Death By Zombie Evictee: Miami Landlord Proxy Nightmares

Bloodstained ghouls in nurses uniforms stumble towards camera
zombies! photo by Tuomas Kuosmanen is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
Please, Miami politicians! Help landlords protect their tenants from zombie evictees.

Current Miami-Dade local politics feature some efforts to at least consider changes to the legalities of landlord-tenant relationships in an era when rents are increasing far faster than wages.

City council politicians are seriously, even unanimously, exploring ways to reshape the legal framework that binds landlords and tenants together.

One significant proposal on the table: allowing tenants to pay for essential health and safety repairs to rental units that landlords have been simply ignoring.

Of course, such pure tenant self-sacrifice will always be received with open arms by any landlord. But not, as Miami City Council is considering, when the tenant is allowed to deduct the cost of repairs from the rent that is due.

Read about the screams of dismay, amplified by landlord associations, on this pending legislation and other issues designed to bring rents as well as rental practices in line with the ability of tenants to pay for them.

Whether in America or other countries, activists and local councils can find a lot of useful information about how and why landlords push back rather than participate in measures that impact their profits.

Ducking and turning like prize fighters, one moment landlords are clearly fighting directly for their own interests (e.g. Tenants may pad the repair bills that are deducted from our rightful rent!). The next moment, they are conducting a proxy battle, fighting back on behalf of tenants themselves (e.g. Sitting tenants will not want landlords to consider or accept zombie tenants — tenants who have been evicted — who will arrive to eat everyone’s children, or commit other unspecified horrors.).

Get tips on practical landlord concerns about pinching their profits, as well as less credible defences against making changes that might make renting more affordable. There are a growing number of tenants who could never, ever afford to own a home, as well as those — including millions of American middle-class youth — for whom home ownership seems to be a permanently fading dream.

Read more in the Miami Herald: Tenants could divert rent to pay for neglected repairs under Miami-Dade proposal