This is in response to the letter about landlords charging too much for rents. I have been a landlady since 1992, and I have lowered the rents in order to attract tenants, only to have those renters trash my apartments.
The reason the rents are higher now is because that 75 percent of all the renters have little or no regard for how much they damage or tear up the apartments. In one instance, brand new drapes were stolen; in another, new carpets were burned because that renter wanted to cook drugs. Walls are a frequent target of most renters ... instead of using a tack or something that will not show much, I find dozens of large holes that often require patching and painting. Ovens never get cleaned, neither do toilets, tubs, or walls. All of these damages and failures to keep clean, add to the cost of maintaining my apartments.
Inevitably, most landlords will face having to evict renters ... this costs. And as is the case most of the time, rents, court costs and associated expenses are never recovered. Yes, landlords have the option of wage garnishment, but this is a very expensive prospect, and usually never successful. Sad to say, it is usually cheaper to just move on and literally just eat the costs. Security deposits rarely cover the cost of repairs and replacements.
As a renter, it is your responsibility to take care of the apartments by not damaging them, keeping them clean, and reporting to the landlord any maintenance issues. These considerations are hardly ever observed. These apartments do not belong to you. You are a paying guest on someone else's property, not a squatter, and certainly not a 2-year-old who has to be cleaned up afterward.
If you want lower rents then there are some simple things that most landlord would love: 1) Keep it clean, keep it clean and keep it clean; 2) Pay your rent on time - if you get paid weekly, then budget for the rent so you will have it when the rent comes due; 3) If you break it, fix it; 4) Keep the noise down; and 5) Take good care of your pets.
I have had good tenants, but I can tell you from many years of experience, they are the exception.
You want lower rents, but this is an earned prospect. And because most landlord/tenant relations end up being adversarial, don't expect many landlords to have much sympathy for your higher rents. You made this situation - so now you have to live with it.