It seems to me that all I ever hear in the media is the term "slumlord." You never hear the words "slum tenants."
They surely do outnumber the landlords who try to maintain their property in livable condition. These tenants feel windows are made to be broken when they misplace their entry keys. Front doors are left open or kicked in because their friends or ex-husbands are refused entry.
Porches are used for obsolete furniture. Attics are supposed to be used for storage, not as kennels that are never cleaned until the owner comes along and has to clean up and disinfect them.
A slum tenant has a million excuses for not paying the rent. It is always the welfare caseworker's fault. The check was stolen or didn't came at all. Finally, they move only after being taken to court at a cost of $150, which the owner pays in addition to the $400 the owner pays for a dumpster to haul the junk they leave behind.
There is hope, however. I own several homes in what is now considered the ghetto. I have seen slum tenants destroy and then again I have seen what I consider gilt-edged tenants. I recently purchased 482 Winslow Ave. I repaired the house and rented it out to what I call gilt-edge tenants. At their own expense, they dug up the front and back lawn and planted new grass and bushes. The house is clean inside and out. Garbage cans are covered. The yard is free of debris. Their consideration of my property inspires me to do more for them than just collect rent.
People make a ghetto, and people hold the key to changing the ghetto into a vibrant community.
VINCENT J. BROWN
Castle Real Estate Co.