Letters to the Editor

Don’t blame landlord

There have been a few articles in the BND recently about an apartment complex in Belleville that has been condemned because of unsafe or unsanitary living conditions in the building. The issues noted in the article were roach infestation, holes in walls, trash and junk around the buildings and dumpsters, and furniture and junk cars on the property, and non-working smoke detectors. Of all of these issues, only the latter can be attributed to the landlord, and even then things could have occurred after the tenant takes possession such as dead batteries or damage due to carelessness or vandalism.

Roaches go where there is food. Poor cleaning habits usually cause this. Holes in walls don't appear by themselves and an occupancy permit would not be issued if the holes existed during the inspection. Trash left around the building and junk cars are not solely the responsibility of the landlord. We know that there are landlords who do not invest the proper efforts in maintaining their properties but we cannot throw all the blame for the issues mentioned above on the landlord. Tenants also have an obligation to put forth efforts to keep their units and surrounding property clean and safe.

Hugh Hadfield, Fairview Heights