Affordable Housing versus Tenants' "Rights"

Posted by Mike Michalski on Tuesday, June 26th, 2018.

California's persistent anti-landlord drumbeat of ever-increasing onerous legislation in the name of tenants' rights is only likely to exacerbate the lack of affordable housing in this liberal progressive bastion.

That anti-landlord climate also makes for some strange bedfellows.

For example, the California Apartment Association, a statewide lobbying group that represents landlords, recently came out in favor of a cap on rent increases.  What? 

The reason for their position is to blunt a far more onerous proposition slated for the ballot box in November that would effectively repeal the 1995 Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act which limits the kind of rent control policies cities are able to impose.   This includes:

  • Vacancy Decontrol: No longer will property owners be able to raise rent to market rates when a tenant moves out.
  • Single family homes and condominiums will no longer be exempt from rent control.
  • Buildings built after 1995 will no longer be exempt from rent control.

But unrestrained rent control, like every other effort to control the price of a good or service, ends up discouraging the production of that good or service -  in this case new rental units - by scaring off developers worried about sudden policy changes in cities with rent control policies.  This, of course, will only make the housing and homeless problem worse.

Dubbed the "Affordable Housing Act", it should be called the No Housing Act.

The above-cited initiative is just one example of a general anti-landlord bias that undergirds most new rules involving landlord-tenant relations in the Golden State.  In one egregious example in San Francisco (why do the craziest ideas seem to originate there), one landlord simply got fed up with the warmed over quasi-marxist ordinances and restrictions on property owners and decided he wanted to get out of the rental business and move back into his duplex, only to find out it would cost him $117,000 to displace his tenants.  Fortunately, he was able to sue the city which recently settled in his favor.

Ah, the joys of being a landlord in a socialist paradise.

Maybe it's time for the state's left-leaning politicians and tenant activists to wake up and SMELL THE COFFEE!

This entry was posted under Smell The Coffee.