Sunday, July 10, 2011

Minneapolis's Youngest Slumlord** Faces Rental License Revocations

 Stock Photo of Tornado Damaged House, Photo and Post by Nomi Passenger

"'He hasn't been by here since the tornado. The grass needs to be mowed, and there's pot growing in the front yard,' Kimble said as he pointed to several cannabis plants that had reached up to 10 inches in height."

From what I remember of Alan Kwong, now 28, he is quite the prodigy. One of those brilliant kids who flies through school, completely unchallenged by even the hardest courses that high school and college has to offer.  If I remember correctly, he was one of those geniuses who graduated both high school and college at a very young age. 

So it makes sense that he would continue his over-achieving, record breaking, prodigal lifestyle and become known as Minneapolis's youngest slumlord**, who is facing license revocations for the remainder of all his rental properties.

The Star Tribune has the story here.  Kwong lost one license after failing to fix a furnace and the temporary space heater started a fire in a bedroom.  He didn't fight the revocation because the house was going to foreclose anyways.  Then came the second revocation, kind of similar to the first one.  Kwong failed to repair a home after a fire and left it boarded. License revoked and unchallenged by Kwong because the house was going to foreclose.  But he did not realize that second revocation would cause his remaining licenses to be revoked as well.  The quote at the top of this blog post is from one of his tenants.  I don't know, maybe Kwong is trying to grow some weed as an additional revenue stream? (sarcasm font)

I knew Alan Kwong from several years back, when he served a brief period of time as a director on the Jordan Area Community Council board.  He was never very involved, in fact I remember the chair having to address a problem with Kwong; he'd come to the meetings and read a book right there at the board table.  I remember he resigned in some kind of a mini-scandal about him being suspected of block-busting, an illegal real estate practice described as using fear and lies to influence home owners to sell their properties quick and at low rates to flee the neighborhood due to an undesirable influx of new buyers, such as criminal elements and minorities.  The minority thing wasn't really what Kwong was being suspected of, but more of the criminal element, telling people on his block that gangs and trouble were moving in all around and homeowners should get out now while they could. (Kwong had a real estate license and did all his own deals)

So there you have it folks, slumlords come in all shapes, sizes, ages, backgrounds and intelligence levels. But they ALL need to get the heck out of north Minneapolis, they aren't welcome any longer.

** youngest slumlord title not scientifically proven with data, just an honorary title for blog purposes

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Anonymous said...

I suspect that there is a lot of block-busting going on by slumlords who purposefully stoke sub-standard rentals with problem tenants in an effort to lower property values throughout that neighborhood.

With Section 8 reimbursements being so out of wack with the reality of NoMi's housing stock, slumlording is BIG business.

That's why we need the State Nuisance Behavior laws enforced to hold landlords responsible for the behaviors and conditions of these properties.

NoMi Passenger said...

The headline and one sentence of this post was updated. The number 45 was removed because it is unclear if Kwong is facing revocation of 45 remaining licenses, or if 45 residents (individuals) will be affected.

Anonymous said...

I think "free weed in the front yard" should bring an influx of new tenants to this guys rentals...regardless of the housing quality.

Genius! Simply Genius!

Anonymous said...

Good news! This was overturned and now these people will not lose their homes due to the red tape we have here in Minneapolis

Folwell Fox said...

It would be recommended for his tenants to find a new place anyways... It's just a matter of time according to Mr. Kwong's track record.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that recommendation. Folks like that are lucky to have you looking out for their interests. Glad you joined the discussion.

Folwell Fox said...

No problem, anytime.

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate to see the all-American philosophy of "Too big to fail" work it's way into Nomi.

It is clear that the City Council does not have a good grasp on the the tools available to them. A far better solution would have been to put all those properties into receivership - thus providing the necessary improvements for Kwongs tenants, while removing the profit motive fueled by his greed.

This sets a terrible precedent and sends a very bad message to other slumlords regarding their responsibilities under the law.

Anonymous said...

I was a previous tenant and came home valentines day 2011 to big red sticker informing me of violations and I rrraaannnn! And he took it upon himself to withhold my deposit with some falsified invoice as to why.....another life lesson for me and glad its over!