Editor, Daily Nexus:
This letter is a response to Ben Roberts’ letter (The Reader’s Voice, “Students Will Pay For Marshall’s Representation,” Feb. 27) regarding the proposed mandatory housing inspections for Isla Vista. I don’t wish to participate in the personal name bashing that Roberts used to criticize Gail Marshall, though I could easily do so. But, I will not allow Roberts’ statements to go unchallenged.
Roberts said that, “Far too often, needed maintenance falls under such categories as ‘my roommate kicked in the door.’ ” I would argue that equally “far too often,” the needed maintenance includes things like leaking plumbing, leaking roofs, cracked foundations or, in the case of my place, flooding due to a dysfunctional washing machine and a collapsing ceiling due to a broken beam. Unfortunately, the landlords don’t always care about fixing these things until they are forced to do so.
Roberts also informs us that, “Well, thanks to Gail Marshall, you can add the building inspections to your rents.” Well, this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who lives in Isla Vista. Honestly, I don’t think many students would have expected anything different from our generous, caring landlords. But, considering that the proposed housing inspections would be once every five years, and the cost of the inspections would be $30 per unit per year, this isn’t much of an inconvenience or a hardship, and I for one would be willing to deal with it. Think about it. Thirty dollars per year, divided by however many roommates you have, and in return you get a professional housing inspection to make sure your place is safe. Sounds like a fair deal to me.
As far as the comment Roberts made about asking “Gail Marshall if she dares to establish the same conditions for any of the other areas she represents,” I feel that this is an invalid argument because other areas aren’t the issue here, Isla Vista is. Not to mention that these other areas don’t have the extremely high density and generally degraded housing conditions that one finds in Isla Vista.
The stuff Roberts mentions about drug inspections by the Sheriff’s Dept. and big government isn’t what this letter (or his letter for that matter) is primarily about. So, maybe he should try to stick to the issue at hand, instead of throwing in unrelated issues in the attempt to pursue his own agenda, which in this case appears to be Gail bashing.
This housing inspection program is a good idea because not all tenants know their rights, and not all tenants are experts on what is and isn’t a housing code violation. I know that this was the case with my roommates and me when we had some structural problems with our place, and we had to subsequently fight with our landlord over a period of about six months before everything was finally settled. And it seems that a lot of tenants are afraid to inform their landlords of any uncontrollable damages for fear of retaliation.
So, here we have a perfect opportunity to help improve the quality of life for residents of I.V., and I suggest we take advantage of it.