I understand that times are tough.Â Renters, property owners, landlords and everyone in between is faving tough economic times.Â
We get it.Â
But at what point is a private landlowner responsible for subsidizing the rent of their tenant???
Iâ€™m going to give you a little background on my stance on the topic of rent control in San Francisco.Â
Iâ€™m against it.Â
I have MANY reasons why Iâ€™m against it, but mainly, itâ€™s because Iâ€™ve seen three different people take advantage of the protection rent control offers them to the point that WHILE STILL RENTING, they actually purchased property.
One person bought the property to live in while he subletted his unit at more than what he was paying on a monthly basis.
Another couple bought property as income property in another state, while living in their rent controlled apartment.
And a third person bought a vacation home all while living in a large rent controlled flat.
Meanwhile, I know property owners that have had to refinance their properties to make capital improvements like a new roof or major stucco repairs, and now, the income they receive from their rentals isnâ€™t even enough to carry their mortgage, tax and insurance payments.
Iâ€™m not sure how to fix the problem of low housing affordability.Â But I know that putting property owners, many of which are struggling themselves to make ends meet (not all, but I personally know several), in the position of somehow subsidizing aÂ tenantâ€™s rent is just not fair.
Why the long tangent?Â
Because Chris Daly is, yet again, striking out against property owners in San Francisco.Â
Donâ€™t take this the wrong way â€“ most of my friends are renters.Â Many work in the non-profit sector and frankly, unless they find themselves a rich husband, wife or partner, theyâ€™ll stay renters forever.Â But I donâ€™t see that most of them think their landlord owes them any subsidies.
I can see all sorts of things wrong with Dalyâ€™s plan and all of the ways that property owners can get taken advantage of in the various scenarios he is proposing.Â
What I charge you in rent shouldnâ€™t depend on how much money your earn.Â The specific apartment you CHOOSE to live in should be determined by the amount of money that you earn.Â
Allowing an insane amount of tenants to live in a property puts increased wear and tear on the property that the landlord in turn is going to be responsible for.
And not allowing a landlord to do an increase based on â€œbankedâ€ rent is taking yet another right away from property owners and will result in rental properties falling into disrepair.
And let us not forget the incredible amount of property owners that ARE facing foreclosure.Â If they are unable to increase rent as their own living expenses and property maintenance expenses increase, then they too will be facing hardships.
The San Francisco Association of REALTORS has provided the summary below.Â I ask that if you believe that property ownership should come with some basic right to earn a living from your property, so long as it is not come at the unreasonable expense of your tenants, that you contact your supervisor (or every supervisor) and voice yoru concern.
Daly Proposes â€œRenters Economic Relief Packageâ€
Last week, San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly, projecting increases in residential rents of seven percent in 2009, introduced his â€œRenters Economic Relief Package.â€ The legislation, according to Daly, is intended to provide some economic relief to tenants at a time when governments at all levels are throwing billions of dollars at homeowners. The package consists of three significant amendments to San Franciscoâ€™s Rent Ordinance. The amendments are described below.
- The first amendment would allow the Rent Board to â€œsuspend any rent increases which will cause a tenantâ€™s rent to exceed 33 percent of their income.â€ This would be accomplished by expanding an existing provision in the Rent Ordinance that allows the Rent Board to suspend rent increases based on â€œtenant hardship.â€ Under the expanded provision, â€œhardshipâ€ would be redefined to allow a tenant to claim hardship any time a tenantâ€™s rent exceeds 33 percent of the tenantâ€™s gross income.
- The second amendment would expand the rights of tenants to add roommates to help pay the rent. This would be accomplished by including in the Rent Ordinance occupancy allowances from the San Francisco Housing Code based on the size and number of bedrooms in an apartment. Currently, rental property owners are able to limit the number of renters to levels below those the law allows.
- The third amendment would limit the amount of â€œbankedâ€ rent increases which can be imposed in any one year. Currently, rental property owners are able to â€œbankâ€ annual rent increases and to pass them on to renters at will. The amendment would limit banked rent increases to no more than 8 percent in any one year.
The San Francisco Association of REALTORSÂ® is strongly opposed to Supervisor Dalyâ€™s Renters Economic Relief Package. San Francisco has stringent rent control in effect and rents are not â€œoverly inflatedâ€ as the supervisor contends. To prevent owners from raising rents above a tenantâ€™s ability to pay is outrageous. And, allowing as many tenants to occupy a dwelling unit as the Housing Code allows is simply reckless and irresponsible.
The Association is working to prevent Supervisor Dalyâ€™s legislation from becoming law. But REALTORSÂ® [AND SAN FRANCISCO PROPERTY OWNERS] can assist that effort by contacting the supervisors and the mayor and voicing their opposition. The names of the supervisors and their contact information are shown below. Please take a few minutes to contact the supervisors and the mayor today. Tell them, or their aides, the impact this irresponsible legislation would have on rental property owners who are already saddled with Rent Ordinance that is among the most stringent in the nation.
David Chui- Board President
Mayor Gavin Newsom