Bad Minneapolis landlord gone, but not all of the problems

  • Article by: Eric Roper and Alejandra Matos , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: June 26, 2013 - 6:34 AM

The properties’ new owner said he’s on top of repair needs, but some tenants are still complaining.

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basia2186Jun. 25, 1311:52 PM

Spanish? Really? How about learning the language people. Low income is NO EXCUSE. ESL classes are free. When renting or owning in Minnesota, 65-68 degrees is a comfortable temperature in the winter. Wearing socks and sweaters are the norm.

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jimmywestoneJun. 26, 13 6:03 AM

Did I hear that correctly: "The number of complaints went from over 2100 during the previous 5 years to 61 last year". That looks like progress to me. Keep it up Steve.

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heckyousayJun. 26, 13 6:10 AM

re: "How about learning the language people." This is a difficult transition for immigrants, and has gone on ever since the days of Columbus. Typically later generations embrace the culture, but original immigrants hold on to old ways. Some adopt English, some never do. Is this isolated to new immigrants? No. I've worked with older citizens in Minnesota who still speak only their native Scandinavian tounge, either because they were the immigrants or they grew up in isolated immigrant communities. Thier kids? Why they've gone on to become doctors, lawyers, engineers, and are dispersed throughout Minnesota and the country. This is the way it works, and YOUR predecessors went through it, too. (BTW, if you're serious about this, then I suggest that you learn Native American languages immediately!)

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supervon2Jun. 26, 13 6:17 AM

I have been a landlord. Never again. Most renters have NO respect for property. The more you charge, the better quality renter you get. I don't think I could ever go in the rental market again-far too much renters rights.

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circleoflifeJun. 26, 13 7:11 AM

heckyousay - Making excuses will not get the job done. Learn Native American? I'd love to! However, how will that help anyone communicate their needs? This is a different country than when Columbus was around. Alot more people means alot more barriers. English is the language of the United States and in this age of so many people with so many needs it's up to everyone to figure out a way to communicate effectively. There are MULTIPLE, "FREE" programs to help in the language barrier and it is up to the "new" individual to be proactive and utilize them.

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mjohnson2469Jun. 26, 13 8:06 AM

"Many of those residents speak only Spanish, but Frenz’s office has no one taking calls who is fluent in the language." I am so very sick of our country accommodating every other language just as not to offend other cultures. I no longer want to Press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish, 3 for Mong, 4 for Somali. If I go to any of these countries I am expected to speak in their native language. I would expect they extend the same in America. If they can't, they need to have someone that can accompany them to translate for them until they can. Por favor, aprender a hablar Inglés.

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mdachsJun. 26, 13 8:19 AM

I agree with the comments made. Moving from over 2,000 complaints to 61 this year is incredible progress! Also agree with the comments on language - if people want to live in the U.S., they need to learn English. When I was a kid, growing up in Chicago, some of our family friends who were German-speaking parents/grandparents would bring along a child, friend, or relative when they needed to communicate in English. And, if they received an English communication in the mail, they would find someone to translate it. I realize that it's a novel idea, but, back then, non-English speakers actually took the initiative to manage the language gaps - and didn't expect American English speakers to provide translators. They also learned to read English signs on the roads, train stations, and public places - they did not expect the cities, transit, and retailers to deliver signage in their native languages. It's completely unrealistic and unfair to expect landlords (or their staffs) to learn all of the foreign languages their tenants might speak in order to communicate with their tenants. Tenants have responsibilities and obligations, too.

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papfridleyJun. 26, 13 8:27 AM

It was a huge mistake to transfer these properties to Steve Frenz. I have several friends and relatives who rented from him and every one of them dealt with problems ranging from cockroaches and bed bugs in the property to procrastination and deception on needed repairs. He's another slumlord who needs to go.

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daperpkazooJun. 26, 13 8:34 AM

Great job with the biased story, Roper. Steve spends a day showing you how he operates, the city housing inspector speaks in support, yet you publish unsubstantiated claims. Do you honestly think that it's possible that the city didn't hear about a tenant going all winter without heat? Then why did you publish it? Hm, perhaps during the writing process the Strib was seeking to attack Gary Schiff, the anti-Zorbalas champ? What else is Schiff against? Oh, the Vikings stadium and the Ryan development, from which the Strib stands to gain tens of millions in land sales, dependent on a city subsidy? But no, the Strib has far too much journalistic integrity to throw a family-run local business under the bus for political purposes. Yeah, right.

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brightonjimJun. 26, 13 8:53 AM

Cannot believe the obtuse, ignorant comments about learning the language. My great-grandparents were very caring, kind, hard-working people who were Ukrainian immigrants. They rarely spoke English, but loved this country and the opportunities it gave them. To criticize immigrants for not speaking the language is ridiculous and, frankly, un-American. Seems like many of us need a refresher on the intent of this country and its origins.

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