I’m Not Evil. I’m a Landlord. – The New York Times


“Cleveland Heights, Ohio — MATTHEW DESMOND, a Harvard sociology professor, moved into poor Milwaukee neighborhoods and wrote this year’s hottest ethnographic tome about it: “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.” While working on the book, he kept a journal. He wrote, “I feel dirty, collecting these stories and hardships like so many trophies.”
I collect stories and hardships, too — and rent. I’m a landlord. Eviction notices — I buy them by the carton from Ohio Legal Blank. I’ve probably evicted 100 people, two or three a year for 40 years. Two weeks ago I evicted a recovering, or not so recovering, drug addict. He was stealing from his wife, and she wanted him out, so I evicted him. When the locksmith changed the lock, I gave the wife but not the husband new keys.I’m familiar with the bailiffs and magistrates at municipal court. I carry a clip-on tie in my car so I look sharp — blue tie over a green shirt, the middle-school art-teacher look. I’m not a lawyer, but I know what “forcible entry and detainer” means. Eviction.I try to give my apartments a middle-class feel.”

Source: I’m Not Evil. I’m a Landlord. – The New York Times

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