"Greedy" Landlords Versus "Worthless" Renters: A Rants and Raves Smackdown

As rent has gone up in Denver, so have tensions between landlords and tenants.

But even we were shocked by the vitriol of a debate on the topic that recently sprouted in the Rants and Raves section of Denver Craigslist.

The online conversation was kicked off by a post from a landlord lambasting renters as worthless, creepy, disgusting liars. A tenant quickly shot back, accusing landlords of sheer greed.

After that, the battle was on. And while there were few moments of agreement, folks on both sides found different ways to blame marijuana legalization for the situation.

Check out the back-and-forth below, with photo-illustrated takes from four landlords (or those taking their side) and an equal number of tenants (or all-purpose landlord haters). That's followed by a related post titled "Rent Whiners: A Native's Perspective." But a warning: The language in this post is raw. Really raw.
Landlord one:

Holy fucking shit! Goddamned doormats get treated better than landlords. The fucking liars that rent...OMG where do I start? Get a rental and meet the most totally worthless — disgusting — creepy — lying (did I say worthless?) pieces of SHIT on the Planet.


Tenant one:

Nope! Tenants have no power at all, the greedy Landlords have the ultimate say in whether rents go up or not.

It's just simple greed on the part of the greedy landlord types. I've NEVER met or heard of an everyday working person who was "in favor" of higher rents..... ever.

Get real.... did the cost of maintaining the building(s) go up by 80-100% like rent did? That's what I thought. The fact that they CHOSE to jack up rents (as opposed to "having to" due to higher costs etc) makes them GUILTY of greed.

Just admit it, it's all greed driven..... the landlord types are WELL AWARE of the marijuana frenzy+housing shortage and they are cashing in/getting rich bigtime (at working folk's expense, of course).

It's simple opportunism/greed. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to compare notes and compare pre-2012 rents to post-2012 rents. They have gone EXPONENTIALLY UP in just 4 years. What changed before and after 2012?? Oh that's right, the weed law! Nothing else changed.

As greedy/opportunistic as the greedy landlord types are, I still maintain that the recent FLOOD of outsiders/leftists/POT-HEAD types are the *main* driver of the sky-rocketing rents.

If all these outsider/POT-HEAD types would simply GO HOME then we would see housing/rental prices come back down to earth.

This recent influx/flood of out-of-staters and weed smokers is hurting everyday folk..... I know several people that literally have only a few dollars left after rent, food, gas, utilities are paid. Some have to tap a credit card to cover the odd auto repair or doctor visit..... there is just no money left after paying rent.

This situation with the constant influx of pot-heads and the greedy landlord types is getting out of hand, and average working folk are suffering.

I hope some more states legalize weed soon so it takes some of the pressure off Colorado, the sky-rocketing cost of living is a real killer.

The e-mails/responses I've gotten from my fellow Coloradans have all said they agree with my assessment and that they too are TIRED of this constantly rising cost-of-living crap. Very supportive, the only nay sayers are the usual suspects (out of staters, leftists, POT-HEAD types).

Greed greed greed GREED everywhere! When is it enough? Working/poor families need a break.

Landlord two:

All a lot of prospective tenants see is greed. They see the TOTAL cost of what the landlord charges per month, and then think about what they must pay in mortgage, and then assume the rest is all gravy/profit. This is not true. There are so many costs to owning a house. I have to charge enough to: Cover my taxes and insurance

Cover my sewer and wastewater bills
Cover my advertising and administrative costs
Replace the occasional appliance
Replace the occasional roof or sewer line (1000's $)
Cover my mortgage when I get a deadbeat tenant and have to wait for the court to do it's thing
Cover all wear and tear, damage from bad tenants
Cover all upgrades to keep the house an attractive rental for the money

And last but not least- dealing with all this makes zero sense if i'm not making at least SOME money month to month. The landlord that is trying to retire off the proceeds from one or two run-down houses is greedy, but the landlord that re-invests in his/her properties and attends to the tenants needs while making a few bucks is just a businessperson.

If you don't like the rental rates here enough to complain about it on CL, I think you have three options.

1. Buy your own place. Hustle and make it happen.
2. Suck up your pride and live with roommates. It isn't that bad.
3. Live somewhere else. There are other areas of the state more appropriate for a lower income. 

Tenant two:

Amen brotha!

The landlord/real estate types are wrong! SIMPLE AS THAT!!

The greed driven monsters get off on nickel-and-diming the working poor, single moms, and working families. You are crooks with your rabid/excessive greed. Your excuses are ALL bullshit, the truth is its ALL about your personal greed so you can buy another mansion or another sports car for yourselves.

They keeping people down with their "mile high" rents, they need to lay off on the greed and think of the well-being of working class families. Their rent increases have fuck-all to do w/ "costs" or "maintenance" but rather their own personal greed and lining their (already loaded) pockets!!

These greedy landlord/real estate types want to charge you like $2k a month to live in a ghetto bed-bug infested run-down house in the hood with drug dealers...and gun-shots heard off in the distance!! They're full of shit and they ASKING TOO MUCH FUKKIN MONEY for the "privilege" of living in their crappy 70-100 year old shacks.

The apartment managers/landlord types are also full of shit w/ their asking prices on their similarly old/creaky/falling-apart dumpy buildings. They are also guilty of greed and charging too much rent for such low-quality units. $1000/month for a tiny 400 sq ft studio apartment??! Get the fuck outta here w/ those overpriced rents, that shit should be like $500/month or less.

Greed and weed, greed and weed..... the two words that RUINED Colorado starting around the time of the 2012 marijuana law being passed.

Lower the rents and kick out the out-of-staters/leftists/POT-HEAD types it is so simple and it would jump-start the sluggish economy.

Continue for more of the Denver Craigslist smackdown between landlords and tenants, as well as a native's attack on "Rent Whiners."

Landlord three:

I of course come down on the side of the landlords in 99.999% of all cases.

Why? Well, given that 99.99999% of the time, they're in the right, why wouldn't I, or anyone else for that matter?

They're charging too much? Easy solution - don't rent from them. You don't like their rules? Simple solution - don't rent from them. You don't like their terms? Don't rent from them.. You don't like the fact that they own multiple rentals? No problem - make them a cash offer they can't refuse.

I defy any of you whiners to name one place being rented for more than someone is willing to pay. There's not a single one in the greater Denver metropolitan area.

Seems if people were 'honest' and not hypocrites, there would be no problem. Those who rent would only rent from landlords they like and believe are fair, and those not renting but think renters are being forced to pay too much rent, would write checks for those renters to allow the landlord to get what he otherwise would, the tenants to pay what everyone believes is fair, and the a holes claiming it's the landlord who is the problem would realize it's just as easy and even more fair that they pay the difference rather than the landlord being stuck paying it. Why more fair? Well, the landlord went through the trouble of buying, fixing up, maintaining, making available the property - time for you non landlords to share in some of the cost.

Everybody wins

Tenant three:

Hey landlord asshole, I notice in your post you *conveniently* left out what the rent amount was??

$10 says it's some OUTRAGEOUS amount such as $2k/month or more and your rental is yet another aging, creaky, run-down shack. Guaranteed your greedy ass was charging too much rent.

Very "convenient" you left out what you were asking in rent. Not everyone is rich, a lot of people legit can't afford these high rents or can just "barely" afford it. Recent trend of "roommates" arrangements is a coping mechanism in response to high rents.

Did it ever occur to you that maybe your rent was too high (most likely explanation) and this family just couldn't afford it?

Sounds more like you failed to do proper due diligence on these tenants as opposed to the "please feel sorry for me, now I won't be able to buy that second sports car!" sob story you are trying to portray here.

I don't feel one iota of sympathy for your joke of a sob story Mr. Greed, working folk/working families/single moms actually have REAL problems and REAL struggle they must deal with..... not this ivory tower "rich people's problems" sob-story crap you describe.

Landlord four:

I would remind the person who keeps posting and complaining about the high rents, that every rental property that is occupied is based on a voluntary exchange. The renter was satisfied with the house/rate, and the landlord was satisfied with the tenant. No one is forcing anybody to remain where they can no longer afford rent. No one is forcing anyone to rent a property they cannot afford.

You come off as one of those people I heard from about 2008-2011, saying things like "buying a house is for suckers, it's a loser's game". Investors such as myself were the ones out there buying them up when it just wasn't "cool", while others were content to rent and put off the step of buying the house to party for just one more year, or buy that car they always wanted.

People who move to Denver for weed or other reasons already know it is pricey. It is not a surprise, yet they come anyway. People who were already here pre-boom had ample opportunity to buy their own home while it was attainable for most working people. The house that will sell for 300k now, could have been had for about an $800 mortgage in 2008-2009. It really sounds like you are very angry at yourself for missing the boat, and now trying to blame others who had the motivation and the foresight to invest.
Rental properties are my retirement plan. I didn't really want to trust that Social Security would be around in another 30 years, and I also didn't want to trust that the pension fund of my current airline employer would never be compromised. Landlords plan ahead. It seems you did not...

Also, i'm not saving up for a new sports car like you mentioned in another post. Sports cars almost always depreciate and are a true loser's game. I'll be keeping my 10 year old pickup.

Tenant four:

I call bullshit on your explanation, there is NO logical reason for a $700/month apartment to jump up to $1100/month overnight..... or for a $1100/month apartment to jump up to $2000/month overnight. It's simple greed.

"When in doubt, assume greed is at play" it's all a big real estate bubble driven by greed (landlord/real estate types) and also weed (potheads, leftists, out-of-staters).

Same building, same mortgage, same property tax, etc...... greed is the only explanation for such massive 70-100% rent hikes in the span of 3-4 years.

These greedy landlord/slumlord types ask an arm and a leg for a rundown shack in the ghetto w/ gangs and drug dealers and gun-shots heard off in the distance??! Rip off....

You greedy landlord/apartment manager types CHOSE to jack the fuck out of the rents..... and it's the "choice" part that makes you guilty of greed.

These rich fucks and 1%ers assume we're all made of money or something?? Reality check: Colorado jobs don't pay that much, and average person here lives paycheck to paycheck. I think the landlord types assume "everyone" is rich or something? They full of shit w/ what they ask for their rundown rental units in bad/gang infested parts of town.

We're not all rich like you greedy assholes, these outrageous rents NEED to come back down to their pre-weed/pre-2012 levels.

At least North Dakota helped it's natives w/ housing when their state was flooded by out-of-staters. But Colorado provides no such relief for it's natives. Colorado is raping/strangling it's working folk with the unaffordable rents and low low wages. There are not enough living wage jobs here.

And of course the *main* problem of out-of-staters/leftists/POT-HEAD types driving the high cost of living needs to be solved. You outsiders and POT-HEAD types need to GO HOME so us natives can have affordable rents again.

All you potheads and leftists from out of state? Go back to California or whatever other leftist shithole you crawled out of, leave this place alone.

And you locally based greedy landlord types?? Reduce the rents back down to their pre-weed/pre-2012 levels.

Thx for your cooperation

"Rent Whiners: A Native's Perspective"

First off I'll start by saying that I am almost native (moved here 25 years ago) and I am not rich, and I also am not on any entitlement programs. I take care of myself.

I just don't get it when people move here and then bitch because they can't afford to live here. Many people are saying that there are no jobs here and the cost of living is outrageous...That's reason enough to go back to wherever you came from.

Yes, the current problems here are directly related to our new pot laws. Those in favor of legalization, myself included, worked hard to make that happen. Now so many people are moving here because of it. Instead of simply putting the time and effort into making this happen in your home state, you come here and bitch about how much it costs to live here. Well consider this...

The current rise in rental costs is a supply and demand issue. People are paying these prices. A property owner is not going to want $2000 (or whatever) for a small dumpy place to live...and then allow it to just sit empty. The out of towners come here and bitch about the costs, but they manage to pay to get into a place. It doesn't occur to them that they are contributing to this problem. I don't feel sorry for these people. I do feel sorry for the natives that have to deal with these repercussions. And I feel sorry for people that move here for a job, rather than pot laws, who have to deal with all this too.

In a way, I hope this problem continues long enough so that people stop moving here and the newbie potheads decide to go back home because they can't afford to be here. It's more than just rental costs that are affected by all this.

I thought that dealing with the rising rent 7 years ago was a problem so I bought a place...a little dumpy maybe, but mine nonetheless. I'm so glad I did that. I do what I have to to be able to afford to stay in Colorado just because I love it here.

All of you new people need to understand that there is a price tag to living here and you can either suck it up or go back to wherever you came from. Many natives hope you choose the latter, so life here can get back to normal for us.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts