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raum's avatar

What would it look like if landlords didn’t exist?

Asked by raum (7841points) 1 month ago from iPhone

The majority opinion seems to be that landlords are evil. I find this a bit puzzling.

Admittedly I have major quarantine brain, but I’m having a hard time figuring out what this landlord-free utopia looks like?

What happens to all the people who don’t have money to buy a home?

Government housing?
Hippie communes?

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17 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

My mind goes in multiple directions reading your question. I am not exactly sure who you are referring to that is calling landlords evil.

The first thing I thought of was that Singapore has 80% of the people living in public housing. Many years ago leaders believed if the masses had shelter they could stop worrying about that and put their energy into being productive. Here is a wikipedia If you are interested in it I encourage you to google more about the history and success and failure.

The next thing I thought of is the stereotype that the Jews are the landlords and that landlords are bad people. This Jewish landlord stereotype persists today, especially in Black communities, but not only among Blacks.

If landlords didn’t exist it would be either government owned free housing, or maybe they mean government rental housing? Sometimes people want to rent, not everyone wants to own a house. It would be impossible in America to do away with landlords. It would be like communism, seizing property, there would be a revolt.

A commune sounds nice, but I think there would still be ownership.

Ownership is part of the prosperity of America, we just need to address how expensive it has become in many parts of the country. The high prices of owning is part of what drives up rental prices, but market forces play the biggest role.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

There is nothing wrong with a legal law abiding land lord.
Problem is slum lords, who over charge for run down housing and refuse to do any up keep on them,taking advantage of poor people that can’t afford to ever own their own home.

jca2's avatar

Does this question mean what would happen if rental units didn’t exis

LuckyGuy's avatar

Some people would be living in places with broken plumbing, leaking roofs and overgrown landscaping. While others would make their places even more beautiful.

Drive down some neighborhood streets and take a look. Some have trash and litter in the street and on the front lawns while others are spotless. Trash pickup is provided by the city. All the resident has to do is pick it.up and put it in the can.
Some do; some don’t.
You can guess what those houses would look like if the landlord did not take care of it.

seawulf575's avatar

Even if you have government housing, you have a landlord. Someone else owns the property. Your rent might be zero, but you are still under their rules. And if the question means what would it be like if landlords just disappeared today and everyone got to live where they are, you end up in a situation where when something goes wrong, you are on the hook to fix it. Extrapolate that out to an apartment building. Let’s say the plumbing goes bad and all the pipes need to be replaced. Now you have to work with all the other people that live there to figure out how to get it fixed. Think of the mess that would be! Who would we get to fix it? Who would pay for it? People living in the middle floors would feel the elite on the top floors should pay more especially when you consider those people need more piping to get water. Not to mention, what would it look like if the plumber had to knock a hole in the wall of one apartment to allow access to the piping for another unit?

gondwanalon's avatar

Take a look at Cuba.

KNOWITALL's avatar

More homeless.

Seems like some people (40 million last I heard) are facing eviction for not paying rent during Covid. Can some landlords afford to let it slide? Probably.

There was an article about Portland I believe, where BLM said white people needed to move out or they’d just move them by force.

LuckyGuy's avatar

This calls to mind South Africa during apartheid. The land and farms were owned by white settlers living in gorgeous homes while the Blacks were living in hovels and working in the fields all day. They eventually revolted with the cry “one settler, one bullet” (settler means land owner or farmer)
They took over many farms and the places soon fell into disrepair and became totally unproductive.

If the landowners had not been so greedy and there was not such a disparity in wealth, the country would be in a lot better shape. Maybe landlords need to back off a little. Sadly there is no incentive to do so. – until there is. And that incentive won’t be pretty.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Lucky I’d support a tax break for legit landlords who forgive rent if renters are recently unemployed, for sure. Mortgage companies offered assistance.

JLeslie's avatar

Seems like this is a time when landlords should be renegotiating rents due to market forces. Instead they will get bailed out or throw out tenants. Makes no sense.

kritiper's avatar

I don’t think the answer to the question has any basis in fact and logic. Landlords own places to rent for money to be made. Take away any one of the three (places, rents, money) and the other two wouldn’t exist.

raum's avatar

@JLeslie The example of Singapore is interesting.

@SQUEEKY2 Personally, I agree. Though this question is more asking what those who are proposing to do away with landlords altogether think the alternative looks like.

@jca2 I guess so? Without landlords, would the whole concept of renting go out the window? Or would they rent from the government? Is that a better alternative? Still a landlord of some sort.

@LuckyGuy Do you mean that people depend on landlords to keep their homes from falling into disarray?

@seawulf575 Exactly! Government housing would just be trading one type of landlord for another. Communal housing would still have a hierarchy. How would any of this work?

@gondwanalon Interesting! Reading more about it now.

@KNOWITALL I’ve got major quarantine brain. Plus we are in the middle of a heat wave. Can you explain to me how it would lead to more homeless? Not trying to debate. My overheated brain can’t connect any dots right now.

@LuckyGuy Interesting. Will have to read more about that too.

@kritiper That’s what I’m confused about. The landlords provide the properties. If you remove the landlords, you remove the properties. Unless what people are envisioning is seizing of private property? Or the government building enough housing to stabilize housing needs? That seems highly unlikely.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@raum Some/most renters depend upon their landlord to keep their places in running order. If the roof leaks, they call the landlord. If the plumbing stops, they call the landlord.
If the tenant owns the house. and something breaks it is their responsibility to fix it. While some people would jump at the chance to take care of a problem, other don’t have the skills, resources, or will to fix it.
Drive down a street in an old neighborhood and look at the condition of the different homes. Some will be neat and tidy. Some will be a mess with trash out front.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@raum Evictions in the millions and some areas without jobs plus Dems holding up second stimulus adds up to real homeless issues. Plenty of stories on the news about desperate people.

kritiper's avatar

@raum That’s an assumption after the fact.
Without landlords there would be no rents, no properties. Nothing.

jca2's avatar

@raum: If the government built housing, the government then becomes the landlord.

Pandora's avatar

A bunch of homeless people who can’t afford to buy a home and not enough public housing either. And rural areas probably won’t have enough people living in them to qualify for the government to build public housing which means fewer people will move there and less business will follow because they need people living in the area to work.
Now, of course, we could end up like China where they build a commune for laborers and have them forfeit a portion of their paycheck for the privilege of living in a crappy building and share facilities.

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