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Huckleberries Online

Tue., June 18, 2013, 9:20 a.m.

FishinJay: Slum Lords Alive In CdA

FishinJay (re: "FB: No rental houses in Coeur d'Alene"): There are lots of "for rent" signs, but the conditions in many of these places are disgusting. I can speak from experience here, because I just completed a 4 month effort to find a place to live. I started off with a month and a half of looking at just about every 2 or 3 bedroom house for rent in the 83814 zip. Let me tell you, slum-lording is alive and well in CdA! It is common to find black mold, rotten floors and ceilings, broken appliances and fixtures, stained stinking carpet, and a flat out refusal by the land lord to fix those things prior to a renter moving in. But it was easy to see why: people are snapping up these rentals just as quickly as they come on the market. It's unbelievable to me what other people are willing to rent in this town. Remainder of comment in drop-down box.

Question: Have you had a bad experience with a rental or a landlord in the Coeur d'Alene/Kootenai County area?

You can download a copy of the Idaho Attorney General's Guidelines for Tenants and Landlords, which clearly shows that what many of the land lords are doing (or not doing) is illegal, but I can only guess that nobody is filing complaints. Either that, or their complaints aren't being investigated.

In my case I was able to have a happy ending. I was so disgusted with the rental market that I looked into whether or not I could qualify for a VA loan. I did, and now I live in a nice place, that is in great shape, and my mortgage is even less than the rent would have been for most of the slum-lorded rentals I looked at. But if you're unable to buy a house in CdA, your options for a clean, well-maintained rental property are slim.

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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