Over the course of the past week, I have read articles in three separate papers concerning the vacancies in the Village of Larchmont. All three articles made a point to mention absentee landlords as one of the reasons for these vacancies. Yet none of the articles mentioned the restrictive laws enacted by the Village to prevent landlords from renting to certain types of businesses or the laws that require storeowners to jump through numerous hoops in order to receive a Certificate of Occupancy.
The articles also fail to mention the challenges that landlords face with tenants who fail to pay rent or who arbitrarily break their lease, or the fact that landlords are still responsible for taxes whether or not the property is rented.When tenants fail to pay rent or move out prior to the expiration of the lease, landlords are forced to spend thousands of dollars trying to recoup their losses and many times have to write those losses off.
The new restrictions on parking (reducing parking time from two hours to one hour) have the potential to be detrimental to store owners by deterring clients from shopping, which could have a negative impact on landlords.
The town is suggesting passing a law requiring landlords to decorate the windows of vacant stores. This seems somewhat counter productive. It would make more sense to try to ascertain why these vacancies exist and cooperate with landlords to try to find a solution to the problem.
Landlords are heavily invested in the Village and pay a great deal in taxes toward the upkeep of the Village. Landlords deserve fair return in their investment and cooperation from the Village to succeed in doing so. I would like to suggest that the Mayor and the Board of Trustees work with landlords to find solutions to filling vacant spaces rather than simply accusing landlords of being absentee and apathetic.