New Orleans: Greetings From A Renters Worst Nightmare

With any major city, there are a number of struggling individuals just trying to get by.

Renters in the city of New Orleans, though, may be the most burdened citizens of the cultural and economic hub.

In new analysis by CNN/Money, New Orleans was named the sixth worst and most unstable city for renters in the current housing market.

The price of rent has increased in New Orleans by 9 percent since 2009 and yet, the annual income in the city has dropped by 1.5 percent, making it all the more difficult to live in the Big Easy.

New Orleans is just beside areas like Syracuse, New York and Las Vegas, Nevada on the list of worst places to rent in the entire country.

Truthfully, the news is not all that shocking, considering the city has had major problems with its majority-Democrat City Council and Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) leading the way.

In some instances, the housing market could be getting a whole lot worse, as City Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell has introduced a plan to force landlords to register all rental properties with the city.

Under Cantrell’s plan, a publicly-accessible rental database would be created that lists rental houses in the city based on their landlord’s name, the rental property’s address and recent complaints about the property. Additionally, Cantrell is proposing that rental properties adhere to an inspection every three years.

The intent is to rid the city of slumlords who make tons of money renting substandard housing to poor individuals who cannot afford anything else.

The problem with Cantrell’s proposal is that it will have negative implications, like all regulations, on law-abiding property owners and tenants.

For instance, how will the city even make sure that all rental units in the city are registered with the city? This is a very large loophole in Cantrell’s proposal. The slumlords the councilwoman is looking to eliminate could simply get around the ordinance by not registering their property.

Also, this could create havoc and unnecessary burdens on law-abiding rental property owners. Looking at other areas across the country that have put this idea into effect, the paperwork for rental property owners seems to be extensive.

Furthermore, registration fees, fines and all the other costs that will come along with this proposal will not merely be taken on by the landlord, but simply passed down to renters.

Meaning, the price of rent in the city will go up even more than it already has. This could leave current residents being priced out of living in the city, which would have a trickle-down affect for New Orleans’ economy.

Airbnb, the short-term renting company that individuals are loving, (its almost like the Uber of hotels), is seen as a negative in New Orleans to some housing organizations and public officials.

Why? Because as private business innovates and comes up with new ways to sell a product at a more efficient and cheaper rate, comes the screaming cries from public officials who feel the need to control the innovation of business.

Citizens, on the other hand, see the idea of short-term rentals as an important part of the city’s tourism industry.

In a new survey by Alliance for Neighborhood Prosperity found that 59 percent of New Orleans residents “agreed that traditional short-term rental properties are important to New Orleans’ tourism industry.”

And when asked if traditional short-term rentals in New Orleans should be banned or required to register, pay taxes and fall under city regulations, 67 percent of residents voted in favor of regulation, rather than banning the rentals altogether.

But, instead of adding regulation on top of regulation, Libertarian Journalist John Stossel presented an interesting idea a couple of days ago.

Most recently, Stossel brought up a subject which is hardly ever mentioned, which is the over-regulation by public officials with zoning and anti-discrimination housing laws.

Stossel mentioned that public officials always discuss the issue of fighting homelessness, but then pass heavy-handed zoning regulations, which prohibit tiny homes (like these) which ends up stifling the gentrification of urban neighborhoods.

Nonetheless, if Cantrell’s overload of rental registry regulation is approved and goes into affect, we can most likely expect to have New Orleans topping CNN’s ‘Worst Places To Rent’ next year.



Interested in more news from Louisiana? We've got you covered! See More Louisiana News
Previous Article
Next Article
Join the Conversation - Download the Speakeasy App.

Trending on The Hayride