SPOKANE CAN, AND SHOULD, PROTECT RENTERS
When I first moved to Spokane a year and a half ago, I signed a lease with one of the area's largest property management companies. I was absolutely elated to move into my high-ceilinged, naturally lit Browne's Addition apartment. Six months into my year-long lease I was notified, along with the single mothers and retirees who occupied the building, that we had 120 days to vacate, as the owner planned to turn the century-old mansion into condos. And it was legal.
I've moved twice since then due to other renter's woes and despite what you've heard about millennials, I do not enjoy the instability. As Daniel Walters pointed out ("Out of Rooms," 8/17/17), the scales have been tipped in the landlord's favor. Yes, this trend ebbs and flows like any market, but why are there such heavy ramifications for renters who break leases but not for landlords? Spokane ought to adopt policies that force landlords to honor their contracts and protect renters. Pay moving costs, or three months rent, or present available options for replacements. The market is certainly weighted against renters in Spokane, but so are the regulations.
Readers respond to our blog post (8/25/17) about Spokane Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich saying he'd like the government to stop taking away driver's licenses for failure to pay fees:
Jessica Turner: My dad always told me this was the path to keep minor criminals committing crimes, possibly in perpetuity (and the working poor, poorer still).
Kim LaMora: I agree. Taking away a person's driver's license and with it access to most employment options because they don't have enough money is counterproductive to the entire community, not just the individuals stripped of their licenses.
Karin Morris: Anyone driving needs to have valid insurance and pay car tab fees too. If not — then find another way to get to work/school/store/around town. Live near a bus line, call a friend, Uber, walk, ride a bike, etc. People should have to pay their fines, even if it's $10 a month or whatever they can pay. Sorry. That teaches them nothing if they are let off the hook. ♦