Sunday, December 11, 2011

REI Of Roanoke Most Important Issues Survey

REI Important Issue Survey

So we did a survey to REI members on what were the most important issues we have that are negatively impacting our businesses. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, Drum roll please..... Here are the results!

What city related issues do you feel strongest about.

Solid Waste (You picked your 1 most important issue):

#1. Fines to landlords for illegally dumped trash by tenants, neighbors or others is wrong. Picked by 46.3% of our members as being the number 1 issue pertaining to Solid Waste.  Billy Basham where are you? Got something we need to talk to you and Skip about.

#2. Violations for tenants trash cans should not be going to landlords. Picked by 19.5% of our members.

#3. Solid waste is required to take the 6 largest items. If there is a large pile of stuff, they are not taking anything and violating the whole pile rather than taking the 6 largest items and then violating it. Picked by 14.6% of our members.

Code Enforcement / Building Inspections (You picked your 2 most important issues):

#1. Code violations caused by tenant such as mowing, trash cans left out, automobiles, etc given to the landlord and not the tenant as it should be. Picked by 56.1% of our members.

#2. For a simple “repair” making you bring the whole project up to today’s code. This was picked by 17.1% of our members.

Having a required Certificate of Occupancy AND Rental Certificate, both of which you have to pay for and 2 different inspections.

Modification of the discretionary nature of inspections where an inspector can “take a stronger look at bla, bla, bla” instead of being by the book as it should.

Not doing 360 degree inspections of neighboring property so the surrounding owner occupied property gets off with no citations.

TOM CARR is on our email list and he cares about the well being of small businesses such as ours in Roanoke.  I'm sure he will be contacting me to talk about these issues so we can see if we can develop some solutions to these issues landlords are most concerned about. One at a time.

Authorities including the Water Authority ( You picked your 1 most important issue):

#1. The overwhelming 65.9% response was Water Authority billing landlords for tenants unpaid water bill. Other responses mostly had to do with the Water Authority, their unprofessionalism, lack of accountability and how they are the "kings and queens of their own monopoly".

State related issues: that REI members want us to start working on. We were all over the board on this one. Most questions getting 29 to 46% of the response. You were able to pick 3 issues on this one. I'll list the top 8. We'll work on the top 3 to start.

#1 @ 46.3% - Reduce burden on court system. Change eviction process to a matter that is dealt with by the local magistrate and not the judge so the process of eviction begins and ends within a 10 day time period. If they don’t move the sheriff sets them out immediately.

#2 @ 43.9@ - Once a rental judgment has been placed upon a person, the person should have a legal obligation to keep the courts aware of their present and past employers and their social security numbers, anytime it changes until the judgment is paid in full.

3 way tie for #3 all at 36.6% -
- When tenants remain in the unit and they should be moving out, but not allowing us to rent the unit they are stealing, period! The amounts lost in revenues should be repaid to the landlord immediately. All products removed from the home or apartment that are taken should be considered stolen and reimbursed by the tenant or process them as thieves. (i.e. Smoke detectors, air conditioners, window screens, light bulbs, light fixtures, doors, door knobs, windows, paint etc...)

- When squatters are in the home the police should be able to arrest them for trespassing immediately if problems arise and the landlord must call the police. Criminal charges, not civil as it is now.

- Too much time allowed for non paying tenants

3 way tie for #4 all at 29.3% -
- Crystal clear language in the Virginia Building Code that allows that if a property was to code the date of it’s original inspection, it is not permitted for building inspectors to require it to be changed to today’s code.

- When tenants or their friends do damage to the property, this is vandalism and they should be charged with a crime and forced to pay for the repairs. This is blatant abuse of our property!

- New laws that “require” judges to uphold the tenant responsibilities like escrowed rent. Or not allow tenants to contest an amount owed without the uncontested dollar amount immediately being put in escrow. Tenant accountability.


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