California Approves Statewide Rent Control to Ease Housing Crisis

Sandra Zamora, a 27-year-old preschool teacher, lives in a one-bedroom apartment in Menlo Park, Calif., a short drive from Facebook’s expanding headquarters. A year ago, Ms. Zamora’s building got a new owner, and the rent jumped to $1,900 from $1,100, a rise of over 70 percent. Most of her neighbors left. Ms. Zamora stayed, adding a roommate to the 600-square-foot space and taking a weekend job as a barista.

“Having an $800 increase at once was really shocking,” she said. “It just keeps me thinking every month: ‘O.K., when is it going to happen? How much am I going to get increased the next month?’ It’s just a constant worry.”

That landlord is a jerk.

You’re talking about some people here that do that.

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Don’t blame the new owner if he/she bought the building at a much higher price. Ain’t operating a charity.

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Sure, raise the rent, but gradually. Would it bankrupt the landlord if they raise rent by say $300 a year for the next 3 years instead?

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$1900 for 1bdrm apt is still a really low price. I think the market price is close to $3000 depending on the area.

If rent was increased gradually instead, you’ll have to deal with unhappy tenants for years. Instead the owner got most tenants out, get a chance to renovate & recarpet etc, and put it out at market rent.

Given that California is treating housing as human right, however, landlords need to stop thinking RE as an investment vehicle.

Looks like housing will be treated as a utility. But at least utilities are guaranteed a fair return. Rent control advocates push their agenda until housing becomes scarce and run down.

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:grinning: Alternative thinking is? Social obligations or philanthropy?

That landlord is smart. If he had spread out the increases as Manch said he would’ve been stuck after the first raise now that we have rent control passed.

I agree $800 increase is cruel, but given the realities I can certainly understand why the new owner did that.

Basically when you pay below-market rent you have to worry. It’s like when you are paid above-market salary you have to worry about a possible layoff too. They really are the same thing.

The previous landlord is bad at keeping rent low and didn’t raise rent for 15 years. That’s as bad as a salary which is not increased for 15 years.

$1900 is still very low in Menlo Park. I guess the new landlord was sympathetic and kept the rent under market even after the increase.

Who is the real jerk? Keeping rent the same for 15 years? Or increase rent to 30% below market? And an employer kept wages the same for 15 years? Or a new employer raised wages by 70% after 15 years of no increase by the old employer?