Are you sick of rentoids being late with your money, or tired of being made the bad guy for evicting tenants during the middle of the pandemic? Well then head on over to the subreddit Love for Landlords, to talk about how great it is to own property with your fellow landchads.
Love for Landlords started last May, and despite looking sincere on the surface, it's all a big joke. "Seeing the hate landlords tend to receive on this website, some landlord friendly users have decided to create this community," the subreddit's description reads. "Its intent is to appreciate the essential role of landlords in society as they provide working class people housing only to be insulted and bullied online" That's all well and good, until you notice the very last line, "Official partners of r/neoliberal."
The posts themselves also pretty clearly give up the ghost. One, titled "POV: you're the single mother I was sent back in time to evict," is just a screenshot of the movie The Terminator. The tone of the community uses the language of incels and people who generally speaking spend too much time online in order to create its parody of a community that would be welcoming to landlords.
Landlords are called "landchads" or "landlets" if they are, according to the community's glossary, "a weak, easily walked on landlord who simps for poor people." Renters are "rentoids," and "Someone who is too busy doing pRaXiS online to establish any romantic relationships or have sex," is a Chapocel. In order to even understand what is going on here, you need to be well versed enough in the language of the internet to identify all the layers of irony. It doesn't help that everyone in this subreddit acts in character at all times.
One of the mods told Motherboard that the sub started as a way to bait members of now banned subreddit r/ChapoTrapHouse.
"I'm semi-active in /r/drama and we had a feud with CTH. Some user got the idea to create L4L as a deliberate way to bait them, since nothing enraged them more than property ownership, and I accepted the modding invitation," the mod said. They described r/Drama as a "sub dedicated to lowbrow humor," and while it takes shots at people across a wide political spectrum, it often relishes in the "drama" surrounding trans people, people of color, and women, and mocks them.
Although r/ChapoTrapHouse and r/Drama would continue to antagonize each other until Chapo was banned, the mod said that r/LoveforLandlords kind of just soldiered on. It now has over 35,000 subscribers.
"My real-life politics are totally mainstream, and to the extent that I mod at all, I try to keep the far right out," the mod said. "I wish the sub had more posts making fun of CTH-style communist stupidity, and fewer acting like parodies of what CTH thinks landlords are, to be frank."
In a comment in the community r/Drama, one of the mods, Jeb4Pres2020, said that they were the person who originally inspired the community. They posted a "Landlord Appreciation Thread" in r/Drama a few months before Love for Landlords opened, which seems designed to make as many people angry as possible.
"The guy that made [the Love for Landlords subreddit] said it was what inspired him. I've also been a mod since pretty much the start, although I mostly just weigh in on policy or borderline posts," Jeb4Pres2020 said. "I guess I've got a bit of a knack for producing reddit seethe."
Love For Landlords is by far the most populous of other "Love For" subreddits, all of which were created last year. The second biggest, "Love for Animesexuals" is pretty clearly the target of its mockery: people who think liking anime is the same thing as being a marginalized race or sexual orientation. But unlike Love for Amazon or Love for FBI, Love For Landlord's particular critique extends beyond just other landlords. It's operating on at least two levels; it's bait for leftists, and also a chance to pretend to be as horrible as they think landlords are. By extension, it also seems like a place to mock people who would ever defend some of the most egregious actions landlords have taken in evicting a tenant.
The shout out to the subreddit r/Neoliberal is deliberate, as is the picture of President Joe Biden in the header. At this point the existence of Love for Landlords is about the act of roleplay itself.
Although it started explicitly as bait, the Landchad/Rentoid dichotomy, and specifically the way in which landlords can treat renters as inferior and even contemptible, reflects a real world dynamic. You can see it for yourself by checking out the r/Landlords subreddit, where landlords unironically will ask whether an eviction moratorium during a deadly pandemic is unconstitutional, or BiggerPockets, a popular forum where landlords plot to screw over tenants.
You also know this if you spent any significant amount of time renting.
Right now, America is facing an eviction crisis as a result of the pandemic, and those evictions have made the pandemic even worse. In times like these, I try to imagine what's going through the mind of people like landlords, who I just don't understand. On the days that I wake up to jackhammering at nine in the morning, in my apartment that's so cold that my partner and I wear coats inside, I think to myself, "I wonder what kind of person I'd have to be to get so many complaints from my tenants, and still buy and develop another building?"
Do you think about what kind of asshole you'd have to be to threaten your tenants with a rent hike if Biden won the presidency? How evil you'd have to be to abduct your tenants in the middle of the night and drop them in a cemetery? The people at Love for Landlords are all roleplaying that person, and they've made them into the worst possible person on Earth.