Talk to your landlord

To the editor:

A few words to our socialist neighbors in the High Peaks DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) organization, who recently wrote a letter to you, demanding cancellation of rents for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis: Please, it is better for tenants who cannot pay their rent to talk to their landlords and work things out.

Why? Because without rents, then the mortgage payment on the apartment cannot be paid. Without rents, the heat may not come on because the fuel oil cannot be purchased. Without rents, the snow won’t be cleared, the plumbing won’t be fixed, the garbage won’t be taken away, the water will be shut off, there will be no sewage service, and the repairs needed won’t be done. The place will eventually fall apart and become uninhabitable.

Without rents, the bank will foreclose on the property and eventually evict non-paying tenants.

In our free-market system, a fair return on investment is expected, or else no new apartments will ever be built, and besides, that expectation is protected by law. A person signs a lease agreement, promising to pay a rent each month in exchange for peaceful enjoyment of his or her apartment or house. Please note the word “promise.”

Times are mightily tough right now, for tenants, landlords and every other American. There must be some give and take for EVERYONE to make it through this crisis. There must be some human empathy and understanding on all sides, with a mind for fairness and without the shrug of the shoulders and the attitude of “screw the other guy.”

The best thing to do? Talk to your landlord. Most of them understand the circumstances of today and will work things out with their tenants. The worst thing for a landlord is not hearing a single word or having any communication at all with a tenant behind on rent. Talk, then. It my be hard, but just pick up the phone and call. Talk is good. Sincere and earnest talk is gold. Let’s be fair to one another and get through this crisis together. Excelsior.


Clyde Rabideau, mayor

Village of Saranac Lake


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