Home Front

A blog about the economy and the Sacramento-area real estate market.

May 13, 2008
Move along, the landlord is losing the house

If you like stability in your life you would not want to be Kyla Salazar-Thompson or Mike Kennedy. The two renters just moved at the end of February and now they're moving again at the end of this month. I visited with them this morning in Elk Grove - an exhibit A city for foreclosures and disruptions in the life of its renters.

The couple seems to have a knack for picking rentals where the landlord eventually stops paying the mortgage. It's happened twice now within six months. This time the two are probably moving into an apartment complex. It may be smaller and not have a yard, but a year's lease at least means something at apartment complexes.

Salazar-Thompson said she has two friends in the same boat, booted out of rentals because the landlord lost the house. We'll have more on the story from them and another booted renter in Friday's Home Front.

Meanwhile, Salazar-Thompson wonders why property management companies aren't doing a better job screening landlords. She says renters have to undergo credit checks and prove their worthiness to the world before being accepted as tenants. What's wrong with this picture, she says, when landlords aren't receiving the same scrutiny before entering leases with tenants?

I was especially struck by how the foreclosure mess interfered with her wedding invitations. The couple, getting married in December, already have the invitations printed and also the envelopes for their guests to RSVP. Those envelopes, of course, carry the address of the house they are now having to leave. So that's another $100 for new envelopes.

Another big question behind the mortgage meltdown is this: If your friends gladly helped you move two months ago for beer and pizza, isn't it a little much to ask them again so soon? Probably not, but it's on their minds as people keep telling them: "You're moving AGAIN?"
Oh, the good life in the nation's Foreclosure Belt.

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