Renters in Eugene are being ripped off. We pay exorbitant prices for spaces infested with black mold, filthy common areas and poor insulation. Yet the landlords collect their checks every month without fail. Renting property has become a completely risk-free investment. It’s time to change that.
I pay more in rent than my parents ever did for the duration of their mortgage. By the time they were my age, they were already five years into their mortgage. Yet, property ownership is a far-off fantasy for me and my peers. I’ve paid nearly $100,000 in my short adult life to landlords, but still, I own nothing, and my credit is poor. Without a miracle, I’ll continue this path.
I have never rented an apartment that was cleaned when I moved in, never left a mess in my apartment after my lease, but yet never received my damage deposit back. I’ve never violated the terms of my lease, but I’ve always been forced to vacate at the end with no option for renewal.
What do landlords actually do? What purpose do they serve in a democratic society?
Renters of Eugene need greater protection. We need to organize ourselves into a collective force based on our shared class interests. The City Council needs to pass measures, such as capping application fees to $10, eliminating damage deposits, and holding criminally negligent landlords accountable. Renters are the backbone of society. Without the work of renters, Eugene cannot function.