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Old 2013-08-02, 21:23   Link #29801
ganbaru
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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U.S. sets rules to prevent type of rail crash that hit Quebec town
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...9711BT20130803
And now, how much time before Ottawa do the same than Washington, it they ever do ...
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Old 2013-08-02, 21:23   Link #29802
GDB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
Is that how being a landlord works? Funny, because I manage a few properties, and I'm pretty sure it's a full time job that takes budgeting skills, lots of planning/expenses, and a huge time commitment with no days off. If there's an emergency at 2 AM on a Sunday, you're still on the call to fix it.
Apartment complexes, or houses? Because the former I can believe being a full-time job, the latter not so much unless you just have a lot of bad tenants who like to complain about the wind blowing.
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Old 2013-08-02, 21:34   Link #29803
ChainLegacy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GDB View Post
Apartment complexes, or houses? Because the former I can believe being a full-time job, the latter not so much unless you just have a lot of bad tenants who like to complain about the wind blowing.
It's more work the larger you scale up, of course. There's still work involved in owning multi-families though, especially if you own more than one. Now, one two family I manage has very few problems, but that's because we gutted it down to the studs and redid it by hand ourselves, which was hard physical work and up-front investment for the construction costs. If you go down that route, you save yourself from the constant maintenance headaches, but you had to put something in to get that (equivelant exchange from FMA lol).

Even in a gut rehab like that, there will always be repairs that need to be done. And it's not like you're just taking home all the rent and pocketing it. Most of it goes towards utility expenses, taxes, and of course, your mortgage which is usually the bulk of the expenses. Unless you're uber-rich and you just buy property without any financing, but then you obviously made a significant financial investment and assumed the risk involved in doing so.

But yeah, once you get to like 10 units or above, there is constant work to be done; the bookkeeping, the maintenance, budgeting, staying on top of tenants for rent, evictions, etc. There's no having your name on a sheet of paper and just sitting there like Ledgem seemed to imply (unless I misinterpreted him).

Now don't get me wrong, I think owning properties is a great way to make money and that's one of the reasons I'm pursuing it myself, but there is hard work, risk, and skill involved in the process.
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Old 2013-08-02, 21:48   Link #29804
GDB
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Landlord paying utilities? Man, you guys live in some tenant-friendly areas.
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Old 2013-08-02, 21:49   Link #29805
kyp275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
I bring up rent because I always see people harping on the folks working "unskilled jobs" who demand more money, yet other elements of society get off without a single criticism.
No disagreement there from me, but doesn't change how I look at the demand $15/hr+ for burger flipping crowd.

Quote:
Yet people need to be paid a living wage. We're looking at income that these workers are earning and demand to earn, but what are their forced expenditures? What are they getting for what they're paying? If they're in a crappy situation because of poor budgeting then that's tough but it's of their own making. If rent, food, and other necessities are costing quite a bit then therere's a problem, and I think it's worth asking why the costs are what they are.
To a point perhaps, but then you also have to look at the job, some simply aren't meant to be career jobs for people to raise whole families on. It's also not just poor budgeting either, some are just crappy life choices - you can't expect to take a single high school kid level part-time job and then complain you're not getting enough money for yourself and your 3 kids. Go out and take another job if you're not getting enough hours, or go take some classes to improve your prospect at a better paying job. My dad raised our family on probably less per hour than these people, by going out and working 70, 80hrs a week, 7 days a week for years, not by standing around and complain he should get paid twice as much because life is hard.

Not to say they don't have the right to complain and demand whatever pay they want, I have nothing against underpaid workers seeking fair compensations, but these are not exactly rocket scientist positions - keep walking off the job and they'll see just how little effort it takes to replace unskilled workers.

Last edited by kyp275; 2013-08-02 at 22:00.
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Old 2013-08-02, 21:54   Link #29806
ChainLegacy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GDB View Post
Landlord paying utilities? Man, you guys live in some tenant-friendly areas.
Lol, well common areas you will always have to pay as a landlord. We pay gas (where applicable) and water/sewer on all of our properties. Electricity is usually covered by tenants, though.
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Old 2013-08-03, 01:48   Link #29807
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
Not to say they don't have the right to complain and demand whatever pay they want, I have nothing against underpaid workers seeking fair compensations, but these are not exactly rocket scientist positions - keep walking off the job and they'll see just how little effort it takes to replace unskilled workers.
One major reason people complain about their salaries, is that often the major corporations would simultaneously claim they can't afford to raise salaries while in the same year, report record profits.

Worse, companies sometimes even perform massive numbers of lay-offs AND report record profits.

The separation of what the company can afford to pay, and what they are actually paying, is just too large. And whenever there is a rise in profits, the money goes to the bonuses of the CEOs and not a cent goes to the workers. And you wonder why people complain?
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Old 2013-08-03, 01:58   Link #29808
Mr Hat and Clogs
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^^ what you describe happens in banks most years.
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Old 2013-08-03, 04:05   Link #29809
Solace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
The supposed minimum standard of living has been set too high, I would say.
Not really. A full time minimum wage job in America pays roughly 15k a year. Once you get done paying all the bills, there's really nothing left, and they almost never have savings or capability to pay for emergencies. The argument that because it's shit work that doesn't require much skill, and therefore such workers deserve next to nothing is bullshit. The world doesn't run without those people.

People need to stop looking at the dollar amounts of wages, and look at the purchasing power. The minimum wage should be nearly $20 an hour, but it's not, because for the last thirty years the vast majority of money has gone to a very small amount of people, and everyone else's earnings have stagnated. The average worker is barely making as much as they did back in 1979. In terms of dollar value, the employees of Henry Ford's factory made more money then than the average worker now, adjusted for inflation. That's pathetic.

The only reason people don't notice it as much, is because the government has deregulated and subsidized everything. Billions are paid in subsidies and welfare while the Fed artificially suppresses the inflation rate to keep the economy going. All this money floats to the top, where it has nowhere to go except sitting in a bank account, or the stock market. When the market gets jittery at the thought of the money faucet turning off, they'll panic and dump that cash into physical assets, which will drive up inflation. This is why the stock market and corporate profits are jacked up while the actual economy sucks. Hyperinflation is a very real concern among some economists.

At this point the markets are so distorted that crashes are not only inevitable, but continually larger. Because more money is dumped on speculation than on production, it never reaches the general population, so the rising tide is lifting a few boats and drowning the rest. You can blame government for some of this, but you don't see many investors or corporations campaigning to fix it. They're too busy oggling the size of their bank accounts to see why this isn't sustainable.
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Old 2013-08-03, 04:47   Link #29810
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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What we need, is for "record profits" = "everyone gets a raise, especially the lowest paid".

Instead we have "record profits" = "we manage to keep everyone's salary below inflation again, so share holders gets a boost."

I have no problem with a struggling company keeping their salaries low. But the modem environment is about being rich at the expense of the lowest paid.

Hell, even Chinese workers are now demanding better pay.

Paying a living wage was suppose to be a social responsibility. But now it is all about share holders.
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Old 2013-08-03, 04:55   Link #29811
Bri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
What they're demanding is ludicrous. $15-20+ per hour for entry level fast food job that requires exactly zero skill? What is so special about their work that they should be paid the same/more than EMT techs or teachers or various professional and skilled labor jobs, or for that matter, police/fire and troops fighting in a warzone?
Skills and training are not the only determinants of wages. Market power allows workers and employers to alter the outcome of supply and demand. Both sides seek to exploit this advantage.

If the 'burger flippers' can get organized and force the fast food chains to cave in, they have earned their wage increase. Might makes right in the current economic reality, although most of the time it's the management and the owners (shareholders) of business who claim the largest piece of corporate revenue.
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Old 2013-08-03, 09:01   Link #29812
aohige
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Picking up pieces of detached body parts off train tracks using tweezers and tossing them into garbage bags requires no special skill, training, or knowledge - just desensitization.
But it pays good because you know, no one in their right mind wants to take up that career.

demand fulfills wages.
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Old 2013-08-03, 09:22   Link #29813
ganbaru
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Betweem wisdom and insanity
Attack on Indian mission in Afghanistan raises specter of regional struggle
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...97203E20130803

Hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay shows signs of weakening
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...96U1FZ20130731
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Old 2013-08-03, 11:03   Link #29814
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
Is that how being a landlord works? Funny, because I manage a few properties, and I'm pretty sure it's a full time job that takes budgeting skills, lots of planning/expenses, and a huge time commitment with no days off. If there's an emergency at 2 AM on a Sunday, you're still on the call to fix it.
I don't manage properties, personally, but my family has a few properties and rents out. We keep prices for tenants low in an effort to show good will and because we're not making our living off of these properties (most tenants are military families). We could very easily raise the prices up and still have tenants, and many landlords operate that way. If you're trying to make your life's earnings from those properties, then why not? Raise prices to drain as much from your tenants as possible; raise prices to squeeze out the "undesirable" tenants regardless of how long they lived their previously. I've lived across a few major cities at this point, and I've seen plenty of these practices carried out. It isn't particularly humanitarian, and I think it's a drain on society.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
Anyways, your post just kinda came off as "evil landlords!" when property management is actually a tough job, not to mention the fact that owning property is taking a financial risk just like any other investment.
Almost everyone thinks their job is tough. What you've described doesn't sound like the cushiest job in the world, but if I may give you my honest opinion, I'm not particularly impressed. I will give you credit if you've actually responded to your tenants' problems at 2 AM, though; I've had property managers who wouldn't give me the time of day beyond normal business hours, despite living right nearby.

I remember reading a quote from a history class in high school calling out landlords as being "parasites" within society. I wish I remembered who it came from. Regardless, the idea stuck with me. If you perceived me as lashing out against landlords, you were correct.

Note that I make a distinction between "landlord" and "property manager." In smaller operations these positions can be held by the same person, but in larger operations they are distinct. The "property manager" - if they're doing their job correctly - handles problems that the tenants encounter and ensures that everything is working smoothly. They can also expand and upgrade the property, although this usually comes with a nice fat price hike to the tenants.

The "landlord" is the owner of the properties. His management of the properties generally does not go beyond purchasing the land/buildings and then hiring personnel to oversee them. One landlord who owned the apartment complex I stayed in would occasionally drop by to chat with the property manager, perhaps checking to see that things were OK in the process, but that's it.

Tell me, what value did that landlord add to the property? What was his contribution to society? He represented one more outstretched hand demanding payment, an additional $100 on my monthly rent. People need to live somewhere, so he could certainly hike up prices to accommodate himself and his lifestyle as he wished. So what did my fellow tenants and I get in exchange for having him drain money from us each month?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
To a point perhaps, but then you also have to look at the job, some simply aren't meant to be career jobs for people to raise whole families on. It's also not just poor budgeting either, some are just crappy life choices - you can't expect to take a single high school kid level part-time job and then complain you're not getting enough money for yourself and your 3 kids. Go out and take another job if you're not getting enough hours, or go take some classes to improve your prospect at a better paying job. My dad raised our family on probably less per hour than these people, by going out and working 70, 80hrs a week, 7 days a week for years, not by standing around and complain he should get paid twice as much because life is hard.
I don't disagree with you for the scenarios that you've provided. That isn't the reality for everyone, though. Ideally these jobs would provide sustainable living at the very least, and an opportunity for upward mobility at best (whether within the job itself, or by offering some sort of opportunity for further education and training, including wages to cover such a thing).
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Old 2013-08-03, 12:05   Link #29815
Xellos-_^
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
squeeze out the "undesirable" tenants regardless of how long they lived their previously.
that depends on your definition of "undesirables." i am in the insurance end of the rental business. I don't manage property but have heard form clients who do rent out property.

Last year i had client who had to file claim because of the mess left by her last client who was growing Marijuana.
Two years ago I had client whose last renter skip out on the last months rent and left a whole in the house along with a huge mess. The hole was use to steal electricity.
Six years ago a client bought a house and rent it back to the seller. The seller then decided to sued my client saying the house was still theirs. Fought 2 years in court system and because of pressure form the recession decided to default on the mortgage and leave the mess to the bank.


Quote:
so he could certainly hike up prices to accommodate himself and his lifestyle as he wished.
the landlord can only hike the price to what market will bear. He hikes the rent too high and he will own a empty building.

Quote:
So what did my fellow tenants and I get in exchange for having him drain money from us each month?
a place to live, maintenance of the property.

Also unless it is in a high demand area like SF, most landlord don't have much profit after taxes, loan payment and maintenance.

Quote:
deally these jobs would provide sustainable living at the very least, and an opportunity for upward mobility at best
these jobs (fast food jobs) were never design to support a family. they were originally student jobs. high School student for pocket money and college students for tuition/rent.
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Old 2013-08-03, 13:33   Link #29816
Anh_Minh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Tell me, what value did that landlord add to the property? What was his contribution to society?
He put his (possibly hard earned) money in real estate rather than, say, some financial derivative. And he bears the risks associated with it.

If there were no landlords, then what? Tent city for almost all of us?
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Old 2013-08-03, 14:18   Link #29817
ChainLegacy
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Xellos and Anh Minh pretty much said what I would say (more succintly than I would have, probably ).

Seems like you have an emotional stake in this issue on some level. Your complaints have more to do with the capitalist system than the landlords themselves. If you dislike capitalism, that's fine and I can sympathize with that (hell, I can outright AGREE with such a position), but as they say, "don't hate the player, hate the game."

Not to say there aren't scummy landlords out there. There are bad people in every position... but honestly, I think the idea that landlords are parasites is pretty ludicrous. We aren't living in the feudal era.

If we want to get anecdotal, many of the landlords I've met in the Boston area are actually immigrants that started out working physical labor positions, saved their money as best they could while they were young, and made wise investments.
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Old 2013-08-03, 14:40   Link #29818
ArchmageXin
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Besides Mortgage, repairs, etc, a Landlord also have to pay significant taxes to the local government, and those are assessed on value, regardless if you have renter or not. I personally know commercial landlords going bankrupt from half empty buildings.
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Old 2013-08-03, 19:51   Link #29819
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
the landlord can only hike the price to what market will bear. He hikes the rent too high and he will own a empty building.
If the rent is hiked to astronomically high levels, you're correct. Otherwise, "what the market will bear" is something that sounds good but provides little assurance that things will be kept sane or fair. Have you ever read one of my rants about the medical insurance industry, or the idea that "the market" sorts out the pricing of medical procedures? The basic premise is that "market forces" depend on equal negotiating power from both parties, the buyer and the seller. The specific power of the buyer is the ability to walk away from the deal if the terms (such as the cost) don't suit them. In medicine, the "buyer" (the patient) usually doesn't have this power. You can always elect not to have a procedure or treatment, but how much are parts of your body worth to you?

When it comes to housing we're one step removed from the medical scenario, but it's similar. People have to live somewhere. Not everyone has the resources (time or money) to live wherever they want in relation to their job. Not everyone has the resources to purchase their own property outright; thus they are forced to pay rent to someone else. This is an unavoidable drain on one's resources.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
a place to live, maintenance of the property.
As I mentioned previously, if the property is well-maintained then the tenants are arguably getting a good service for the money that they're paying. That's not a situation that is automatically a given, however. The idea that there would be no place to live if it weren't for the landlords is totally false.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
Also unless it is in a high demand area like SF, most landlord don't have much profit after taxes, loan payment and maintenance.
I don't know enough to say whether this is true or false in most cases. I'm also not against the idea that people would make their livings off of managing properties for others. However, we've reached a scenario where people can't easily opt out of having others manage their properties for them. Property costs are either prohibitively expensive or they're simply unavailable, as there are no sellers. And people have to live somewhere. Now we're forced to pay out to the renters, whose services may be incredibly poor or unwanted. Is this scenario really that much different from the medical scenario? Where is the buyer's power?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
these jobs (fast food jobs) were never design to support a family. they were originally student jobs. high School student for pocket money and college students for tuition/rent.
I don't think that these jobs were "designed" for anything - they're jobs that needed to be filled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
He put his (possibly hard earned) money in real estate rather than, say, some financial derivative. And he bears the risks associated with it.

If there were no landlords, then what? Tent city for almost all of us?
If there were no landlords people would still need a place to live, and few people would be content with living in a tent. Individuals or groups would put up housing.

I understand why what I'm saying might be construed as odd if we claim that all landlords purchased property and then spent money to build the housing for tenants. In such a scenario it's clear that something was created, added to society, and it only makes sense that people be rewarded for the service that they provided, which in this case is the capital and vision. How do you feel if we begin to talk about buildings that are already constructed - perhaps badly in need of renovation - and that are owned by the heirs to the property, or groups that simply buy and sell properties? These people or groups skim money off of people who need somewhere to live. What value are they providing back to society or to their tenants?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
Seems like you have an emotional stake in this issue on some level. Your complaints have more to do with the capitalist system than the landlords themselves. If you dislike capitalism, that's fine and I can sympathize with that (hell, I can outright AGREE with such a position), but as they say, "don't hate the player, hate the game."
This has nothing to do with disliking capitalism. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, capitalism relies on equal negotiating power between the purchaser and the seller. Such a healthy balance exists in some regions of the country, but in many of the places that I've lived it has been horribly skewed.

The "emotional stake" in this only has to do with what I perceive as unfair slights against the poor. We complain about people on welfare, or poor who demand more payment for their jobs. Tell me, where is the outrage every time landlords raise the rent by some percentage, well above inflation, each year? Complaints are leveled against people on welfare, who are identified as parasites who contribute nothing to society; where is the outrage against the landlords who are doing little more than sitting on properties and siphoning money out of the tenants who may be unable to live anywhere else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
but honestly, I think the idea that landlords are parasites is pretty ludicrous. We aren't living in the feudal era.
Ironically, the concept of landlords is one of the few elements from the feudal era that lives on in modern society.
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Old 2013-08-03, 20:14   Link #29820
Xellos-_^
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Quote:
People have to live somewhere. Not everyone has the resources (time or money) to live wherever they want in relation to their job. Not everyone has the resources to purchase their own property outright; thus they are forced to pay rent to someone else. This is an unavoidable drain on one's resources.
what is your alternative? Government run Housing hasn't exactly prove to be paradise either.
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