Tax Guru-Ker$tetter Letter
Saturday, August 31, 2002
One of the main reasons I decided almost ten years ago to leave the PRC was the continuous steady erosion of freedoms and property rights. Having owned rental properties myself, as well as working with hundreds of clients who also were landlords, I knew all too well that the laws in that state were all slanted in favor of tenants and against the rights of property owners. The State Rulers in Sacramento operate under the assumption that all landlords are so stinking rich that they don't need any rental income. Professional tenants who know how to work the system can easily live in a home for six months rent free, and can often actually make money by extorting landlords to pay them to vacate.
The scariest movie ever made from a landlord perspective is Pacific Heights, with Michael Keaton as the tenant from Hell who goads property owners into attacking him and then he brings charges and gets the property. These people actually exist. We had a psycho tenant on our Palomares Canyon ranch who used that movie as his guide and was actually telling people that he was going to get our property. Luckily, we were able to get him out without losing the property; but we are still so gun-shy about having tenants that we have refused several offers to rent the extra houses on our current ranch. Even though the laws in Arkansas aren't as heavily biased in favor of tenants, we still don't feel comfortable.
What triggered this rant is this article from the PRC that they have now passed yet another law allowing tenants to live rent free for even longer. Property owners have no rights. It is no coincidence that many of my clients have been liquidating their California rental properties and reinvesting tax free into rentals in other states, where private property rights are given more respect. It is also yet another confirmation that leaving the PRC was the smartest move I could have ever made.