At National REIA our focus is on education and support, but another main focus is to increase the professionalism in our industry. Sadly, as the article below points out, there are still very bad landlords out there.

“Why Investors and landlords have a bad reputation”

CLEVELAND, Ohio — By some accounts, brothers Graig and Derek Brown are exceptionally bad landlords.

Court documents and interviews portray the brothers as vindictive and mean-spirited with a track record of illegally shutting off utilities and locking out tenants for being a few days late with the rent or for complaining about conditions in their rental units.

Cleveland Housing Court Judge Raymond Pianka made his feelings clear when he recently awarded $482,000 in compensatory and punitive damages to Cindy Smith, a former tenant of the Browns.

“The court has never, in its 31-year history, heard proof in so many cases of a landlord or landlords engaging in such repeated, ongoing, deliberate, cruel, harmful and illegal conduct,” Pianka wrote.

Neither the Browns nor their attorney, Fernando Mack, returned phone calls for this story.

The Browns are unrepentant bullies, according to an account by an aggrieved tenant included in a 2006 Cleveland Housing Court decision. The Browns reportedly told the mother of a former tenant that they were proud of their hardhearted tactics and had been employing them for years.