MANSFIELD ─ The revival of an organization specifically for landlords comes with a big goal ─ to make Mansfield a better place.
The Mansfield Landlord Association had its “first” meeting on Nov. 10. The five-person conversation lasted two and a half hours. Topics ranged from fair housing laws, tenant screening to the current rental-market scenario.
Gabe Zader, a landlord who joined the meeting, said he is looking forward to a establishing a place that fosters networking with other landlords and discussing strategies for investing in real estate or refurbishing properties.
Zader was a member of the previous local landlord association until about five years ago. The organization merged with another group, Zader said. It became more like a real estate investors club and was not what he wanted.
Now, with the effort from two realtors, Christina Mawhorr and Stephanie, Zader’s wife, the Mansfield Landlord Association is active again.
Mawhorr, a member of the Mansfield Area Beautification Sector, said many thriving cities engage with landlords. Getting like-minded landlords on board would not only mean bouncing ideas off each other but also improving the system.
Stephanie said the association would be able to hold landlords accountable so they can provide good homes for tenants.
“When I see my fellow investors and landlords in the community just throw cash on their houses and it looks terrible, I’m kind of like ‘Hey, are you ever gonna clean that place up?’ ” she said.
With the organization as a platform, Mawhorr said landlords can exchange information regarding maintenance, host a plant-splitting party or anything that would help their cohorts.
They also talked about some tenants “jumping from place to place” and those that have consistent problems paying the rent. Mawhorr said the communication among landlords could stop such a situation and hold those tenants accountable.
Taking the responsibility for water bills off landlords’ shoulders is the association’s ultimate goal. Stephanie Zader said a water bill follows the property instead of the residents in Mansfield. When tenants leave without paying the fee, the landlord becomes responsible for that.
“That landlord is stuck with that bill because the water department wants it before they’ll turn on water for another tenant,” she said.
Gabe Zader said he talked to the water department about this issue a few years ago. The officials “were very rigid and not willing to understand the situation.”
Mawhorr said she hopes to get the water department on board and fix the problem.
Recently, she and Stephanie Zader have been making cold calls to landlords, inviting them to join the organization. While people expressed their interests, the COVID-19 pandemic stopped many of them from attending the in-person meeting.
Mawhorr said meetings will take place at 5:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month. The location is at 120 Sturges Avenue. There is no fee for joining the association.
“It’s a free meeting of the minds,” she said.
For more information about Mansfield Landlord Association, email Mansfieldlandlordassociation@gmail.com or call 419-982-8291.