LETTERS: Overly strict city tenant ordinance limits affordable housing

SHARE LETTERS: Overly strict city tenant ordinance limits affordable housing

While I commend the “Lift the Ban” movement for their efforts to push for rent control [“Some Chicago voters will see rent control on March ballot’], the problem of affordable housing in Chicago can be placed directly on the shoulders of City Council and its oppressive Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance.

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This punitive ordinance unjustly increases the costs of operating affordable housing — which is naturally passed on to the tenants. This strictly construed ordinance recently resulted in a landlord client of mine being sued, ultimately, for paying a tenant two cents of interest earned on the tenant’s security deposit 10 months later than required under the statute. This failing (a 10 month delay in 2 cents of interest payment) resulted in my client being responsible to the tenant for over $7,000 (twice the security deposit plus attorneys’ fees, as per the CRLTO).

When the City of Chicago subjects landlords to potential liabilities of 350,000 times the amount of the actual harm, it’s no wonder that rents are higher than they would otherwise be under a system that took equity and justice into account when addressing such matters. While the CRLTO was promulgated ostensibly to protect tenants, it punishes a landlord’s innocent and materially harmless mistakes as harshly as willful and wanton misconduct. If the residents of the City of Chicago seek more affordable housing, they should seek to correct the underlying cause, and not impose an artificial remedy.

Daniel Selzer, Oak Park

Apocalypse for affordable housing

The report in Friday’s Sun-Times quotes a Realtor Association executive saying that rent control would be an “apocalypse” for landlords. What the article fails to note is that it would also be an apocalypse for people who need affordable housing.

No new affordable housing units would be built. Existing buildings would turn into slums. If you make housing a money losing investment, new housing will disappear, and old housing will deteriorate until it falls apart

Richard Crane, Lake View

Scandalous nickname

I write this as a semi-retired journalist, as well as a common American citizen.

It is extremely scandalous that before Donald Trump became president, many members of the media — print and broadcast, but especially newspaper columnists — fawningly referred to Trump as “The Donald.” Indeed, they gave more positive PR to his adulterous antics and game-show persona than to his amoral, foul and corrupt business dealings.

Without this bombardment of odious obsequiousness, I sincerely doubt he would have had the name recognition to get elected to the highest office in this land.

Please feel free to disagree with me but, more importantly, forward this letter to as many people as you can. It is a warning to my fellow journalists and average Americans that even as the pen is supposedly more mighty than the sword, servile keyboards can make a lying nobody into an American president.

By the way, the only one who can legitimately can be called “The Donald” is Donald Duck.

Charles Halevi, Lincolnwood

Brazen carjackers

I couldn’t help but laugh after reading about Police Supt. Eddie Johnson being encouraged about having 644 murders this year as opposed to 754 murders at this time last year. Cleverly omitted from his “feel good” speech was any mention of the rampant epidemic in carjackings. These carjackers are brazen and violent, and they are out of control.

Mike Rice, Jefferson Park

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