Open Letter To The New Orleans City Council

Concerned Friends:  We need your support! We would love to add your name, title and company name to this letter. Please use the comment box below or send your name and information to bchopin7@gmail.com. Please network this important information to friends and business associates. Together we can defeat the Rental Registry. Thanks for your consideration.

Bob Chopin


Open Letter To The New Orleans City Council

 Regarding

Proposed Rental Registry

Dear Council Members:

Robert Heinlein wrote:

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.

We are deeply troubled by certain proponents advocating the implementation of a Rental Registry and the false narrative driving this misguided effort. It is completely illogical to define all landlords by the actions or omissions of a few and is wrong to cite a limited number of problems as proof of a systemic breakdown in the rental industry. It is equally disturbing that many proponents and some council members have willfully ignored the legitimate facts and opted to publicize a false narrative that is deceptive in principle. Prudence, not passion, must direct government actions and illuminate our decisions. Proponents may be passionate and sincere, but they are sincerely and factually wrong. A Rental Registry will destroy affordable housing and drive rents through the roof. Some financially at risk renters may be pushed into homelessness due to soaring rents caused by the Rental Registry’s fees, taxes and associated compliance expenses.

Many RR proponents fundamentally possess little knowledge and no experience about the rental industry and its complex nature. We have witnessed their quick-tempered theatrics and disparaging denigrations of landlords calling them slumlords and other characterizations not suitable for print or reiteration. This deep-rooted animosity toward landlords has fueled a false narrative that grossly disregards the factual data. This was highlighted on May 11, 2016 when Councilperson Cantrell requested a list of the alleged property locations (possibly 2,000) that were being reported as examples of landlord neglect and was told that the data was sourced from the American Home Survey (AHS) and the property could not be identified (video time stamp around 40.00). Moreover, the data is incorrectly sourced from the extremely comprehensive AHS of 2011 and those who sourced the data twisted the facts to support a false narrative that appears to be more deliberate rather than from incompetence.

We have carefully researched and documented the alleged rationale for this program and discovered that the information and reports presented are grossly inaccurate either by design or ineptitude (go to: www.neworleanscitynews.wordpress.com for a complete detailed explanation of the facts.)

Proponents and some council members have referenced the false narrative and misinformation as being sound reasonable evidence of systemic building code deficiencies when in fact the sourced information actually contradicts the false narrative it is alleged to demonstrate.

It is quite disturbing to see false and inaccurate conclusions being publicized by elected officials as the foundation upon which to erect a massive, burdensome and costly bureaucratic tax on renters. The program is wasteful and fails to focus on a specific complaint or deficiency, but rather focus on warrantless inspections of all rental units that are occupied by satisfied renters. Renters by and enlarge have neither requested nor desire government officials to manage their personal living arrangements and homes. It is an unconscionable condescending government that arbitrarily determines all renters somehow want and need costly government protection involving forced and illegal searches of their homes by unwelcomed strangers. These unwarranted searches are a clear violation of our 4th Amendment Right of privacy. Moreover, these mandatory home searches for violations of city ordinances are unconstitutional and lack “probable cause.” You cannot strip our citizens of their Constitutional Rights by enacting city ordinances that seek to nullify our Constitutional Right of privacy. Your sworn oath of office states that you will “uphold” our Constitution, not seek to manipulate or undermine it.

We know the Rental Registry push was conceived in anger, ignorance and contempt by a small group of renters and several 501(c)(3)’s seeking self-validation, without which funding and grant money dries up. Rental Registry proponents are exploiting a few problems affecting a small percentage of renters to fabricate a nonexistent crisis that reeks of demagoguery and is not supported by factual data.

We have repeatedly cited existing code enforcement laws that provided for inspections of any rental unit or private residence believed to be in violation of the building code laws. It is a complaint-based program where inspectors are dispatched to investigate a reported problem(s). It effectively, efficiently and economically addresses the reported problem(s) and provides an effective and expeditious resolution.

The term “registration” is code for taxation, even if it begins as a voluntary program. A home-by-home inspection based program like a Rental Registry requires massive regulatory oversight, burdensome charges, fees (taxes), compliance expense and a host of other related expenses for the 68,000 plus rental units and renters that are content to manage than own personal homes. Such a program will virtually eliminate affordable housing by requiring huge rental increase to cover its endless cost to renters and property owners. To think otherwise is to be deluded with reckless passion and unbridled contempt for sound judgment which in this matter appears to be ubiquitous.

More recently we have reviewed the Mayor’s “Request For Proposal” (RFP) seeking bids from 3rd party contractors (possibly a cronyistic 501(c)(3)) to “set fees” for a non-existent program lacking specificity and scope. It is a sham and absolute arrogant outrage to issue an RFP for an undefined illegal Rental Registry. 

Although the facts and truth remain suppressed by certain proponents in favor of a false and dishonest narrative, at some point the truth will surface—it always does. Those who participated in this rouse and have treated the truth with contempt will face serious public scrutiny, political headwinds and the legal ramifications associated with this unwarranted, ill-conceived and illegal home invasion program. Therefore, we urge you to reconsider your intentions and end this agenda to tax our renters out of their homes and destroy affordable housing.

We, the undersigned are opposed to any legislation aimed at creating a Rental Registry.

Bob Chopin, OM, Uptown Realty Management
Christian Hooper, Partner, Audubon Properties
Chris Riggs, Assistant Vice President, NAI Latter & Blum Property Management
Joan von Kurnatowski Feibelman, Partner, URM, LLC
Mike Mansell, Manager, Cypress Trace Apartments
Andre Hooper, Partner, ACH Ventures
Harold J. LeBlanc III, President, Crescent Building and Construction
G. Pratt Provosty, Founder/Partner, PPQ Development, LLC
N. G. Shephard, Sr., Owner, Shephard Builders
James Day, Owner, Mortgagepreps, LLC; Realestatepreps, LLC
Raymond Harris, Owner, Melting Point Rentals
Michael Laughlin, Owner, Southerndeals.com
Desmond Tillery, Partner, Tillery Real Estate, LLC
H. Langford, Realtor, Latter & Blum
Stephen Ehlinger, Relator, Developer & Landlord, Latter & Blum
Neal Morris, Principal, Redmellon Restoration & Development

We need your name here.


 

17 Responses to Open Letter To The New Orleans City Council

  1. Joan von Kurnatowski Feibelman says:

    This is all right on, Bob! Keep up the great work and count me in on opposing all the new legislation in the pipeline that will be detrimental to development of affordable housing, continued low rents, incentives for development, in New Orleans.

    Like

    • B. Chopin says:

      Your years of experience and leadership in property development and the rental industry speaks volumes to the current challenges we are facing. Keep sharing the vision and fighting for all New Orleanians.

      Like

  2. Jason says:

    I pay my rent on time and my landlord fixes things when they break. I DO NOT want anybody in my apartment especial some inspector from the city coming to check out my personal life which is none of their business. This is not a communist country and we don’t need a gestapo run city,

    Like

  3. G. Pratt Provosty says:

    Another attack on affordable housing by an ignorant and dangerous group of politicians pandering to a misguided, greedy group of activists trying to fund their future through government cronyism. This will further stress the local rental industry as investment capital will absolutely red line Orleans Parish. Sad and Disgusting!

    G. Pratt Provosty
    Founder/Partner
    PPQ Development, LLC

    Like

  4. Raymond Harris says:

    I am against this law. It is intrusive to home owners and against the fourth amendmend. We don’t need any more invasions of our privacy from local government. I’m a homeowner and business owner. This new registry does not benefit the best for my community. Let’s put our heads together and figure a different approach.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Michael lLaughlin says:

    I am totally against this Law

    Like

  6. Desmond Tillery says:

    I am opposed: Desmond Tillery, Partner, Tillery Real Estate, LLC

    Like

  7. Haj Langford says:

    It is hard enough being a Landlord and a Tenant without people who “don’t have skin in the game” trying to invent new rules and laws on top of what already exists – rules that they clearly don’t understand because if they did, they would simply say “call code enforcement”.

    Orleans Parish simply has to enforce the property condition and building codes that already exist – simply look over the parish line at Jefferson parish they have no problems enforcing the rules…. its easy to push motions and shuffle paper and look good to your political peers …. but its hard to do the right thing for the people and make sure the code enforcement department is properly staffed and held accountable – because that is not glamorous and its hard to tell homeowners and landlords who cannot afford to repair the property they own that, “I am sorry” but “those are the rules and you need to follow the rules if you want to own property in Orleans Parish” ….(or you will be subject to fines for the defects, which will be attached to your taxes if you don’t pay, and then if you also don’t pay the taxes a property tax auction will follow and you may lose your property) it is simple – staff and manage the code enforcement department you already have.

    Can you imagine how beautiful this entire city would be if code enforcement worked to make sure every house did not have peeling paint and had straight gutters, straight legal height fences and the grass cut? It would be a start.
    Inventing a complicated back door scheme to raise costs on everyone (including tenants) is a sham, a cover for the fact that the city is afraid to enforce the existing code enforcement rules equally on every property owner across the city – not just landlords.

    Here is the page from the city website that they just need to follow and enforce.
    https://www2.municode.com/library/la/new_orleans/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIICO_CH26BUBUREHOST

    Like

    • B. Chopin says:

      Everyone should read this one! Excellent observations! Thanks for your support!

      Like

    • Joan von Kurnatowski Feibelman says:

      Haj, your comments are wonderful! They should be broadcast all over. Especially the part about how things are good in Jefferson Parish; that might make the New Orleans City Council and Safety and Permits squirm. Please help us get this word around!

      Like

  8. Cher says:

    I am a renter and I am against the fact the because I am low income my apartment will be subject to intrusions, but the upper class who can afford to buy a home will not!! This is an attack against low income individuals and renters. We have the same right to privacy that the rich do.

    Like

  9. stephen ehlinger says:

    I am a Realtor, a landlord and a developer of property in orleans Parish. This is the most ludicrous piece of legislation I have seen thus far in my 57 years as a resident of this city. Like most responsible landlords in this city, I do my best to keep my properties in the best condition possible. In my 30 plus years of being a landlord I have never had a complaint from a tenant that has gone unaddressed. Why, because I ask top dollar for my rentals. I, like most landlords, try to get the highest rent possible that the market will bare. We need to get the best return on our investments because we are hit with EXORBITANT property taxes, ridiculous insurance rates (just because we are located in Orleans Parish) and out of touch water/garbage bills due to an ineptly run Sewage and Water Board. It doesn’t take a “rocket scientist” to figure out who the slumlords are in this city…..all you have to do is drive by the decrepit buildings. Instead of trying to pass legislation that penalizes the good landlords (90%) why not enforce the laws that are already on the books through “code enforcement” and crack down on the the real problem, bad landlords (10%)!
    The city code enforcement department obviously can’t keep up with their current demands so now you are going to pass legislation that will add to their current workload. Who is going to pay for this mess? I guess the burden falls to the law-abiding,taxpaying citizens once again. When is enough, enough? This legislation is totally unconstitutional. The city already has laws on the books to protect the rental community which obviously are not being enforced. Stop, take a deep breath and ask yourselves…..is this really good for the rental community ? Because if it isn’t then you have an ulterior motive for passing this legislation! And to that I say Rental Registry = Rent Control.

    Like

  10. Pingback: Council committee approves rental registry, though many concerns remain | The Lens

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