Rental Property Overload

Rental Property Overload
By: Arnold Wyrick
Carbondale, IL - It's no surprise that there are rental properties around Southern Illinois University. Many of them are old homes or apartment buildings built decades ago to handle the abundance of students attending the university.
But there's a trend taking place these days in Carbondale. And it's one that's leaving hundreds of homes and apartments empty and falling apart.
"I think it's saturated. I think it's bad for the landlord, and it's good for the tenants," says Bonnie Owen of Wright Property Management.
Owen's been in the rental business in Carbondale for more than 20 years. And she says things are much different then they used to be.
"They can choose their landlord as well as the place to live. Before there was just a few mom & pop agencies, and a few companies like mine. Where now there are these big complexes where they can go and meet people," Owen said.
And Owen points out that the older homes are no longer as sought after as they used to be by college students.
"I think what's going to happen to the older properties that people are going to have to think modern. They're going to have to start putting in new appliances. And sharpen their pencils."
Meanwhile as For Rent signs continue popping up all over Carbondale neighborhoods, new apartment buildings are rising towards the sky on the SIU campus. So Owen is doing something different with hundreds of her rental properties. Instead of upgrading them, she's getting rid of them.
"I think young men tear up the properties more then the girls do. I see kicked in doors, holes in walls from fists. I've seen where people have slammed another guy through the wall. And they leave a lot of trash when they move out," Owen said.
Carbondale city leaders are taking note of the rising availability of rental properties sitting empty. And they're offering some incentives to families to build their homes in town.
"We're using funds through a grant to building new homes on existing lots here in the community. The city will actually give them $3,500.00, we'll waive their tap fees for water and sewer. And we'll waive the building permit fees. So there's some nice savings. The only requirement is that the home be owner occupied for at least 18 months," says Beth Ponce Development Services Director.