Slum Lords

Last week, I was talking about how bad reputation can break a person, neighborhood, business, etc. So this week we will look at the reputations of those who are slum lords and the slums area.

There is some slums area that is so bad, so dangerous, people try to avoid especially after dark. They just don’t feel safe in that neighborhood. The streets are not lit very well; so it’s completely dark. Crimes is very high in those areas from murder to theft to sexual assault. There is even taxi drivers who do not want to go into that type of neighborhood if they can help it.

Those are the people who cannot afford to live anywhere else. Most of them, don’t have cars either. They depends on public transportation and/or taxi service to get around. Sometimes, even the help of people they know through either church or jobs, if they have one.

The slums is nothing new though and either are slum lords. They have been around since the turn of the century, the 1990’s, I’m talking about.

Much of the urban poor lived in a tenement housing. There was a stench of waste and crimes. And poverty often breeds crime. The homes were cramped, poorly lit and lack indoor plumbing and proper ventilation. People who lives in these areas also have poor health and poor medical treatment. These areas are usually considered the inner city.

When you hear inner cities, you think of major metropolitans; but not Fargo, ND. I’m here to tell you that’s not the case anymore.

Now I don’t want to dwell on life in the inner cities, the slums area; because that’s a whole different blog. Much like the urban poor that lives there. Instead, I want to discuss the slum lords who take advantage of the poor people who lives in the slums and poorly runs apartment.

Back in June of this year, there was huge collapse of a condo in Florida. Many lives were lost due to the collapse and there are still some who are missing . This condo had an underground garage and even a swimming pool. It was discovered that years of water corrosions in the underground garage due to the swimming pool.

It goes to show that if upkeep isn’t being kept up on a building, there will be wear and tear throughout the life of the building. The city government knew about all the corrosions; as well as the landlords, but did nothing about it.

In these slums areas, they also have bedbugs and cockroaches problems as well. They will find a way into the building through any cracks. Yet these slum lords won’t take the responsibility themselves. They would rather blame the tenants who lives in the building. If they have to exterminate the bugs problem, they will charge the renters; rather than take responsibility themselves.

When the high rise was first built in Fargo, it was a nice building for Seniors Citizens. Throughout the years, it had turned into a slum area runs by the Housing Authority for low rent housing to the poor. They had been known to have bedbugs as well.

Now the city of Fargo is looking at tearing it down because it’s a little too late to fix the problems and much cheaper. The question is, “Where do those who lives there go?”

Where I used to lived, it was a nice neighborhood and apartment. Once again, years of deterioration the apartment had become run down and the neighborhood had turned into a slum areas. When brought up about the crack in the wall needs fixing, someone from housing would just say, “It’s nothing to worry about.”

Toward the end of my stay there, Silver Leaf was the Property Manager. They were kicked out of the Twin Cities because of poor property management. At one time, the building was cleaner and quieter. There was good families and people who lived there. The last few years, the building was going downhill. It was not kept up with maintenance and basic cleaning. The laundry room was filthy and so was the hallway. They even had problems with cockroaches and bedbugs. And Silver Leaf expected those who rented to pay for the extermination; instead of taking responsibility themselves.

I also remembered one time, the fridge was going on the brink; and that was back when Coldwell Banker owned the property. I complained about it and they just said, “We gave you a new fridge.” Finally, I contacted Housing complaints and told them about it. They told me to contact the property manager again and tell them that I contacted Housing about the new fridge and if they still don’t do anything, they will get after them. When I did that, it didn’t take long to get a new fridge.

In a way, these slum lords should have to live in these buildings; that way they can see for themselves. Then maybe, they might do a better job at upkeep.

They want to collect the rent but not do any upkeeps. Yet, at the same time, because of the pandemic the government held off on eviction notices because of the crisis. Small property managers ended up folding because they can’t afford the upkeep without getting the rent payments. Some of them may even be good respectable people, not slum lords.

What a difference between where I live now compare to where I used to live? It’s only a few blocks away too. My old neighborhood was a slum. I didn’t feel safe. I knew as I get older, I would have to consider moving but being force to move was downright dirty. It’s quieter where I live. It’s more lit up. If I had to be outside after dark, I wouldn’t be as fearful as I was in my old neighborhood. The building is so much cleaner. They seems to care about the property and those who rents there.

The bad part about moving is the expenses. That’s why the poor are doom to live in the slum areas run by the slum lords; who takes advantage of them, instead of actually caring for them. If the government does help, they would rather keeps the poor in these slums areas. In a way, they are the worse slum lords. Just look at the Fargo High Rise again. Look at the slums areas of Fargo-Moorhead as well as any metropolitans.

What kinds of reputation does your neighborhood have? Is it the slums? Is it runs by slum lords?