Landlords can get access and contribute to a growing list of renters who have been evicted. Some renters abandon homes, leaving them damaged and owing money to landlords.
Five years ago Robert E. Lee, owner of Rockingham Guns and Ammo, and Tony Martin of Martin Mini-storage and rentals in Rockingham, got together and formed the Richmond County Landlord Association.
For $10 a year, members who own rental property can protect themselves against renters who have a history of being evicted for one reason or another. The association is a nonprofit, and serves to protect landlords, assist them and help renters as well.
Renters can find out if they are on the list, and can earn their way off the list as well.
“We did this because landlords have little or no rights in North Carolina,” said Lee.
“There are a lot more laws in the State of North Carolina set apart for the renter, and I don’t see any that protect the landlord,” said Martin. “If we got big enough, we could try to change laws in the state that are against us.”
Martin said renters often add cost burdens to landlords when they leave. He said a notice of eviction costs $126, and additional costs incur when the sheriff and his deputies have to ask a person to leave. The renters are often given 30 or more days to get out, and they find ways to buy themselves time.
“These people know how to work the system,” said Martin.
The landlord association has more than 100 members who all receive the list of delinquent renters.
“Lots of people don’t know we exist,” said Lee, “but we are doing a good thing for the community. We are designed to help both parties.”
Lee said renters can come to the association for help on finding property to rent, and new landlords can learn more about the process.
“If it had not been for the association, I would have rented to people who would have given me more problems,” said Lee.
Martin said membership has dropped off in the past few years, and he said it’s mostly because landlords who have good renters get complacent and don’t feel the need to return to the association.
If you are interested in joining the association, contact Martin at 910-895-2700.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.