Friday, May 24, 2013


Peon is always distressed when people make silly arguments.  Silly arguments are not good for us.  It's not good for the quality of debate.  It makes people dumb.  It requires that those of us who think an argument is silly to note it, wasting time that might better be spent playing computer games and reading trashy mysteries.

The latest silly argument is being made by landlord groups opposing State Senator Mark Leno's security deposit legislation.  It would simply require that landlords maintain security deposits in separate bank accounts, pay interest on those deposits, and suffer mandatory punitive damages if they wrongfully withhold deposits.  Not exactly burdensome when tenants are forking over a couple grand.

We will admit that landlords are a beleaguered lot these days.  It's difficult to argue against protection of security deposits when so many of your fellows suffered foreclosure on their properties and skipped off with their tenants' security deposits.  it looks bad, and people don't feel much sympathy for you.  But they've tried.

And what do they claim?  Well, it would be so difficult to keep track of the interest.  Yeah, the $1.00 or so that would be paid on most deposits?  Hell, just email your tenants and tell them to take the sum off their rent.  And that they would have to send 1099s to their tenants.  Probably not at all, but certainly not for a dollar.  The IRS doesn't care about anything less than $10.  Anyone who has a savings account knows this.

If you don't have better arguments than that, hang it up.

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