illegal decay

Byline: | Category: Uncategorized | Posted at: Tuesday, 29 August 2006

How a neighborhood quickly deteriorates due to illegal immigration, and what I will do to stop it

Last week’s brutal slaying of Mary Sadler hit close to home for me.  We used to live just one block from the scene of the murder.

I spent several days last week going door-to-door hearing what my old neighbors had to say.  What I learned is that even before the murder, people were already concerned about those living at the home of the alleged murderer, as well as several other neighborhood houses where illegals aliens are thought to live.  Many neighbors think that illegals are quickly causing their neighborhood to deteriorate.  And here is how they described the process:

When a landlord rents a house, he assumes risk by letting the tenant into the home.  To mitigate that risk the landlord almost always requires a credit check on the tenant.  For that you need the tenant’s social security number.  (When we lived in Cross Timbers, we rented a home and underwent a credit check.)

Well, since an illegal alien doesn’t have a valid social security number, a credit check usually turns up no credit record, and thus identifies the potential tenant as a bad risk.  The only way a landlord is going to rent to such a person, is to raise the rent to compensate for the higher risk.  So the first problem with renting to illegal aliens is that landlords exploit the alien’s illegal status by charging more than the house or apartment is worth.

The next problem is that the higher rent often causes the tenant to have to split the payment with one or more other families.  (Neighbors pointed out two houses around the corner where in each, there were three families  living.)  More people in a house means more wear and tear on the house.  Physically, the property deteriorates faster.

However, by virtue of his illegal status, the tenant has little legal recourse to force a landlord to maintain the home as he is required to by law and by the rental agreement.  And obviously, the tenant himself has even less incentive to upkeep the property since he is both illegal and very temporary. 

You can see why a landlord, if he is unscrupulous, might want to rent to illegal aliens.  He can charge a higher rent, and pay less for maintenance on the property than if he rented to a qualified legal renter. 

However, the people who pay the price are the neighbors.  They get to watch once nice homes turn quickly into a state of disrepair:  Broken windows aren’t fixed, shutters don’t get painted, old roofs aren’t replaced, lawns aren’t mowed, and flower beds turn to weeds. 

It’s been only six years since we moved away from the Cross Timbers neighborhood, and already I could tell the difference.  Older homeowners who have lived there for years still have beautiful homes with nicely manicured lawns and gardens.  But more and more those nice homes are like islands in a sea of mediocre rental properties, some of which are monstrous eyesores.

Today, a young family looking to buy a reasonably priced home is more likely to bypass an established neighborhood like Cross Timbers for one of the newer subdivisions in the Bellevue area.  Especially after a brutal murder has hit the neighborhood.

So what  can we do to protect neighbors and neighborhoods from the deteriorating effects of an influx of illegal aliens?

I will propose legislation to make it a criminal offense to knowingly rent to an illegal alien.  I certainly don’t want to add more regulations and requirements.  It’s already hard enough to be a small businessman.  However, this requirement adds no additional burden to the landlord, since in his regular due diligence when renting the property, he already should have done a credit check which would have identified the illegal potential renter.

The penalty for the crime of knowingly renting to an illegal alien will be a multiple of the rental income on the property.  That alone should be enough to deter the crime, since it removes the potential financial advantage of renting to illegal aliens.

For most Tennesseans, our homes are the biggest purchase we will ever make.  Those four walls and a roof, are not just physical shelter, they offer financial protection.  The equity built up in a home is very often a large part of our retirement plans.  We owe it to our neighbors to protect their investments and our neighborhoods.

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14 Responses to “illegal decay”

  1. Rick Forman Says:

    Bob,
    Consider this. In Tennessee if you are busted for drugs not only are you fined but your property is seized via asset forfeiture.

    Why not add asset forfeiture to the crime? Apply it to buisinesses that knowingly hire illegal foreign nationals as well to weaken the magnet.

  2. George Rand Says:

    Rick and Bob:

    I certainly agree that we need to demagnetize Tennessee. However I believe your solutions do more harm than good. They only provide straw men for the illegal immigration activists to attack as extreme, rascist, etc.. There are effective demagnetizing efforts legitimately a state legislative function. No bilingual official documents except where required by federal law(and there work to change the law-resolution to Congress, etc.) We don’t need to insert the state legislature into property law-keep it local where it belongs. The deterioriation of property can be fought thru codes, and I believe the multiple families violate zoning regulations. We have enough abuse of forfeiture laws. A major component of the illegal immigrant problem is they want to destroy our culture and system of law-let’s not undermine the very system we are trying to preserve in the name of preserving it. Unless we get to the point that we must burn down the barn to drive out the rats, let’s get some cats and get rid of them that way.

  3. Sean Braisted Says:

    If a “legal” co-signs on a lease, will they be fined or the person renting out the property? Also, who will be charged, The Property Manager or the person who approved the application? If the property is owned by a large corporation, will the CEO be charged, or the company as a whole?

    Also, I’m sure there are some people who take advantage of an immigrant’s illegal status, but it seems there is another way to manage risk, simply charge first and last months rent up front. Many Americans with bad or no credit do the same, it’s quite possible that rental companies are applying the same rule here.

    As for making Immigrants homeless, it seems that would create more problems (IE more homeless, higher crimes) than it solves. Since we will be losing property tax revenues from the closed Apartment complexes, how will we raise the revenues to pay for the new problems associated with Homeless immigrants? Or is the assumption that they will all just move to another state?

  4. Rick Forman Says:

    George,
    The state is already involved with property law. It taxes illegal drugs on top of fines and property seizure. Eminent domain is being justified for seizure because of a shortage of tax revenue to support insane spending. Seizure of automobiles for habitual DUI. Businesses that fail to pay taxes are seized and assets sold.

    The time to get tough is now because governments and businesses are flagrantly ignoring the laws and it’s the taxpayers footing the bill. i.e. carpet mill in N. GA has 2000 job applications with the SAME social security number. I wouldn’t call that a small anomaly. If the carpet mill or stockholders knew their actions could lead to a potential loss of the entire asset I’m sure the HR department would not be so careless. That CEO depends too much on his stock options and bonuses to risk losing it all.

    As for the pro illegal activists. It wouldn’t matter what policies are enacted. Their accusations will always be the same because they have no basis to suport their position of unrestricted immigration and entitlements. Their hypocritical rants always draw the headlines but that whining drone is no longer resonating with the public.

  5. Donna Locke Says:

    Such laws would protect the other property owners, and I’m for it, because I’ve seen the failure to enforce local codes and ordinances. There are always loopholes to slither through in local zoning and housing codes. We have to have something tougher.

  6. Bill Hobbs Says:

    Sean, it is a stretch to assume this would cause a rise in homelessness.

    Many of them have a home. It’s big, roomy and loaded with natural resources. It’s also kind of a dump in places, so there’s lots of work to do.

    It’s called Mexico.

    And if they can’t find a home here, most would go back there.

  7. My Quiet Life » legal housing Says:

    [...] Bob Krumm, in an otherwise fine post detailing the vile and pervasive exploitation of illegal immigrants, comes to an unfortunate conclusion: I will propose legislation to make it a criminal offense to knowingly rent to an illegal alien. I certainly don’t want to add more regulations and requirements. It’s already hard enough to be a small businessman. However, this requirement adds no additional burden to the landlord, since in his regular due diligence when renting the property, he already should have done a credit check which would have identified the illegal potential renter. [...]

  8. My Quiet Life » quote of the day Says:

    [...] In the comments of Bob’s post, that I mentioned previously, Bill Hobbs drops this gem: Sean, it is a stretch to assume this would cause a rise in homelessness. [...]

  9. Blue Collar Republican » Krummy Neighbors Says:

    [...] Bob Krumm (State Senator District 21 Candidate) has an interesting take and proposal regarding illegal immigrants and housing. I will propose legislation to make it a criminal offense to knowingly rent to an illegal alien. I certainly don’t want to add more regulations and requirements. It’s already hard enough to be a small businessman. However, this requirement adds no additional burden to the landlord, since in his regular due diligence when renting the property, he already should have done a credit check which would have identified the illegal potential renter. [...]

  10. john h Says:

    How would this law be enforced?

  11. Donna Locke Says:

    If you’ve been told or otherwise become aware you are assisting an illegal alien (or someone one should reasonably suspect is an illegal alien), and you continue to rent to, house, or otherwise assist the alien in remaining in the United States, you are committing a federal felony. Here’s where the much-needed cooperation between law enforcement agencies should come in.

  12. Sarah Says:

    I attended the Cross Timbers Community Watch Meeting last evening and learned that the property that spawned this discussion (301 Cross Timbers) was rented to the wife of the alleged murdered who is here legally. She is the daughter of legal immagrants from Mexico who have been here for more than 20 years. The man who commited (allegedly) this crime is the illegal.

    Mr. Krumm, I appreciate your willingness to *do* something responsive (should you be elected) however, I am not sure that a new measure would do any more good than the laws we curently have that are not being enforced. As the detective who worked this case said last night, immigration laws are not under the jurisdiction of the local law enforcement. We must insist that our borders be protected first.

    Councilman Eric Crafton expressed a similar idea at the watch meeting. Supposedly, he “has lawyers looking into what can be done”…for whatever help that might be, at the City Council level.

    Miss Mary was my backyard neighbor. My children have interacted with the children who lived at 301. This is indeed a sad and horrible situation for everyone.

  13. Blue Collar Republican » Redd Likes Krummy Ideas Says:

    [...] Bob Krumm thinks a State law holding landlords responsible for renting to illegal immigrants is a good idea. Clarksville Citycouncilman Wallace likes the idea but is unwilling to wait for the State Legislature to act. The ordinance proposes that any business which knowingly “employs, retain, aids or abets illegal aliens or illegal immigration into the United States” shall have its business license revoked for one year. The suspension would last five years for subsequent violations. [...]

  14. Bob Krumm » the issues: immigration Says:

    [...] Krumm proposes law to make it illegal to rent to illegal aliens [...]