Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A New Orleans eviction

Many New Orleans renters of apartments that were spared flooding are complaining that landlords are doubling the rent. A friend of mine moved out of an apartment on Esplanade Avenue that he was renting for $750. The new rent: $1500.

What's causing rent inflation? Demand -- especially by contractors making money hand over fist. For New Orleanians, however, their salaries aren't doubling.

Meanwhile, three months after Hurricane Katrina, is it reasonable to ask that tenants should have returned by now to claim their possessions if they don't plan to return to live in New Orleans? After three months, do landlords have a right to evict tenants who haven't returned so they can rent to new tenants and restore the income they need to make mortgage payments? Is it sufficient to simply post an eviction notice on the tenants door, or should the landlord have to track down their tenants?

A recent federal order requires landlords to mail notices to tenants 45 days before eviction using addresses FEMA will provide.

These issues crossed my mind once again when, a few days ago, I passed a pile of furniture and other possessions in front of a house that didn't flood. Sure enough, eviction notices were on the door. Someone's possessions were put on the street. I had to wonder if the tenant was properly notified.

James Gill has a commentary on the issues confronting renters and landlords in post-Katrina New Orleans.

Another tragedy that will soon unfold is home foreclosures. Although the FDIC is asking mortgage lenders to extend payment deferments, lenders are free to do what they choose now that the 90-day grace period has ended.


At 12/07/2005 10:56:00 PM, Blogger ledemure said...

I did make it to new orleans. saw X took photos and even ate at Coop's place a few days before it caught fire, went up town to the creole creamery for some lavender honey ice cream and spent lots of time with ride a bike around the quarter. I will be back. New Orleans is one of the best cities as far as I am concerned, the people even more special, I think they make it what it is, and that, that is something I will remember forever and I will support any rebuilding and return to the city. Oh, and I had the dogs at the cabrini dog park. New Orleans is a beautiful mystical being that has a hold like no the kelp of the west, she is a holdfast, anchored in place and her people with her. That kind of strength isn't everywhere.....and I want that kind of power in my life, peaceful power.
I will catch up on your blog, but I am glad you are okay and I pray that your family is safe too.

At 12/08/2005 03:38:00 AM, Blogger Polimom said...

Yup, it's pretty amazing what's happening to values. Doubling a rent coincides with what a friend told me yesterday: she's had an unsolicited offer on her perfectly ordinary house at just about exactly double its pre-Katrina value.


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