Hill

A nation always at half-mast

We are living in a war zone, and Congress should have the guts to declare that. More citizens are dying in the United States from gunfire every week than are dying in Ukraine. People in other countries pity us because we don’t stop the murders in our streets and in our schools. President Biden should declare that all flags are to be flown at half mast until further notice.

We have more guns than people in the U.S. How did we get to this mess in which private citizens are allowed to purchase military assault rifles and expanding bullets that assure that a mere graze is lethal? Having these sorts of killing agents in the hands of private citizens makes no sense.

The United Kingdom has a long and honored tradition of hunting. There, registered people may have rifles and shotguns, which are for hunting. No one would use an automatic weapon to shred the prey they’re stalking.

So how has it come to be that handguns and other weapons, the only purpose of which is to kill people, are everywhere in our country? The children in the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, were so disfigured from being shot with the sort of weapons and ammunition I mentioned that they had to be identified by their clothing and DNA samples.

President Biden should issue an executive order sending one full-color forensic photo from each killing to each member of Congress to show the carnage their inaction on gun issues is bringing about. With pictures being worth 1,000 words, maybe seeing thousand of photos of shredded bodies day after day will bring lawmakers to their senses.

Sporting guns are rifles and shotguns. Human-killers are handguns and automatic weapons. And Teflon bullets that pierce the body armor of our police officers have no business being in anybody’s possession.

Kathleen Deming
Macalester-Groveland

Big Pharma guards its interests

If you are concerned about high drug costs, this may interest you. A family member was recently prescribed a medication costing $4,000 every three months, or $16,000 per year, not covered by Medicare or insurance. A Canadian pharmacy can provide it for $400 for three months—10 percent of the U.S. cost.

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Marc Rubio have introduced the DRUGS Act (S. 3399), a bill that would block access to pharmacies that are outside of the U.S. Congressmen David Bennett McKinley (R-West Virginia) and Bobby Lee Rush (D-Illinois) have introduced the House of Representatives’ version of the bill, (H.R. 6352).

This is a move by Big Pharma to safeguard its immense profits at our expense. Why do Americans pay more for drugs and health care than any other country? A monopoly by pharmaceutical companies and pharmacy benefit managers, that’s why.

Dr. Bruce D. Snyder
Mendota Heights

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