The Data Is Overwhelmingly Against A Rental Registry

Watch the video and read the article below. There is no need for a Rental Registry!


spock illWe are diligently laboring to inform and educate everyone with all the facts concerning the proposed Rental Registry (RR) the basis of which is inaccurate data and misinformation. The proposition put forth in a New Orleans city council meeting is inconsistent with the facts contained in the American Home Survey (AHS) report. We have attached our Exhibit A AHS spreadsheet and recently created several charts to demonstrate the overwhelming data is very favorable toward landlords and renters. Nothing in the report suggest a $10 million plus RR tax is needed. Taxing our tenants is just wrong—they can’t afford another rental increase.

The pie chart below records the AHS respondents’ satisfaction rate with their landlord when he made what the renter subjectively considered to be a major repair during their tenancy. When you consider the inconvenience and hassle of having someone working in your rental unit while you are living in it, we were amazed that renters gave such a high rating of satisfaction. Only a fraction of the respondents gave the landlord low marks. For a complete explanation of how this data was distorted by RR proponents, read this article The Condition of Rental Housing In New Orleans sub title heading, The Fair Housing Report Misinterprets Critical AHS Data.

AHS Bar 2

Looking at the data it becomes obvious why many have characterized the RR program as nothing more than a contrived “money grab.” Moreover, with many New Orleans’ streets in deplorable condition and crime out of control, reasonable minds are questioning council members Cantrell and Williams priorities in putting forth this misguided legislation while citizens are daily fighting off thugs, gunman and rapist in the streets of New Orleans. These are the troubling nightly news stories that we must focus our time, talent and resources on.  Why should private citizens like businessman Sidney Torres foot the bill for crime prevention and offer rewards to curb crime?

The following scenario could be you:

It’s 7:00 am, the rain is pouring down and the street storm drain remains clogged since Katrina. With 6 inches of water surrounding the car you will need galoshes. You skip showering because the city’s sewer system is backing up into your tub, again. Sadly, the rain reminds you it’s been 4 weeks and you are still waiting for the S&WB to replace your leaky water meter. The bill is over $900 and the S&WB is demanding payment, but you don’t have the money. Meanwhile, you are driving a rental car while the mechanic completes a $600 repair on your car’s front end that was badly damaged by one of the city’s 10,000 plus potholes. The phone rings and it’s the mechanic. It’s worst than he thought. The repair estimate just increased to $725.

It’s 7:00 pm now and you are frustrated. Nearly 4 hours have passed and you are still waiting for a police officer to arrive and document the rental car accident. Darkness is imminent and a suspicious looking guy on a bicycle keeps circling the block—staring. The fear of becoming New Orleans next crime victim causes you to exchange information with the lady that hit your rental car and off you go. At Washington and S. Carrollton you miss judge the 4 second yellow light and before you clear the intersection you see a bright flash of light in the rearview mirror. Congratulations, you just contributed to the city’s $16.5 million Red Signal Light Camera scheme. When you finally arrive home there is a note posted on your door:

Dear valued resident: We regret to inform you that your rent will soon be increased to cover the city’s new RR tax and associated compliance expenses. Apparently the council believed renters like you lacked sufficient competency to manager your own personal living situation and safety.

The big government tax and spend approach has never lifted a city out of poverty, it only serves to further oppresses those least able to endure its harsh pain. Good leaders follow the facts. They are prudent decision makers enlightened by reason and logic. They clearly define problems and apply appropriate solutions when warranted.

The RR is illogical because it does not focus on the problem of helping a small percentage renters who say their landlord won’t make a needed repair. The real problem is very small in nature and their is no credible evidence to believe otherwise. In another article The Tenant Landlord Relationship using the factual data we demonstrated the small percentage of folks actually affected by this condition. Our current laws and ordinances are sufficient to address these problems. Even our Attorney General agrees:

Every day the Attorney General’s Office receives questions and complaints involving landlord and tenant issues. Education is the best way to address these types of complaints and give you the answers you need. (James D. “Buddy” Caldwell Attorney General)

There are detailed state and municipal codes that clearly define the entire relationship between a tenant and a landlord (Free Handbook). The RR, at best, will not accomplish anything that cannot otherwise be accomplished through existing laws—except a new $10 million plus tax on our tenants.

Looking at the bar chart below it is obvious that RR advocates are wrong. Even more frustrating is the fact that if RR advocates had performed even a cursory review of the data, they would have perhaps understood that there is no crisis and not misled council members.  Just look at the chart below.

When I first read the report produced by GNOFHAC that measured the categories in the bar chart below, it was obvious that the data was inaccurate. Upon drilling down into the numbers we immediately discovered the inconsistencies. When you reference our Exhibit A AHS be sure to review all the notes in detail for a full explanation of how the data was misinterpreted. Sadly, the report was published and council members bought into the misinformation without understanding the underlying sources or questioning the integrity of the report. What we do know is this, the data (when correctly reviewed) gives an undeniable overall average rating of 92.72% to our landlords. Only in a perfect world would there be no problems.

In the real world, at some point, appliances break, pipes leak, toilets clog, batteries weaken and stuff breaks. When the AHS data was measured and compiled they did so by asking very specific questions; for example:

Do you currently have a working smoke detector inside your [home, apartment, rental]?

The respondent’s answer is either yes, my smoke detector is working or no, it is not working. Approximately 90.19% of the respondents said “yes” my smoke detector is working and 9.81% responded “no” it is not working. The data measures a point in time, “currently,” meaning the day the respondent was asked and answered the AHS survey question in 2011 and not the duration or length of time the smoke detector was not working. Nothing in the question or the response measures the landlord’s willingness or unwillingness to repair the smoke detector when reported to the landlord. The survey question measured the current status of the smoke detector.  Nothing in the question inquires into the past history (How long has it been non working?) or future expectations (When is the repairmen coming to make repairs?). These questions were not measured.  ( Exhibit A AHS )

From this 2011 survey (conducted 4 years ago) many of the RR advocates suggested these non working smoke detectors are proof of landlord neglect and unwillingness to make needed repairs. Some characterized them as slumlords or bad landlords in need of the city council to enact new laws to punish all landlords. This type of reasoning is illogical.

This false impression was superimposed upon the council members, general public and media’s psyche that there were adults and children at risk, desperate for the Rental Registry laws to be enacted so they could finally get their smoke detector repaired. All this from a survey question 4 years ago that simply asked, Do you currently have a working smoke detector inside your [home, apartment, rental]?

For more detailed information about receiving free smoke detectors or to learn more about the AHS data report, click on the menu and read all the articles. Also, NOFD will install 2 smoke detectors for free or change the batteries if you can’t do it yourself.

We appreciate you taking the time to read our position and hope you will get involved.


Your voice matters!

Your help is needed now to stop government intrusion. The Rental Registry is a bad idea and without your help it could become a $10 to $19 million tax on tenants and landlords.

Contacts for New Orleans City Council members and staff. Your voice matters!

City Council, STAY OUT of Private Residences!


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