Letter to the Editor: Paul Kenny

Township resident continues to advocate for the health of family-based property ownership.

To the Editor,  

Ma and Pa landlords, also known as small landlords, are the largest providers of affordable housing in New Jersey. For those people looking for affordable housing, they are most likely to be renting from a small landlord. Ma and Pa landlords are not rich, just hard working and they make sure their bills are paid on time.

There are those who think that such a landlord is one who kicks back with their feet on the table, idly counting the money that they are raking in. Nothing is further from the truth. Being a landlord is a business, and like any business there are expenses, and these expenses need to be managed. Most of the time the tenants are oblivious to the rental expenses.  Landlords have to pay the mortgage, property taxes, property insurance, water and sewer. In Camden County there is the additional Camden County Municipal Utility Agency fee, rental registration fees, inspection fees, exterminators, repairs and maintenance costs and upkeep costs (painting, cutting grass, landscaping, snow removal). The only source to pay for all this is only the rent. You take away the rent and all this is draining home funds and saving. 

Why should any landlord provide housing at a loss?  

The State of New Jersey currently has an eviction moratorium in place since March 2020 to prevent landlord court during the COVID-19 pandemic.  When this was set in place, there was no vaccine, so no real defense other than to socially distance, washing hands, and wearing a face mask. But today, we have the vaccines, and they have been rolling out since January.  By July 4th, the state achieved 70 percent adult full vaccinations. People have returned in force to grocery stores, malls, indoor restaurants, indoor and stadium sport events theaters, places of worship, schools, and work.  Unemployment is hovering around 6 percent. The need for the moratorium has gone away. 

Paul Kenny

Cherry Hill, N.J.