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Slumlord's Actions Leave Empty Feeling

January 20, 2002

Re "Tenants Responsible for Living Conditions," Letters, Jan. 5:

Let us not forget that a judge weighing all the evidence convicted Sam Menlo of a misdemeanor criminal offense of being a slum landlord in Anaheim. Menlo's actions were so abhorrent that he was sentenced to live in his complex for many months instead of going to jail.

It costs money for a landlord to keep up apartments. I know, because I own and manage two buildings. If the bad conditions are caused by the tenant, a landlord should get rid of them or at least charge them for damage. If he has vacant apartments and drug needles are found, he needs to get security guards and alert the police.

Menlo apparently did not take action because he wanted the rent money more than repairs. He took the money and donated part of it to his church and to high-profile charities such as his La Brea Avenue building. This does not exculpate him.

Robert Kelley

Garden Grove

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