Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Good Guy

Not long ago I had an experience with Mitch Painter, who is running for Cincinnati City Council, that really left me angry.

I posted about it on my blog and I shared my experience with Jason Haap, also known as the Dean of Cincinnati. Jason runs a very popular media activism blog, The Cincinnati Beacon, which notably, may well be the first blog to actually move to a print edition.

I really like Jason. I've worked with him and he's given attention to several stories here at Deb Lite. When I told him my story about Mitch, Jason said he'd heard similar things elsewhere but also that he'd met him personally and felt that Mitch was, "A good guy." Even so, he would take my words into consideration.

He said he would write about Mitch but he hasn't and that's a shame. I gave him several items that I was willing to go on the record about as far as Mitch was concerned. Still no dice.

In addition to my personal issues with Mitch, I feel that Mitch Painter is a bigot and a slumlord. I found Painter to be decidedly unprofessional, unintelligent and a horrendous speller.

This is my own humble opinion and far be it for anyone to preach this as gospel. But I am writing it on my own blog as my own opinion and Mitch would have to go a lot further than what he has done- namely sending me a one-line email of apology- to prove to me otherwise. I loathe to think of this type of person in our City Government or really, in a responsible position of any kind.

Just to make this patently clear: I don't feel Mitch is a good guy.

As for Jason, he is welcome to feel about Mitch whatever he wants. As can Nate Livingston at Cincinnati Black Blog, who wrote in his Council Predictions for September that even though he "can't seem to get a feel for Painter," Mitch has "a chance, even if it is a weak chance."

I responded on Nate's blog with the following: Mitch Painter can kiss my ass. I also provided a link to my story saying why. Still no dice.

Now both of these men tend to go after incumbents and candidates, even ones they like, with a tenacity that pit bulls would envy. Nate and Jason both hold wide and varied opinions. They have exposed powerful truths that others would rather see swept under the rug. They are sometimes written off, I feel wrongly, as partisan to their own causes. But I have seen them read the riot act to politicians that they have supported and I have seen them praise the worthy actions of people they otherwise don't agree with.

So, I guess I write this to vent a little and also as a warning to them both. If Mitch Painter slides on to Cincinnati City Council- much as Leslie Ghiz did, because she looked nice and everyone was looking in the opposite direction- only to wreak havoc later, it will not be because someone didn't speak up.

I am asking them both to take another look at Mitch Painter. To dig a little deeper and make sure that if he gets on council, it's because Painter fought for it and has to answer some hard questions about who he is and what his agenda for Cincinnati will be. Nate has already pointed out that Mitch didn't even bother to show up at a forum for Council Candidates but the buck must go further. (See Nate's Post Grading Council Performances in Northside.)

I don't want Painter given a free pass just because he hasn't said much yet or just because he's this gay friendly guy with a nice smile and an aw-shucks manner that belies who is he underneath. Cincinnati Council needs gay friendly people, but they don't need Mitch Painter.

Just to make this patently clear: I don't feel Mitch is a good guy.

14 comments:

  1. I'm listening Deb.

    I've noticed his signs by rental properties, and assumed that those must be his rental units. They didn't look to slummy, but I definitely have the lowest of low regards of anyone who fits the definition of slumlord.

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  2. I am currently a tenant of Mitch Painter's rental agency (aka RentClifton.com) and I can say that he is absolutely, positively a slumlord. What he puts hardworking students and working-class families through is shameful. I've never lived in such squalid conditions in my life, and I've never had a more unresponsive landlord. Here are just some of the things I've had to deal with while living at one of his properties:

    1. He doesn't pay his bills on time. Several times we've had flyers on our doors telling us that our gas was about to be turned off--and in the dead of winter!

    2. The buildings all look fine from the outside--but that's pretty much the only thing they fix up. The insides of these buildings are horrible. Sure, there are fresh coats of paint to make it look nice, but half of the appliences don't work right, there are leaks and mold everywhere (once it grows back through the paint). I can't imagine how hard it would be for someone with, say, athsma to live here.

    3. The management does not respond when you need to reach them. They NEVER check their emails or website, the rarely answer their phones, and they don't give you an actual address to contact them at. It's all done over website (they do get back if you're looking to rent with them) or through this sketchy PO Box address.

    There are many other things that have gone wrong with my apartment in particular, but I don't want to list them since I'm still living here.

    Sorry to hijack your blog... I just wanted people to know what kind of man Painter is (whether consciously or just because he doesn't keep tabs on his properties), and I wanted to prevent anyone else from having to go through what I and my neighbors have gone through with RentClifton.

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  3. Deb lite, Didn't you use to work for this company and they fired you because you were lazy? I own property in Hyde park and Clifton and know Mitch Painter indirectly. Clifton properties are hard to maintain because students always tearing them up. I know he has a great repuatation and you are the ONLY one to ever say anything bad about him.
    Hmmmm.

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  4. OK. Yep, I was so lazy that in less than a week of working for Mitch I...

    1) completely mapped out a building and grounds he had no floor plan for by walking it dozens of times; created the maps down to emergency exits & fire extinguishers

    2) figured out which apartments were even remotely livable, which had maintenance issues (practically all of them), AND defined the maintenance issues for each apartment, the entire building and grounds

    3) personally cleaned out several apartments that were filled with refuse and furniture left by previous tenants down to cleaning appliances, floors, windows, closets...

    4) ran around Cincinnati putting up signs advertising his buildings only to be contacted by the Ohio Dept. of Transportation that any place Mitch INSISTED that I put signs, it was illegal to do so and he would be fined over 50 grand for each next illegal sign they found as they had warned him before

    5) took care of tenant issues, made appointments, showed apartments in between cleaning, running around putting up signs and walking Mitch's unmanageable dog

    6) YES! He also expected me, in the middle of all of this to run his personal errands including taking care of his dog (dry cleaners, Staples, etc), do my own shopping for the building, clean and water the plants in his Clifton office while the building I worked for was in Roselawn.

    7) And he expected me to do all this for 10 bucks an hour, not paying anything additional for going from Clifton to Roselawn back to Clifton each day on my own gas back when gas was $2.50 a gal and climbing and

    8) Oh and while I was there were two fires and the water was almost turned off although Mitch merely informed me he would just have someone ILLEGALLY turn it back on regardless of the billing issues.

    So yes, as you can see I was inordinately lazy and accomplished nothing and Mitch was the perfect employer with a shining spotless record.

    Mitch is a dishonest little berk and I wouldn't be surprised if you were his twin brother, a relative or even Mitch himself. I'm more than glad he never even got CLOSE to being on City Council and should he ever run again for any responsible public office I would come from the ends of the Earth to publicly campaign against him no matter how minute the office in question may be.

    Oh, and you obviously didn't read the above comments that confirm what I'm talking about and I might also mention that I have received several other emails saying they WISH they'd read here first before they rented from him.

    Does that answer your question?

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  5. I also have to agree with Deb. I have lived in one of his units in the past and I am NOT a college student who tears up his unit. In fact, I am a very responsible and respective renter who always pays my rent in time and keeps my unit clean.

    Renting from Painter was a nightmare. When I moved into the unit, it was a disaster. A lot of things were broken and never really fixed. The management is completely unresponsive in any capacity (phone, e-mail, etc.). He is the TRUE definition of a Slumlord. I can say that with qualification, having experience working with several management companies of my own. Never have I ever met a management company so unprofessional and unresponsive.

    As for the blogger above trying to defend this slumlord, you sir have no business commenting on something you have an "indirect" link to.

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  7. I am really surprised at these comments. I have been staying at one of the rentclifton.com apartments and never had a cause to get angry and complain. Except for maybe on one occasion which again was not really their fault. Overall I wouldn't rate them too badly. People have made extreme comments here. But I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion even if they are not true.

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  8. Mark,

    I'm glad you've had a good experience with from Rent Clifton. That doesn't make the bad experience I had working for them, or that others have had renting from them, any less true or real.

    If I were lying, Mitch probably would have sued me ages ago, as once he threatened to do. As he hasn't one can only deduce that my claim has some merit and was not a figment of my imagination or an attempt to smear him for no reason.

    Maybe they've learned from their negative reviews and cleaned up their act. That would be nice to know. However my original opinion of Mitch and his practices, as they were then, remains unchanged.

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  10. I am writing with regards to my experience with these slumlords. RentClifton.com is HORRIBLE and I would recommend no one, NO ONE, ever rent from these people, ever.

    They will not respond to emails, maintenance requests (which you have to submit online), phone calls...nothing.

    I have to threaten them with an atty before I can get a call back from anyone.

    Our building was awesome before RentClifton.com purchased it, everyone moved out b/c it got that bad.

    There was a dead rat (not a possum, a RAT) outside our backdoor for a week.

    My lock was broken and I couldn't get anyone to fix it, therefore I was locked out of my apt and unable to get ANYONE to call me back.

    Lights would burn out in the back and front of the building and no one would fix them for months and months.

    You could never get ahold of anyone for anything, so if you rent from these people, consider yourself on your own. Unless of course they want to surprise you with your rent going from $700/month to $895 a month.

    They evicted some of my friends b/c they wouldn't sign their new lease and pay $895 a month, and then b/c it was an "eviction" they refused to give them back their deposits, SCAM!

    I had to threaten them with an atty, before they would come do my final walk-out.

    I was screamed at my Whitley Shipley, the property mgr (who looks like she is on meth and is all of 20 yrs old) that things like opening the building for Duke were "not in her job description" and to have a friend that still lived there to let Duke in the building.

    The buildings do all look fine from the outside, but BEWARE, you WILL be miserable if you rent from the Painters/ RentClifton.com.

    All of the original tenants that lived in the building (and had lived there for 5-27 years, all left. They jacked up our rent and then we were unable to get ahold of them to do anything.

    DO NOT RENT FROM THESE THIEVES AND SLUMLORDS!

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  11. I am about 2 hours from entering into a mediation with RentClifton over my rent and lease. The guy is a COMPLETE slumlord. My apartment was left in a filthy and almost gag inducing state, and it took them over a month to even get back to me about fixing or cleaning anything. Then, after I told them I would be paying my rent to the court (a completely legal move by me) they still tried to take my rent out of my checking account by using a bank manager to pass the block placed on my account. They don't provide leases to their tenants and they ignore problems while waiting for you to just leave them alone. I have rented plenty of apartments in my time, and I can honestly say not one person on the planet, let alone one of my landlords has treated me with such little respect.

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  12. I realize this is an old post, but it still turns up on google and since there's no central forum for Cincinnati renters to check up on landlords (especially those who move here from out of town), I wanted to add another agreement with those who have reported RentClifton.com to be negligent landlords.

    I lived in one of their Gaslight buildings for three years. I was a responsible tenant, never late with rent. I left because, after two years of my rent either remaining largely the same or even being decreased one year, they raised my rent by $234. I followed all proper paperwork procedures, including sending them a notice that I was moving out by certified mail 60 days in advance. My apartment was clean, and photographed to document it as such, when I moved out. No one ever came to walk through the place when I moved in or out.

    I left on June of 2011. I just today came from Small Claims Court, where I filed to get my security deposit back. Karen Burgoyne, the office manager, ignored all of my emails asking for the deposit back. Tina Moyer told me it was not her job and she couldn't help me. Karen only responded to a Better Business Bureau complaint, where she said in October that she would send me a check for my full deposit, then never did so. Today was my court date. No one from RentClifton.com showed up; the judge read my complaint and agreed that I not only am entitled to my full security deposit, but also damages amounting to twice the deposit.

    Incidentally, when I filed the suit in February, the clerk said, "wow - these people get sued a lot. I see suits against them at least twice a month here."

    They have 19 days in which to pay. I anticipate that they won't, which the clerk also said happens. I will have to garnish the rents incoming to their bank account at PNC in order to collect the money I am owed.

    I won't even list the problems I had while a tenant - I'd be writing for a very long time. Suffice it to say that I never once had a maintenance issue that was fixed in a timely fashion, even when said maintenance issue was a toilet that wouldn't flush - it took four days before they would send anyone out. Imagine not having a toilet for four days. The building was posted by Duke and the Waterworks at least 10 times in 3 years, and the water was shut off in 2010 for one night. There is no office to go to, just a PO Box where they receive rent checks. Literally the only recourse one has is to go to a lawyer or Small Claims Court. I have never had such an unresponsive, negligent landlord, and am absolutely disgusted by this company and its employees.

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  13. I've also had problems with Mitch. He showed me and my roommate an apartment in Hyde Park. We filled out the application , paid iur deposit, and signed the lease. A week later, they told us that we couldn't move in until a month after the date that was on the lease we signed.
    We requested our money back and they said they would get it to us right away.

    It has currently been 10 days and we have still not received our money back for the deposit. One of Mitchs employees has said they cant pay us right away because they don't have any money. We gave them over a thousand free dollars, but they have no money. It took them 1 day to take the money from our account but the incompetent employees that work for Mitch can't seem to get us the money two business weeks later. Many of his employees and Mitch himself don't answer emails, texts or phone calls regarding the deposit.

    This has been by far the worst experience I have had with any business I've ever dealt with. From my experience and what I've read, it's pretty easy for me to determine that Mitch Painter is a sleezy scumbag. I wouldn't recommend ANYONE to rent from this dirt bag. And he will be getting nothing but negative reviews from me

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    Replies
    1. I have many issues with Mitch Painter. He keeps sending me letter and mailings to get me to sell my property. This has been going on for years now. I told him a long time ago, I was not interested in selling my property.

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