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What are the justifications and reasonings for rent control?

Asked by Trulia San Francisco, San Francisco, CA Wed Nov 7, 2012

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The justifications and reasonings for rent control are essentially that landlords have abused so many tenants rights, and taken such unfair advantage of tenants, that only a rent control or rent
stabilization law will inject some balance into the equation.

Unfortunately, some very greedy landlords were and still are guilty of taking any advantage they can
get, legal or not. For them business is not about win win relationships, it's just about them winning!
I suspect the vast majority of small independent property owners never acted that way, but they
always get lumped in with the bad apples when these socialist laws are passed. Prop 13 and the
many followers to it were all bad solutions to enormous problems. The state is broke, not because
of shrinking tax income, but due to the Santa Claus attitude of government spending. A clear
majority of Californians prefer more spending as long as someone else is paying for it!

If supply and demand are in balance, rents will tend to be stable. If everyone decides they want to
live in the Marina dist., that demand will cause rents there to rise until people say no. When people
reject living in an area due to crime, pollution, or bad transit etc., the rents will fall.

No body owes you a job, or a place to live. That's the difference between socialist and capitalist
philosophies.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 9, 2012
I support rent control and rent stabilization in communities where workers are priced out of the local market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 9, 2012
No one deserves a subsidy. Providing for the indigent is difficult enough. Rent control laws simply penalize landlords unfairly without any means testing applied to the tenants. They disincentivize tenants to move or buy, while disincentivising owners to upgrade and improve their property. They
florish in areas where new affordable housing can not keep up with demand, usually due to political restrictions. Rent control is a failed idea. Why not support total price controls on your income and everything you buy? Oh, they tried that in the USSR and other places - didn't work so well.
Flag Fri Nov 9, 2012
The Wikipedia article is good but this excerpt really tells why SF has it -
In California, municipal enactment of rent controls followed the statewide Proposition 13, which capped property tax increases; however, a principal author of Prop 13, Howard Jarvis, reportedly:
"was at the time employed by the Los Angeles Apartment Owners Association as a lobbyist. In a fundraising letter to the landlords that employed him, he claimed, 'We are the biggest losers' if Prop. 13 fails. (Not to mention: The Yes on 13 headquarters were located in a Los Angeles Apartment Owners Association office.) He tried to persuade renters to vote for Prop. 13 by saying it would drive down rents, by decreasing the property taxes that landlords paid. Post-13 news reports found rents weren’t going down, despite Jarvis’s promises – apparently landlords were just pocketing their property tax savings. That revelation prompted many of the rent controls still in effect around California."[5]
San Francisco community activist Calvin Welch has stated “Jarvis was the father of rent control."[6]

It is important to know that SF doesn't have "rent control" it has rent stabilization. True rent control includes vacancy pricing controls.

The justifications are varied but hinge on the need of renters to have some control over the costs of shelter. There are many who can't earn enough to stay in a place when demand outsrtips the supply. When you own your living space you are typically able to have a fixed expenditure and eventually you have no mortgage only upkeep.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 8, 2012
Jed Lane, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
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Wikipedia actually has a pretty good article on this : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rent_control
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012
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