Letter: Hooray for reasonable landlords

Graphic by Lori Deaton

My friend has a good Asheville landlord, who wants to remain nameless. They thought about raising the rents in my friend’s apartment complex to market price but decided they didn’t need the money. And they also realized that if they did, some of their renters would have to find another place to live, if that were possible.

So, they kept the rent as is, despite knowing they could get about $500 a month more for each apartment, a considerable amount considering the multiple units in the building. My friend’s landlord is also very good at keeping up maintenance of the apartments.

I imagine that many landlords don’t need to raise rents or turn housing into short-term rentals. And at present, rents are not affordable for most working people. Are the rents so high because under current circumstances, market prices are the norm? Is this the effect of capitalism?

We hear that “this is only business; don’t take it personally.” Yet it seems to be greed, disguised by a greedy business creed. And it is personal to lose your housing and to be unable to find affordable housing in Asheville; maybe to end up living on the street.

Of course, some landlords have to raise their rents because of inflationary pressures on repair and maintenance costs, often caused by the same market-priced greed in other areas. And some landlords are like my friend’s landlord and take a reasonable profit rather than follow market-price greed. Hooray for them!

— Lorrie Streifel


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5 thoughts on “Letter: Hooray for reasonable landlords

  1. Grant Millin

    My Dad worked for Cushman Wakefield, was a landlord, and we owned a downtown building in the past. Capitalism and real estate go together. But we need to talk about Real Asheville Real Estate Economics and real options for people who have lived here a long time and need quality places to live that are about a wellbeing baseline versus the source of devastation.

    Renters need to unite across the nation, and Asheville can be a key base.

    This article mentions a few ideas about the real estate sector here. On one hand profits are always headed up; and yet somehow ‘diversity’ is at hand and there’s options for every price range. Sounds miraculous.


    Someone can get a Nobel Prize for defining Asheville Fantasy Real Estate Economics. In the meantime, renters need to form a new political bloc representing ‘the other half.’ But renters across the state and nation are needed to find a way to get in the way of Gerrymandering Obfuscation Over People folks like realtor Tim Moffit.

    Some allies in public service who actually mention the huge number of renters in the US now and what’s actually going on with renters is another baseline needing development.

    • Virginia Ritter

      I am one of those landlords who don’t bother raising rent. But you must also understand that in 2006 when I bought a home close to downtown my mortgage was 536. Now in 2022 my mortgage is 1089 because taxes keep going up ! So should a landlord just pay the extra? Some can’t afford to keep paying the 500 extra dollars every month. And I don’t understand why non residents can come into the city and make millions on apartment complexes and nothing is said. Wouldn’t residential landlords get the same as complexes? So who is really driving the rental market higher? Council is passing all these complexes with rents listed. So who is driving the higher rental market?

  2. Grant Millin

    And it’s great there are anecdotal examples of property owners who don’t participate in the ‘whatever the market might conceivably bear’ race to the bottom… the race to attack the base of the Asheville human economy pyramid. These moral property owners need to show allyship with renters in a public, long-range manner.

    • WNC

      Feel free to purchase properties at the market price and rent below market rates . That’s great if you’re wealthy enough to be a philanthropist. I don’t think there would be objections.
      As a business model you would go bankrupt purchasing properties at mart prices and renting below market.

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