eviction notice signed by god
Dave Ramsey thinks tenants might be “screwed in the brain” for expecting cheap rent from Christian landlords.

Are you a bad Christian if you raise the rent so high it makes your tenants homeless? Christian financial guru Dave Ramsey says no.

Ramsey is the host of The Ramsey Show, a popular radio program focused on finance from a Christian perspective. On the January 3rd episode, Ramsey and his co-hosts took a question from a Christian landlord who was having second thoughts on raising rents to match the local market, or keep rent low so as not to cause hardship or even homelessness to his tenants.

As the landlord stated, “I did not get into real estate to subsidize people's living expenses, but I also didn't get into real estate to displace families either.”

Ramsey – himself a landlord – came down on the side of the marketplace, arguing in favor of raising rents and that doing so doesn’t make you a bad Christian, if anything, it makes you market savvy.

But many on social media objected to the comments, arguing that raising rent and displacing a family when you have the financial means not to isn’t exactly what Jesus would do.

Does raising rent make you a bad Christian?

The Rent is Too D*mn High

“I own rental property – single-family homes – among many other properties that we own, and if I raise my rent to be market rate, that does not make me a bad Christian,” Ramsey stated on-air in response to the initial question. “I did not displace the person out of that house if they can no longer afford it. The marketplace did. The economy did. The ratio of the income that they earned to their housing expense displaced them. I didn’t cause any of that.”

He then suggested that tenants might be “screwed in the brain” for expecting cheap rent from Christian landlords.

Still, Ramsey pointed out that he manages his properties with “a head and a heart,” stating that in the past he ultimately decided not to evict a tenant with cancer who was undergoing chemotherapy and struggling financially. He encouraged those raising rents to act compassionately when having that difficult conversation with tenants.

What Would Jesus Charge

Many social media users were outraged, arguing that just because you can raise rent, doesn’t mean you should. And some pointed out potential conflicts between raising rent and Jesus’s message.

Can unbridled capitalism and Christian principles even coexist? As one Twitter user stated, “from a business/financial standpoint, he’s not wrong. But, from a Christian (who’s super wealthy) standpoint, ‘give to the needy’ is supposed to be his thinking.. I think..”

Others pointed out the particular hardships some renters are under now. The COVID pandemic has massively changed the market, pushing many to unemployment and saddling thousands with medical bills. Many pondered: Is pricing people out of their rental homes right now the Christian thing to do?

What do you think – is raising rent good business, or greedy? Would Jesus raise the rent on struggling tenants?

21 comments

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    Yes they are. They should be providing housing to everyone in need. That's what is says in the Bible.

  1. Ralph A. Lawrence's Avatar Ralph A. Lawrence

    Keep in mind that a rental property owner has this apartment as an investment that provides his own living. The owner took a piece of their own money and bought the property, which is a risk, like any enterprise, just like a store owner or anything else. A retail store is not a charity, and neither is a rental property. The customer (renter) has signed on to an obligation: pay the rent, and in turn receive a place to live. In other words it's a two way street. Just like buying a car. Skip the payments, and you lose the car. Pure and simple. Free enterprise people (owners of any business) are not operating charities. Certainly, they are free to be charitable, and society and government provides for "charitable deductions". However, a property owner is not "required" to be charitable; only to be guided by their conscience. And further, there are often circumstances that drive an owner to evict a tenant, particularly abuse of the privilege. It really depends on the specific case. But this question seems to be condemning an owner without knowing the circumstances. (This reply by a former apartment owner and also a Christian). I dispute whether a Christian is under any different ethical obligation than any other individual, regardless of their religion or lack of same.

    1. Kurt Neuleuf's Avatar Kurt Neuleuf

      Having worked in real estate a lifetime and more, ago, I concur absolutely with what you have said. Rentals are a business decision and religion is not normally within a tenancy contract , at least not yet in Australia.

      1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

        If someone wants to be a true follower of the Messiah then actually no they may never put personal profit first for any reason ever. Profit has another name, greed. Greed is one of the 7 sins core to christian faith. As is gluttony also known as land hoarding. A true christian never has more then they themselves have personal immediate need for.

        As a minister in good standing, I use all that I have to help others, and live as humbly as I can. Such is how all must live if the human race is to cease being a blight upon the world.

        Keep in mind no non native person in the U.S. has any right to any land. Every bit of it was seized in the same manner the Nazi seized land in Europe. Unless you think the Nazi had a right to kill and conquer, you have to apply the same pov to what was done in the americas. This means quite literally every land hoarder in the U.S. is just like the nazis who got away with stolen wealth and vanished into countries eager to take that money and the science of that evil faction.

  1. Gerardo Salazar's Avatar Gerardo Salazar

    The USA were founded and have continued a culture in which the concepts of Wealth, Income, and Power reign supreme without consideration to moral or humanitarian issues thus creating horrible episodes like the mistreatment and eventual exploration of Native American, the birth of Robber Barons, etc, a fact that that still lives today and as a palpable example we have the lack of social medical care for poor people so the fact of increasing rents in a wild race should not be surprising for anyone. Officially the US.is a country based on Christian values but reality tells otherwise.

    Remember Matthew 7:16?

    “By their deeds you will know them. Does a man gather grapes from thorns or figs from briars?”

    1. Kurt Neuleuf's Avatar Kurt Neuleuf

      The same is all too true in Australia. We don't have a bill of rights under the any constitution, Our indigenous people suffer the most because they are most easily exploited

  1. Angel's Avatar Angel

    Depends on the situation and what the landlord is doing. Landlords are getting greedy and raising prices according to bigger buissnesses which is creating a huge housing crisis. I understand that many are trying to make up for the free loader's during the pandemic, but it's also making it impossible for people to find affordable housing. It's a difficult situation but at the end of the day, each person must be able to look at themselves in the mirror. If your looking at a Christian perspective, and following Jesus example, he didn't own anything accept what he made through his carpentry job.Since the world demands we make money to survive, it's up to the individual to decide what is fair and what crosses the line into greed. Just because everyone else does, doesn't always mean you should.

  1. Kurt Neuleuf's Avatar Kurt Neuleuf

    Rentals are an investment decision. The majority of investors want to keep their tenants, ensuring a continual return. The investor has to pay for maintenance, government charges and fees associated with the rental property. It is a fact of life that expenses do increase. These expenses need to be passed on. Sure there are a minority of predatory investors out for a quick buck, that is life. Consider this:- The larger businesses and corporations raise their prices constantly, not for any religious, moral or ethical reasons, but purely for profit. Yet we accept these price rises as a matter of course, but balk at the small time rental investor who, as a whole, does have moral and ethical standards.

  1. The Right Reverend D. Batch's Avatar The Right Reverend D. Batch

    My Brother sold all of his Rental Properties so he would not have to deal with all of the sob stories from Tenants. He made mint selling to a corporation that has no problems raising the rent.

  1. William Dusenberry's Avatar William Dusenberry

    Landlords — land lords — are way down on the list, of those who should be charged with Blasphemy— because they mislead the public, whenever they miscategorize themselves as Christians.

    The worst non-Christians, who advertise themselves as Christians, are all the MAGA-A GOP Senators and Congresspersons, who refuse to make rent-forgivenesss, or rent deferment, the federal governments responsibility— just as food stamps and Medicaid are — and what the mythological Jesus might have advocated, that is if this mythological Roman creation ever wanted to help the poor in the first place.

    Read “In God We Trust” to review the GOP’s ongoing efforts, to switch former GOP White Christian Nationalists, from those who used to just pretend to care for the poor (the ones unable to pay their rent) to “Jesus only pays the rent, for the poor who are likely Trump cultist voters — and you’ll get a better idea of what’s happening.

    The USA should have rent stamps (as in food stamps) so that all taxpayers help the poor during their lengthy times of need — not just the landlords as it is now.

    Call your supposed to be Christian Senator/Congressperson, and ask them to do so — and anticipate the contempt such officials have for helping anyone — whose not already a member of their White Nationalist Christian tribe.

    Christian Evangelists of todY, have totallyvabandoned any pretenses of helping the poor — becausedoing so is Communistic/socialism.

    The MAGA Christian White Nationalist misogynistic homophobic Christians of today’s Christian/GOP now follows in lockstep “The Christian Lord only helps those who help themselves” (unless they had the good sense to be born into wealthy families.).

  1. Angel's Avatar Angel

    Depends on the situation and what the landlord is doing. Landlords are getting greedy and raising prices according to bigger buissnesses which is creating a huge housing crisis. I understand that many are trying to make up for the free loader's during the pandemic, but it's also making it impossible for people to find affordable housing. It's a difficult situation but at the end of the day, each person must be able to look at themselves in the mirror. If your looking at a Christian perspective, and following Jesus example, he didn't own anything accept what he made through his carpentry job.Since the world demands we make money to survive, it's up to the individual to decide what is fair and what crosses the line into greed. Just because everyone else does, doesn't always mean you should.

  1. John P Maher's Avatar John P Maher

    NO, THEY ARE GREEDY SELF SERVING BLOOD SUCKKKERS LIKE ALL THE RICH CORPORATIONS !

  1. Clay Serenbetz's Avatar Clay Serenbetz

    Is it Christian for free-loading tenants to force a landlord into bankruptcy for not paying rent? In Bankruptcy, the landlord will lose the property, their investment and possibly their home and retirement security. The landlords may have their own payments for mortgage, property tax, insurance and maintenance. Is it moral for the tenant to ruin the landlords' credit and to force them to lose their investment in the rental property? Is it moral for tenants to turn their towns into mini-Detroits (as Detroit was in 2013) with no tax base and vacant rat-infected properties filled with drug activity. If tenants get to free-load on society, then not just the landlords, but our whole society will collapse. No, it's not more moral for tenants than it is for landlords. It's a street with several lanes requiring everyone to live up to their commitments. Stakeholders include the tenant, the landlord, the neighborhoods, the city, the bank, insurance companies and contractors who maintain the properties.. New York in the 1970s also faced a crisis where rent-controlled properties bankrupted not just the landlords, but the whole city.

  1. Gwendolyn Lord's Avatar Gwendolyn Lord

    Well....I have tossed tenants out quick enough who tried to con me with postponing or not paying at all. But also carried a tenant for five months, who was put of work. However, I had a reason. When I was hospitalized, he cared for my pets. One hand washes the other.

    But, more to the point, compassion has jack to do with what religion you follow. This would seem to me to be a case by case scenario, and would depend entirely on each situation and the history between the two parties.

  1. John P Maher's Avatar John P Maher

    IN GOD YOU TRUST MEANWHILE the CORPORATIONS and YOUR GOVERNMENT STEAL your COUNTRY, MONEY, LIFE, SUCKKKING YOUR BLOOD, GREED is the WORD, GREED !

  1. James Mounts's Avatar James Mounts

    Any Christian with a net worth higher than the world average is a bad Christian

  1. Belmontst25's Avatar Belmontst25

    Yes...simple

  1. The Right Reverend D. Batch's Avatar The Right Reverend D. Batch

    Comment removed by user.

  1. Belmontst25's Avatar Belmontst25

    Yes

  1. Belmontst25's Avatar Belmontst25

    Yes...simple

  1. Clay Serenbetz's Avatar Clay Serenbetz

    You guys are just jealous. If you had that much money, I doubt that you'd give it all away, despite your protests to the contrary. The wealthy are providing a much needed service or developing a innovation for the betterment of the world; they are also creating jobs. To force them to forfeit their wealth would disincentivize them and make the world a worse place. Have you seen Venezuela recently? Go live there. That's where Jesus probably resides these days.

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