Saturday, September 29, 2018


Of the nearly 500 cities and towns in California, only 15 have rent control ordinances. In those counties, state law prohibits rent control from applying to single family houses or any housing built after 1995. It also prohibits restrictions on how much a landlord can increase the rent when a new tenant moves in.

Prop 10 would repeal these restrictions. However, it reaffirms the court ruling that rent control must allow landlords to receive a "fair rate of return", meaning they must be allowed to increase rents to receive some profit each year.

In 2018, it seems fair to take another look at that 1995 cutoff. The date was originally imposed so as to not discourage new construction. It allowed developers safety from rent control so that they could count on high rents to cover their investment. If Prop 10 passes, we might see some cities reassess that date, but probably not by much.

Furthermore, it has always seemed arbitrary to exclude single family houses from rent control protection, especially in areas where that is the majority of rental stock.

There are valid arguments to be made on both sides of the rent control debate. But it's important to note that this measure does not impose rent control anywhere. Those local governments that still don't want it won't have it. And those cities that do have rent control - cities that haven't failed to prosper in spite of it (I'm looking at you, San Francisco, Santa Monica, and Beverly Hills) - will be able to expand the law as judiciously as they see fit.

Your Political Friend is voting YES.

1 comment:

Zena Tucker said...

Thank you, This is a very helpful explanation/ clarification of a confusingly worded proposition!