More rent control BS


I read that [the city] of Santa Cruz is majority renters, not owners. I vaguely recall a 60% number. However, a good portion of those 60% plan or hope or aspire to become owners one day and therefore, in the past, rent control as a proposition was defeated by voters.

Housing advocates have called the situation now an emergency, collected signatures, and today the City Council holds an emergency vote. The law could be effective immediately (today).

Price controls would affect only multi-family pre 1996, but the just-cause eviction protection would apply to the entire housing stock. Including newer single family homes.

I got a phone call from a realtor yesterday that I should raise my rents this morning.


Simple majority needed to pass it or does it take more like 2/3 or all of the Council? I am sure I will hear about it on tonight’s news. Hoping for the best…


Sorry, I forgot to answer your actual question.

I expect the council to vote “no”.


Santa Cruz is a small city of 59k people. I guess rent control is not likely to pass there. But Mountain View has proved that even educated renters can vote for rent control.

Of the 56% renters, are they mostly UC students? I think students don’t care about rent control at all.

“Santa Cruz had a population of 59,946. The population density was 3,787.2 people per square mile (1,462.3/km²). The racial makeup of Santa Cruz was 44,661 (74.5%) White, 1,071 (1.8%) African American, 440 (0.7%) Native American, 4,591 (7.7%) Asian, 108 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 5,673 (9.5%) from other races, and 3,402 (5.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11,624 persons (19.4%).”

There were 23,316 housing units at an average density of 1,473.0 per square mile (568.7/km²), of which 9,375 (43.3%) were owner-occupied, and 12,282 (56.7%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.2%; the rental vacancy rate was 3.4%. 22,861 people (38.1% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 28,796 people (48.0%) lived in rental housing units. The median price of a home being $640,000 as of April 2013.[57]


I have a theory. Small towns with sizeable or even majority Chinese voters won’t have rent control. So I bet millbrae and Cupertino won’t have rent control for the foreseeable future.


Are there Chinese renters in Cupertino?


There must be if there are rental ads in Chinese.


There are no Chinese renters. They are aspiring owners.


the opposite is the case. This “emergency” voting has its roots in the campus, as does the city’s apartment rental inspection program.

If anything, then students do not care… about the long-term future of the city’s housing situation. They likely will leave the city once they have their degree. No vested interest. They care about affordable rent while they’re here.

I’m not saying all students think like that, but what you stated is very likely false.


Oh, college town is not good then.

Students are scary when they are angry and demanding things. SCZ needs a law to limit UC admissions due to housing shortage then


The debate is live right now:


It passed 5:2. Until September when it is on the ballot.

2% increase per year and just cause eviction.
JCE applies to all properties.


Time to sell the Santa Cruz properties, 2% increase is ridiculous


I am hoping more landlords feel like that. It will be a good opportunity for me.


Wow, sorry to hear. I mean, 2% max is even more restrictive than say Oakland if I remember the yearly allowed increases as of late. It is close but not capped at 2% max for sure. Hopefully, the owners can round up the voters to defeat it.


It’s not too bad as long as it only applies to limited properties. If the state repeals the limits on which properties, then ouch…


True, but for rent control to penetrate a “sleepy town” like Santa Cruz is def a turn for the worse. And the vote was not that close at 5-2…


Just-cause-eviction applies to ALL properties.

I’m actually OK with the 2% increase per year, but I don’t like the just-cause-eviction portion. If you have a tenant who deals drugs or is frequently loud, in the past you could give this person a 60 day notice, to keep the neighbors [who might be your tenants in the same building!] happy.

Often the infractions are hard to prove. Everyone knows he’s dealing drugs, but without proof, no just cause.

The 2% increase portion won’t affect my income much, as I rarely have given larger increases (if ever), but it will kill a profitable business model:

Remember that for 5+ unit properties, the value is a direct function of the current rent roll, with very little consideration given to market rents. So, an investor would go and buy a property where rent is below market. 2 options:

  1. The investor raises the rents 40% and then sell for 40% higher price.
    Cannot raise the rent by 40% any more. Only 2%.

  2. Investors would give notice to all tenants and remodel the property inside and out, then rent at much higher rate and sell for a profit.
    Cannot evict for the purpose of remodeling, it is not a “just cause”.

The emergency measure also hurts older folks who have owned a multi-family rental for many years and did not keep the rents near market. If they want to sell now, they’re stuck with the low rents = low values.


Good points. Now, are capital improvements limited in SC as to how much one can pass through to tenants?


I’m not even aware of any provision that they can be passed through at all.

I have yet to find the ordinance online.