Eviction rates: the rest of the story

Landlords want every resident to stay forever. Sincerely! All they ask is for residents to respect the property and neighbors and pay their rent ... on time.

The recent articles in The News & Advance about very high eviction rates suggest that 59 percent (1167/1965 in 2017, The News & Advance, Aug. 4) of all legal proceedings end in evictions and that landlords send mean letters or don’t try to communicate or offer payment plans.

This couldn’t be further from the truth for landlords I know, and I was a landlord for 27 years before retiring. When a landlord gets judgment, 90 percent end in payment by and continues rental for the resident. “Mean” letters are actually “blunt” letters that the legal system requires for a successful judgment for the landlord. Landlords spend huge amounts of time attempting to contact late payers who, more often than not, avoid all contact with landlords or make promises to pay that they do not intend to keep, instead choosing fancy manicures, clothes, cars and such. Private landlords rely solely on rental payments to operate. If a few don’t pay, that is less money to be spent maintaining nice communities.

I would like to see more effort by well-intended folks spent, not insinuating that landlords are “mean” and uncaring, but on addressing root causes of failure to pay rent. For those who fail to pay their rent for reasons other than being laid off a job or getting very sick, the answers lie within themselves. Poor choices: to not get an education and a job, to have children before they can afford to and without a solid partner to share responsibilities, to let drugs and alcohol destroy their motivation or simply misplaced priorities. Stopping making excuses for those people!

“Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime.”

LYDIA LANGLEY

Lynchburg

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