Mar 052009
 
Authors: Brian Anthony

While current landlords and landlords-in-training did not agree on the necessity of the city ordinance preventing more than three unrelated people from living together at the Landlord Education Series class Thursday morning, most said they enforce the restriction because it’s the law.

Some landlords however, said they had permitted more than three people to live under one roof because they felt the Three Unrelated ordinance, commonly referred to as U+2, is unfair to student-tenants.

Mike McDonald, a 5-year Fort Collins landlord who attended the class, said he doesn’t agree with the restrictions imposed by U+2 and had rented to more than three unrelated students in the past.

He said “. It’s unfortunate that students are baring the economic brunt of (the law),” explaining that students often offset higher rent costs by rooming with several people.

On the other hand, McDonald said he could see where the legislation is trying to spawn better behavior, saying, “I think behavior laws on the books should be enforced.”

Bev Perina, a returning speaker at the Landlord Education Series, introduced the issue of the ordinance, which elicited differing reactions from the more than 30 people in attendance at the event run by the Fort Collins Neighborhood Services Office.

“Our office is not renting to more than three unrelated people,” said Perina, a 28-year real estate broker for Fort Collins’ Armadillo Property Management.

While her company enforces it, she said she would like to see the ordinance lifted because it’s both unfair and unnecessary, but “right now it’s the law,” she said.

When asked how she thought the ordinance came about, Perina said she thought it could have stemmed from one group of individuals who were upset by the behavior of college-age neighbors.

“I think it was one particular neighborhood that were unhappy with problems in their neighborhood and they had time on their hands,” she said.

Thirty-year Fort Collins landlord Matt Middle said he will not to rent to over three people and that he supports the ordinance.

Middle said he has “enforced (U+2) since 1964,” because “it’s easier with wear and tear on the houses.” Over the years he said he has found a correlation between an increased numbers of tenants living together and increased damage to the property.

As a result of the recession, interest rates are lower, and with people buying more homes, according to data presented at the training session, rent prices have decreased.

Additionally, information about resident selection, evictions, leases, fair housing and tenant mediation will be discussed on Thursday, March 12.

Staff writer Brian Anthony can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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