Why We're "Housing Providers"
You won't generally see the term "landlords" on this site because that's not what we are. We provide critical housing services to our communities, often under difficult social, legal, and political circumstances.
We politely decline the label "landlord" with its pejorative connotations. We are not lords over anything; the land is the least important part of what we do. The word "landlord" is an old one, developed in medieval societies where tenants had no power, no civil liberties, and no protections from abuses of power. Feudalism was an unfair system in which landlords owned and benefited, and tenant farmers worked and suffered.
Our society is entirely different today, and the continued use of the legal term "landlord" is slander against our members and all rental owners. Tenants have important civil protections against unfair practices, monopoly pricing, poor maintenance, etc. Tenants also have significant economic power simply by their ability to move and leave the rental owner with an expensive vacancy. In many communities--like Berkeley--tenants often wield far greater political power than housing providers.
We are proud to be 'rental housing providers' or 'rental owners.' We make significant commitments of time and money to our communities. We have taken on significant risks as small businessmen and women. We are proud to serve our customers, our neighborhoods, and our communities.