Good Landlord Program Requires its Members to Participate in Housing Discrimination and Violates Tenant Rights


The following is a post, submitted to the Standard Examiner by, Jessica Duran of Ogden, Utah detailing the difficulties she has had in finding housing to rent in Ogden, due to a mistake she had made when she was just 19 years old, which resulted in her being convicted of a felony.

Because of the significant discount in licensing fees offered to property owners by the Good Landlord Program, for excluding persons in Jessica's situation from Ogden's tenant pool,  no property owner in Ogden would dare to do the right thing and risk losing this incentive by offering her a place to live....

... Well, nobody but me.

I am pleased to announce that Jessica Duran finally saw my response and is currently filling out an application for residency at my building. 

Living in Los Angeles, does have its benefits....
Noted attorney, Gloria Allred has already taken a keen interest in this blatant violation of civil rights, endorsed by a City government. It would therefore be a dark day for Ogden, should the Good Landlord Program or any branch of the local City Government attempt to dissuade me in this venture in ANY way.

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  • To: Jessica Duran,

    The Ogden City, Good Landlord Program is an embarrassment to the City at best. Although the original design and intended function of this program was based purely on improving property management and providing uniform guidance to property owners, without adequate (or any) program enforcement and lacking any set of checks and balances, to insure that the program operated as originally intended to, the Good Landlord Program has now evolved into nothing more than a political sham and a farce.

    Granted that the program still retains many of the qualities it was originally intended to have,
    due to a severe lack of program enforcement or a reasonable and consistent set of rules, policy and guidelines for property owners to follow, I believe that the program now has more potential of doing harm rather than good.

    I own an apartment building in Ogden City, that from 2005-2009, had become a victim of the broken and failing, Good Landlord Program in Ogden. During that time, my property was being maintained in a deplorable and severely dilapidated condition; The common areas were filthy and poorly lit, Resident calls for repairs frequently went un-answered or ignored for months at a time; When repairs to the building were made, they were most often done improperly, illegally and usually without a permit . The property was plagued with crime, such as rape, drugs, gangs, prostitution, child crimes and even murder; The building's infrastructure and systems had been so poorly maintained that they were in danger of failing completely; Residents were permitted to run amok inflicting whatever damages they wished, due to a total lack of presence at the property by the building's management. In fact, a year ago, the building barely resembled the property that I had bought just 4 short years earlier. What's worse is the fact that, the property management company that was operating my building under these conditions (and worse) is a charter member of the Ogden City, Good Landlord Program and was never cited for any of these program infractions.

    Fortunately, the property is now under new and very competent and involved management and the improvement and change in the building's condition and residency has been truly remarkable.

    If I wasn't thoroughly disgusted with the Good Landlord Program already, reading your letter in the newspaper certainly pushed me in that direction, with yet another example of how Ogden's supposed Good Landlord Program is actually failing the City.

    The fact that you immediately owned your actions as a 19 year old, rather than making excuses for them, (as most people would), is admirable. It demonstrates to me, that you have not only learned to take responsibility for your actions, but that you realize that your actions can sometimes come with consequences also. Taking responsibility for one's actions is one of the primary personality traits and characteristics that we look for in potential new resident's for our building.

    I'm sorry that you have become yet another victim and a byproduct of this severely flawed program. If you are in fact, experiencing difficulties in finding clean, safe, affordable housing, in a family oriented and secure building, where the residents come first everyday and not just on the first day of the month, we would be proud to extend to you and your son, an invitation to apply for residency at our building, where I can personally guarantee that this matter will not be an issue for you.

    Please reply to this posting with your contact information and we will get in touch with you directly.

    Best regards to you and your son,

  • I appreciate it more than you know! Yes, we are still looking for somewhere to live that would be affordable. My email is my phone is 8016039370 Thank you so much, I really loved your letter. I was so happy, and excited.
  • Hello Jessica-

    I'm thrilled that you saw my posting to you and your son.

    I have just emailed you an application for our building.

    Please follow the instructions that I have included and return the completed application at your earliest convenience.

    Best regards-

  • There is nothing wrong with allowing landlords to be selective in choosing who they rent to. It makes for better environments for everyone. However, the Good Landlord Policy uses bribery to make landlords ban an entire group of people without legitimate evaluation of prospective tenants. In Utah one can legally deny housing based on criminal records. Those with good judgement and not motivated by greed use this as a tool to screen applicants. But, Mr. Godfrey's policy gives large tax breaks to those who refuse everyone in the 'criminal class' this policy seeks to purge from its midst. The motivation for this policy is Mr. Godfrey's well-known social bigotry of low income, blue collar Ogdenites that are the foundation of this city. Ironically, it was our own mayor over a year ago defending a business acquaintance in another city's court, stating he wasn't a criminal and shouldn't do prison time even though he stole many millions of dollars from vulnerable, law-abiding citizens in one of Utah's largest ponzi schemes. So apparently, if blood isn't spilled, you dress well, know a politician, and make over $40,000 a year(even if you stole it from somebody's grandparents) you can live wherever you want. By the way, why is the Park Ave. Apts. still a part of the Good Landlord Policy when its manager is constantly in violation? If you like your program so much Mr. Godfrey shouldn't you be doing something about that? The local police are probably getting tired of going there. Or is that how Mr. Greiner keeps his job security?
  • The Ogden good landlord program doesn't leave it to landlords to refuse to rent to those with felonies. It requires them to refuse to rent to someone with a felony, and it imposes a substantial penalty [loss of licence rebates] if they refuse. I'd have fewer problems with the program if it left the decision of who to rent to up to the landlord. But it doesn't.

    I recall the landlord in Ogden [the SE printed his story some time ago] who was having to evict a tenant he did not want to evict. The man had a felony in his past, but was a good tenant, making his rent, in no way a problem, liked by his neighbors. But he had to evict him anyway or lose the goodlandord program licence fee reductions [which are substantial].

    As structured in Ogden, it's a bad program. A landlord should be able to rent to someone with a record if he wishes to and stay in the program, and no one who is a current renter should have to be evicted [against the landlord's wishes] simply for the landlord to qualify for the good landlord discounts.
  • I am in agreement with you. We do not need the good landlord policy. In Utah you can choose who to rent to and say no if they have a felony. It's not the policy, it is already legal to say no if you choose to. However, the good landlord policy makes you do it to get the tax break. If you don't sign up for it you have to pay the property taxes. Apparently trusting people to make decisions in Utah is frowned upon. So they bribe you to join a club so they can do it for you.
  • The Park Ave. Apartments are the bane of my building's existence, you see, they happen to be located next door to my building.

    The landlord of the Park Ave. is a perfect example of why the Good Landlord Program was developed in the first place.

    There's a difference in renting to convicted felons and renting to reformed, convicted felons.
    The landlord of the Park Ave. Apartments, is severely incapable of distinguishing between the two. In his eyes, it doesn't matter who he rents to, as long as they have money to pay the rent.

    In January 2010, 70% of the problems at my building were originating from the mismanagement of the Park Ave. Apartments. The other 30% originated from the gross mismanagement and neglect of my building by none other than Kier Property Management, another charter member of Ogden's Good Landlord Program.

    The only difference here is that when I became aware of the mismanagement of my building, I did something about it. I now have competent, involved management running the building and have since evicted all of the system abusing tenants who refused to live by the rules, destroying their units, breaking countless laws. Crimes that were committed on my property while under the management of Kier included:

    • Child crimes;
    • Illegal drug activity;
    • Prostitution;
    • Rape; and
    • Murder
    among other crimes.

    ALL of these crimes involved tenants that had been placed at my property by, "Good Landlord" - Kier Property Management.

    If you would care to see more about the conditions that "Good Landlord" Kier Property Management managed and maintained my building in for 4 years, please feel free to visit:

    My building is now occupied by good, law abiding residents, who compliment the residency of the building and take care of the property as if it were their own. Nothing escapes the notice of my site manager and poor tenant behavior is no longer the status quo nor accepted at my building.

    The change at my building as well as in the surrounding neighborhood has been nothing short of remarkable and it improves a little bit every single day.

    So you see, being a member of this ridiculous "Good Landlord Program" really has little to do with whether or not you actually ARE a good landlord.... but WANTING to be one makes ALL the difference in the world.
  • In reality, the Good Landlord Program does not offer tax breaks. What it does offer property owners is a substantial reduction in business licensing fees. These discounts are so substantial, that property owners are compelled to join the program in order to take advantage of them, regardless of whether they agree with the program's requirements, or not.

    While you may or may not agree with Mayor Godfrey's motives or actions, is fodder for another topic.
    The fact is, that without Major Godfrey's vision and guidance, the City of Ogden would be just another forgotten, podunk town along I-15, rather than the beautiful, culture rich, suburban metropolis it has become over the years.
  • jessica Duran 02/25/2011 02:08 PM
    It is a bribe. It is a shame because right now with the way the economy is, people are looking all around to save some money. I totally understand that, but it's just morally wrong! I can not stand Godfrey... He's trying to make this place like Park City! What happens if the city does happen to turn around, the prices of everything are just going to rise, then what happens to the people who've been here all their life just trying to make ends meet?! What happens to the regular guy??
  • folks, the good landlord program is a voluntary program which has been a benefit to the city in reducing crime and requiring landlord to be accountable for their properties. FYI the city loses 1.3 million dollars in business license fees by offering this program. The Park Ave property is not on the GLL program. The GLL program allows persons with felony records to live on the property 4 years after your conviction which should prove you have changed your ways. 
  • I suspect that this posting likely came from Mark Johnson, director of the Good Landlord Program.
    It states that the City loses 1.3 million dollars per year in,lost revenue, due to reduced business licence fees... What isn't mentioned is that prior to the implementation of the program, few landlords were applying for business licences at all.

    Forcing ALL owners of rental properties to be licensed and then offering a huge discount on the fees for owners who participate in the program, not only provided a windfall of income for the city, but also enabled the City to dictate who could and could not live in these properties. So really, losing 1.3 million of money you weren't getting in the first place, isn't really losing anything.