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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please network this important information to friends and business associates. Together we can defeat the Rental Registry. Thanks for your consideration.
Open Letter To The New Orleans City Council
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 in 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 unwelcome 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
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