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Leave the dog at home or bring a pacifier

BY GUEST OPINION | APRIL 11, 2012 6:30 AM

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I must make a response to Mark W. Borer's slanderous guest opinion in the DI on March 28.

I recently retired from 46 years of professional real-estate management. I hold a Certified Property Manager designation and have managed hundreds of apartments and provided housing for thousands of residents.

I can say without reservation that most apartment owners and managers have set rules and regulations for the purpose of protecting the property investment and the residents. To state, as Borer does, that a company "goes to great lengths to take your child's money" is ludicrous.

Rules and regulations are developed after years of experience, landlord-tenant law, city inspection, mortgage lenders, and insurance companies in addition to the owner's needs.

Borer relates that he was upset when he found out his daughter was charged because he brought her dog to her apartment. What part of "No Pets Allowed" don't you understand?

A family shut its dog in an apartment while it attended graduation ceremonies. A graduate student neighbor called to complain that a dog was barking loudly and making a terrible racket, and she was trying to study. Upon inspection of the apartment, the dog had soiled the carpet in three places, dug down through the carpet to the floor at the door, and scratched the metal door and drywall. The replaced carpet of the entire room, the repaired drywall and door total cost $3,500, while the deposit on the apartment was only $450.

Most apartment managers would love to refund all deposits totally. Our records showed that 95 percent of tenant deposits were refunded in full, 3 percent partially refunded, and only about 2 percent were wiped out. That 2 percent is usually composed of a group that doesn't care, or others that think they are special and should get favors that other tenants don't.

It's unfortunate, but some young people come to school after being baby-sat their whole lives and then want to be treated as adults. Then, when they get into trouble, they call Mommy and Daddy and cry, "I'm being treated as an adult, help me."

The daughter should have read the terms and conditions of her lease and the rules and regulations she was expected to follow. If she or her father didn't agree with the conditions, then they should have gone somewhere else. After the fact is not the time to complain or think they should be treated like the 2 percent.

With apartment owners in the Iowa City area paying some of the highest commercial property taxes in the country, equaling 30 percent of their gross rental income, they cannot afford to let a unit sit vacant or spread the costs of a few over to everyone else.

My advice to Borer is to tell your daughter to grow up: Leave the dog at home, or next time bring her a pacifier.

Wes Fotsch
Iowa City resident


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