Rentals suffer from disproportionate crime
COLUMBIA, 2/15/12 (Beat Byte) --
A standing-room-only confab of landlords, tenants, city officials, lawyers, lenders, and citizens concerned about rising crime is due to make its third appearance, possibly as part of a new real estate expo.
The Columbia Landlords Against Crime Summit is tentatively scheduled to return in late April says conference organizer Ben Gakinya.
Debuting in Dec. 2009 to a packed house at the Youzeum, the event started as a way to address a longstanding problem that had only recently been identified: landlords who habitually rent to habitual criminals.
The little-known problem had become so bad it was sinking large apartment complexes like Gatehouse Apartments
on West Broadway, and damaging entire streets such as Wilkes Blvd. in North Central Columbia, where a home owned by Wayne Fenton and Fenco Rentals at 802 Wilkes
became so notorious for harboring chronic offenders, it appeared in several local news stories.
Early last year the popular summit returned, this time at Columbia's Parkade Center. Security companies and police officers discussed anti-crime stragtegies; attorney Steve Scott spoke about ways to evict crooks; neighbors and community leaders spoke out about the need for better tenant screening; landlords and tenants discussed mutual concerns.
This year's show may include an expo of real estate professionals, vendors, and keynote speakers, says Gakinya, who also manages Parkade.