Monday, August 4, 2008

Where are all the "For Rent" Signs in Green Acres?

My little white puppy Emma and I walk to and from campus regularly in the early mornings. A couple of months ago, while walking I noticed that unlike other years since my 2003 arrival in our wonderful town and neighborhood, there are hardly any "For Rent" signs displayed. This surprises and puzzles me. Why? Usually these signs are up most of the year, scattered throughout the neighborhood, as many as four or five on each side of most blocks, creating a decided "temporary" feel to the place. Many of us have disliked the signs for that reason, and especially dislike it when landlords leave them up for all or most of the year.

So, it was with great surprise and astonishment that this year I see hardly any "For Rent" signs up in the entire neighborhood. You'd think that especially in spring and summer they would appear, in time to attract new renters for the usual August IU arrival.

I brought this subject up at our potluck meeting at my house in early July, and asked for opinions as to why this is the case. One neighbor said she thought that maybe the economy is so sluggish that people aren't getting out-of-town job offers when they graduate, and so elect to stay on.

I'd like to think it's because renters like where they live and for that reason elect to stay on for more than one year. Or even better, that some houses that were formerly for rent are now occupied by their owners, or by new owners, the houses having been sold. I know that's true in a couple of cases, and would love to extrapolate but know that's foolish.

Any other theories on this subject? I'm going to contact the city's HAND department (Housing and Neighborhood Development) to see if they have any clues. It may be a city-wide development and not just Green Acres.

Ann Kreilkamp


Kev said...

Well, there seems to be a rental sign "season" in March and April, so maybe it's the wrong time of year. Also, I notice that quite a few rental houses have had lots of renovation work (insulation, painting, landscaping) this summer. Perhaps owners are expecting fewer prospective tenants this summer because of all the road work.

That's three possibilities. Any landlords care to share their thoughts on the matter?

sdunphy said...

Dear Green Acres Friends:
That is a very good question. I am a landlord with 4 Green Acres properties and I am bidding on my 5th. I have gone more to an "Internet" form of advertising through a professional property manager and less to a "post the house for rent" form on one of the neighborhood thoroughfares. I figured that you residents of Green Acres would appreciate my more "subtle" approach. As they say, 'the nail that sticks out gets hammered down,' right?

Jane said...

Hi sdunphy and thanks for your comment. I would say that as a neigbhorhood we care less about the signs and more about the tenants who rent these houses in Green Acres. Renters can make great neighbors, but when landlords don't think about the nearby home owners when deciding who to rent to it can create a no-win situation for us all. Loud parties, cars parked in unsafe locations, trash not being picked up - these types of behaviors lead to resentment between owners and renters, police often have to be invovled. It is important that landlords emphasize to their tenants the noise, trash, and parking ordinaces that exist in Bloomington and that landlords help in mitigating disagreements between renters and owners. We acknowledge the right of anyone to buy and rent a home in Green Acres, but we seek greater cooperation between these parties. If you would like to chat about this further, please send an email to Thanks again!