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Letter: Homeowner favors inspection ordinance for rental properties

An open letter to Mayor Andrew Medellin and Mayor Pro Tem Cecelia Foley Gallegos ... I write in support of the proposed rental inspection ordinance.

As Ms. Foley Gallegos knows, I have the misfortune of living next to 913 W. 6th St, the now-infamous “meth house” recently highlighted on the front page of The Madera Tribune and on the Madera Police Department Facebook page. Having lived next to this house for several years, I know first-hand the negative impact a poorly maintained rental can have on a neighborhood.

If you drive down the 900 block of West 6th Street, 913 stands out as the only trashy house on the entire block. Personally, I have put up with stinky, fly-attracting trash cans, trash creeping across the fence into my backyard, a decline in the value of my home because of the neighboring blight, and now the discomfort of knowing that drug dealers with body armor were right next door to me. The owner of 913 is absentee. According to property records, he lives in Fresno. Personally, I have never seen the man. As far as I can tell, he has pretty much left the “maintenance” to the tenants. Their PG&E is now turned off, and they run a generator to power the house, thus contributing to the noise. So, you can guess how much money they put into “maintenance.” None. What about MY rights?

I appreciate that the Realtors and professional property managers (many of whom are my friends) are opposed to the rental inspection ordinance. And of course, the properties they manage are not the problem. These Realtors are licensed professionals with a code of ethics.

But the individual landlords, most of them not even living in Madera, are not licensed or trained to manage rental properties. Many of them, unfortunately, look only for easy income and don’t put any of it back into providing decent housing. This harms both law-abiding renters and your tax-paying constituents who have the misfortune of living in the same neighborhoods as the poorly managed properties. It also lowers the overall attractiveness of Madera as a place to live.

Support the Rental Inspection Ordinance for the good of Madera. Thank you for giving my thoughts your consideration.

— Lawrence J. “Jeff” Dal Cerro, Madera

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