Blogging Bayport Alameda

July 27, 2016

Blast from the past: rent control request

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

Yes, even back in 1951 the City Council was receiving requests to do something about outsized rent increases, but the request was shot down:

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  1. Interesting. Do you know what was being asked to be continued?

    Comment by MP — July 27, 2016 @ 6:45 am

  2. There were a number of price controls instituted during the war, at the federal & other levels. Some cities enacted rent control. NYC’s infamous scheme dates to 1943. I’ll take a guess that Alameda’s was a temporary war related one.

    If so, it underscores the need for such a scam, er scheme, to be enacted via ordinance, which can be changed or scrapped as conditions change, rather than by a permanent ballot initiative.

    Perhaps more interesting was the blurb about Utah Construction, years before any landfill project began….

    Comment by dave — July 27, 2016 @ 8:11 am

  3. We don’t need rent control, eventually the market takes care of itself. Rents are coming down in San Francisco and I expect we will see more of this. According to the SF Business Times, “A glut of high-end apartment construction has hit San Francisco and New York City real estate investment trusts hard, Bloomberg reports, as landlord scramble to get tenants into high-cost markets where they have tons of supply from which to choose” And there have been several articles about rents are actually coming down in San Francisco. When we insert government regulations into the mix it screws up what will happen naturally. They have a glut of high end housing, thus they will build more middle and lower end. The regulations people want now may bite them in the ass later on. It all goes back to economics and supply and demand. There are other factors, but when you get rid of all the BS…it is fairly simple, we just complicate it.


    Comment by joelsf — July 27, 2016 @ 8:23 am

    • Well, if the REITs are taking a hit I suppose we should stop caring about keeping Alameda mom & pop renters in their homes.

      Comment by gaylon — July 27, 2016 @ 12:35 pm

  4. In my view, the current rent control kerfuffle has little to do with the Alameda past and everything to do with the so called “Progressive” movement, which is essentially built in to the Democrat party platform and which seeks to eliminate all vestiges of individual property rights in favor of the state under the guise of social justice.

    Comment by Jack — July 27, 2016 @ 8:42 am

    • Some of us want to restore property rights. Rights to add an in-law unit to your SFH property. Rights to Turn your triplex into an eight-plex, and so forth.

      Comment by BMac — July 27, 2016 @ 9:50 am

  5. 3. it’s all relative. Rents in SF will never be really affordable again.

    Comment by MI — July 27, 2016 @ 9:39 am

    • Let them eat cake.

      Comment by jack — July 27, 2016 @ 11:55 am

      • easy to make snarky and inane comments when you have no skin in the game

        Comment by MI — July 27, 2016 @ 4:44 pm

    • Some 30,000 units are being held off the market. Remove rent control and there could be a pretty good down draft.

      Comment by Ed Hirshberg — July 27, 2016 @ 2:19 pm

      • Ed, do you have any citation for that fact, or is this one of those lines that gets repeated until people actually start believing it.

        Comment by notadave — July 27, 2016 @ 3:51 pm

        • This is what is being bandied about in the RE industry. I know of a number of situations where property is being used for air bnb, family members, or just being held vacant. A vacant building brings a higher price than an occupied one in the upside down world of rent control. Some are subjected to the Ellis act and then held vacant for five years, or turned into condos or tics.

          Comment by Ed Hirshberg — July 27, 2016 @ 5:12 pm

  6. I’m with you notadave, Ed tells us 30,000 units that landlords could be earning good money from are being held off the market to punish renters for trying to get some fairness. Gee thanks Ed.

    Comment by John P. — July 27, 2016 @ 4:59 pm

    • The problem is they lose control of the units as any rental become a de facto life estate, and the tenant does not have to worry about rising property taxes, insurance premiums, repairs, management and other costs. The tenant’s equity soon exceeds that of the property owner.

      Comment by Ed Hirshberg — July 27, 2016 @ 5:25 pm

    • I don’t think it is anyone trying to punish anyone. Very few people have the money/holding power or incentive to keep units off the market for the purpose of punishing anyone. Rather, it is people engaging in economic activity and avoiding risks like others engage in economic activity at their jobs, in their businesses, through their unions, etc. With the strictest forms of rent control (e.g., ARC) units may become more valuable as condos, AirBnB, sold as a SFR, or just held off the market for a period of time because of the downsides to engaging in a heavily regulated and rent controlled environment. The purpose of strict rent control is not to drive landlords out of business or to refrain from the market — as is the purpose of certain laws in California (e.g., recently, laws that essentially regulate certain types of debt counseling out of business) — but it will have that unintended effect to a degree because landlords engage in economic activity the same way everyone else does.

      Comment by MP — July 27, 2016 @ 6:30 pm

  7. The housing units removed from the rental market due to rent control don’t just evaporate. Yeah, some duplexes get converted to SFHs or granny flats get held off the market… but all those condo conversions and TIC units are still part of the housing supply and help relieve pressure on asking rents.

    Comment by BMac — July 27, 2016 @ 5:06 pm

    • At the end of the day, if costs are rising 5% per year and rent is rising less than 2% the property owner will eventually have to go out of business or go bankrupt unless he or she finds a work around. In one respect, we are not dealing with rent raises so much as inflation of the dollar. We used to rent apartments for $95 per month which was equal to about 3 ounces of gold. Now we rent them for $1500 which is just over 1 ounce of gold.

      Comment by Ed Hirshberg — July 27, 2016 @ 10:57 pm

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