Santa Monica, 1% vs. Los Angeles, 4%



Of course, I’m talking about Santa Monica’s newly adopted rent increase of 1 percent (effective September 2009 through August 2010) for their rent-controlled units, compared to the 4 percent increase the city of Los Angeles will allow in our rent-stabilized units (effective July 2009 through June 2010).  Santa Monica’s Rent Control Board approved the relatively small increase last week in consideration of the hard times that currently afflict even the bourgie classes of renters in that city.  To say the least, it’s thought-provoking to see the contrast between the two cities’ rent policies… to think that those of us lucky enough to live in rent-stabilized units in LA could see our rents go up 4 percent after July 1—even while housing market rates actually drop in the face of rising unemployment.  


How the hell can that be, you ask?


Well, it must have something to do with our neighboring city’s local political party called Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR), which not only won passage in Santa Monica of the “strongest rent control law in the country” in 1979 but has continued to control much of municipal government ever since, helping the city earn its nickname:  People’s Republic of Santa Monica.  (See?  Positive things happen when people organize!)  Also helping rent-paying households there, however, is a more democratic government structure, one that gives folks the right to directly elect the members of the Rent Control Board, and this has allowed the SMRR to regularly secure almost every seat on that body since its creation.


In LA, by contrast, all seven members of our Rent Adjustment Commission (which sets maximum allowable rent increases where applicable here) are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the city council.  So while tenant advocates fill every seat on the Board in Santa Monica, as decided by the people, Mayor Villaraigosa’s appointees to the Commission inexplicably range from progressive civil servants to serious business types—and all, by law, must be homeowners.  (An example of this schizoid selection of commissioners is the mayor’s recent replacement of a fighter for workers’ rights, Sharon Delugach, with a corporate lawyer, Belinda Vega.)


In a city where at least 3 out of 5 residents is a rent-paying tenant, one would think that we renters would wield more power and influence over our city’s policies. But instead, LA’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance—which is more landlord-friendly than a real “rent control” law in that it allows a unit’s rent to go up to market rates when it becomes vacant—hasn’t seen any major updates since its own creation in the 1970s, when Angelenos also organized to win some housing security for those who can’t take out mortgage loans.  This means that renters living in homes built since the enactment of the law (or in any single-family home, no matter when it was built) have hardly any protections against excessive rent increases or unfair evictions. 


For their part, the residents of another town nearby—tiny, rascuache Maywood—are still celebrating an impressive victory from last fall:  After an arduous year of organizing and campaigning, in October they got their city council and mayor to approve an ordinance against unjustified evictions.  They probably would have gotten rent control on the books, too, were it not for California’s Costa-Hawkins Act, passed in 1995, which prohibits the expansion of rent regulations to any units not already covered by such laws in the state.  Modifying Costa-Hawkins and expanding rent regulations in LA and everywhere will require thousands more renters throughout California following the example of the people of Maywood in their determined fight for greater housing security.


Ah, yes… I can already hear them:  Property owners and the defenders of capitalism saying that limiting how much rents can be raised on tenants is simply theft, a violation of the sanctity of property rights, and conducive to—you know the word!—inefficiency.  “[Rent stabilization] makes me not want to fix up the place,” a landlord told me the other day, pointing out that in a free housing market (like in the building next door that he also owns but which isn’t rent-stabilized because it was built in 1980) he’d be able to drastically increase rents on his apartments, perhaps kicking out the low-income families in the process, to not only recoup the money he’d invest in replacing obscenely old carpets, fixing leaky ceilings, and giving the building a much-needed new coat of paint but also immediately profit from the investment.  I’ve heard even some smart people argue that regulating rents discourages maintenance and leads to dilapidated homes due to the reduced profit motive in keeping up a property.  But they’re all missing the point:  If you earn working-class wages in LA (like a waiter, a janitor, or even a teacher), would you want see the entire city look like Brentwood even if it means that you’d have to move out to San Bernardino where rents are still affordable?  Do we just want a nice LA? Or do we want a city that is affordable to us all?


Don’t get me wrong, controlling (or stabilizing) rents is hardly The Answer to our need for affordable housing.  But landlords have no good arguments against such regulations—it’s the tenants that are still getting the short end of the stick.  Just as Marx said about the relationship between the worker and his employer, the tenant-landlord relationship is naturally antagonistic.  When a tenant pays rent, she’s really paying the mortgage but under an agreement that keeps her from building equity.  So when she moves, she leaves with nothing—she’s lucky if she gets her security deposit back.  Rent control leaves this exploitative relationship intact; it merely attempts to mitigate the renter’s sorry circumstances.   

38 thoughts on “Santa Monica, 1% vs. Los Angeles, 4%

  1. That’s some good info Chuy, thanks for the post.

    In Belinda Vega’s defense, she looks like the type that would tell you “Buenos Dias” right before she hands you the eviction notice, that’s gotta be worth something!

  2. I love how only home owners are allowed in LA’s rent commission. What chance does it have when people with anything at stake are not even allowed in? What a sham.

  3. i thought the argument for rent control had more to do with free markets. if a landlord raises rents too high, they get no tenants. since they presumably have a loan to repay, they have a strong disincentive to allow that to happen. in this scenario, it’s up to the renters to say, “sorry, i can find better elsewhere,” and if the renter is right, the landlord will be forced to drop rent for the next occupant.

    i’m not saying i buy it, but let’s not fall into making straw man arguments either.

  4. I think in ideal world yeah if the landlords raised the rent to high people would go screw you and be able to find a place nearby that is reasonable, but working class families have some unfair competition in LA.

    Section 8.

    See landlords in working class and ethnic neighborhoods regularly want more than what their buildings are worth even though they won’t fix them or make them not disgusting, but what they do if they can’t get the rent the fair way instead of putting down the price is make the units Section 8 apartments. (I have some friends who overextended themselves in Lancaster and bought property up there, they couldn’t get the rent they wanted or the rent to cover the cost of the mortgage so they turned them into Section 8 and I know plenty of people who have done this.) They can still overcharge, but they get the gov’t to pay and still the person with a job gets screwed in this scenario.

    I’m not saying I’m against Section 8, but this whole fair market is not being allowed to play out fairly in reasonably priced neighoborhoods. If it weren’t for Section 8 I think lots of sections of LA would be more reasonable for people with jobs.

    I just think affordable housing is run incorrectly.


  5. Human, in a perfect world, I’d agree. But a free market needs regulation. If the past decade has taught us anything…

    One example I can give is how much less competition there is between apartment ownership. Here in Sacramento, there’s a company called S&S Sacramento that owns just about every single apartment complex in the city, including mine. I mean if you see an apartment complex with a huge ad banner, it will almost always have this company’s name on it. So let’s say there’s no regulation. My landlord jacks up my rent, I leave. Where do I go? To another building owned by the same company, jacking the rent up there, too. They’ll have no problem filling these higher priced units up with so many people flooding in from around the country, looking to live 90 minutes from SF and the coast at a much lower rate. I’m single so it wouldn’t be so hard for me. But add a wife and kids to the mix, and you can see that renters in this type of real estate market are just fucked. There has to be government regulation to prevent an onslaught of families being put on skid row.

  6. “Free us from the market!”

    chimatli, i’d love to if i could.

    like i said, i don’t buy the free market argument, i just think it’s more central than maintenance and the brentwoodification of la to the rent control debate.

    where i see the free market argument failing is that it assumes rational market participants. not only do i find that assumption faulty in itself, but even if every participant were rational, it would require fast and free-flowing information (eg, “water is very slow trickle in this apartment” or “owner never gives back deposit”), which we clearly don’t have, even with the internet.

  7. Human, I’m not sure the problem is irrational actors or merely faulty information. I think most renters act quite rationally, given the information they have. As for not having perfect info, I’d say it’s a factor but not a defining one.

    The issue in LA is simply the high price of housing, as set by the market. Market-rate rents can rise briskly when there is a high, unmet demand for housing, but a worker’s wages don’t. The problem becomes acute in gentrifying neighborhoods, where landlords realize they could rent at higher prices to high-earning professionals if they got rid of the low-income families living in their property. A landlord may be willing to continue renting to that same family, but perhaps only if they start paying the higher rents that those wealthier folks looking for housing would. But again, a worker’s wages don’t rise that quickly, meaning then that the landlord has a strong incentive to evict the family. This is where laws that regulate rent increases and evictions come in: they keep your rent from going up excessively overnight while also limiting the reasons for which your landlord can evict you (i.e., not paying rent, breaking the rules, etc.). These laws provide a bit of stability for families that are just getting by.

    By the way, the landlord’s mortgage payments usually don’t rise with market rates (except, perhaps, if they recently took out one of those subprime mortgage loans–now these are cases of info asymmetry!!). So the fact that a rent-control law may keep rents from rising too quickly doesn’t really hurt landlords at all. They complain because they know that, with market rates rising, they’d enjoy higher margins of profit if they could jack up rents for their rentals. And, in English, we call this greed.

  8. I curse all the supporters of rent control with the good fortune of being able to own a rent controlled apartment building some day.

  9. Dear Chuy,

    I’ve been a housing supplier in Los Angeles for over 20 years. There are a ton of vacancies on the market right now. I have to rent all my vacancies for less than the tenants who moved out were paying – because that’s what the FREE MARKET is paying. I accept this because that’s how the FREE MARKET works. If rents were suddenly to double in price, I would only be able to raise my current tenants 4% – seems like you LA tenants have it pretty darn good, if you ask me?? – lower rents when the free market is down (just move to a vacancy across the street!) and a limited price increase when free market goes up in price??? So, stop whining about a lousy 4% increase.

    You think LA City is not catering enough to you (us housing suppliers aren’t subsidizing your rent enough?) Well, I got news for you – right now, rent control in LA should not even exist!!!!! The vacancy factor in Los Angeles is now over 8%, and under the original LA rent control ordinance – rent control was to disappear if the vacancies ever got over 5% – but it hasn’t! I think us housing suppliers should be the ones pissed off, not you!!!

    Furthermore, over 95% of the rest of the country doesn’t have rent control. Do you see 95% of the rest of the renters out on the streets in cold? No.

    So, stop your damn whining! If you want to live in a nice place – get a college degree, work hard, save your money, and buy a house or condo – there are great deals out there right now – why aren’t you buying????? What’s your excuse now???


  10. Kyle,

    In case you’ve been asleep for the past decade, people haven’t needed to get a degree and save money to buy a house. All they had to do was contact any of the sub prime lenders and boom, they had a house. Today, they can just buy a house on the cheap, with a low principle. So, why does anyone even need an education or a good job to buy a house today? Unless, of course, your whole purpose of commenting here is to segue into a rant directed at the working class.

  11. I think Kyle might be a bit angry…but makes a valid point. Rents are down; vacancy rates are up, but relative to what? Kyle, were prices not inflated due to a lack of rental housing (affordable or otherwise?) and inflated real estate market?

    My question to Chuy is if his comments aren’t a bit short sighted…what if you are able to buy a small building some day and go from the tenant class (to use an updated Marxist term) to the landlord class (Landlord, what a great word, how absolutely medieval…bow down to me while on my fiefdom peasant tenant, for I am thy landlord!)

    I think rent control is a band aid that won’t really address the fundamental imbalances of our capitalist democracy.

  12. As a beneficiary of rent control I definitely see the point of it, but I do worry that it’s a short-sighted solution as UnGalan pointed out. When you meet, as I have, a 55-year-old engineer in SM with a $600/month rent the whole ‘protects working people’ thing starts to look a little like a vacant slogan.

    However, I do NOT believe the anti-rent-control argument that it stifles development because, as pointed out above, rent control does not apply to buildings built after 1978.

  13. Regarding Chuy’s parting comments…

    1) “When a tenant pays rent, she’s really paying the mortgage but under an agreement that keeps her from building equity?.”

    Capitalism rewards people for taking risks. Housing providers take the biggest risks around – owning a building comes with one liability after another – uncontrollable mortgage rates, uncontrollable insurance premiums, bursting water pipes, lead paint abatement, discovering your ceilings have asbestos, vacancies you might not be able to rent, con artists trying to squat in your vacant units, tenants wanting to sue you for slipping on their own auto’s oil slicks, shall I go on? All a tenant has to do is come in, pay a small portion of all my expenses, and if and when she decides to move, she just strolls off into the sunset – with no responsibilities that follow her. So, how many tenants do you think deserve my equity (if any at all), for taking none of my risks?

    2) “So when she moves, she leaves with nothing—she’s lucky if she gets her security deposit back?” I have news for you, its the law that housing providers have to send back a tenant’s security deposit within 21 days of moving, along with a statement of any deductions for damages. Its the tenants responsibility to document how they left the place – they can take pictures if they are concerned of getting charged for damages that weren’t there when they left.

    3) “Rent control leaves this exploitative relationship intact; it merely attempts to mitigate the renter’s sorry circumstances???” Here’s the real sorry circumstance to think about – suppose all of the risk-taking housing suppliers decided to all go out of business tomorrow? Suppose we decided not to rent out our future vacancies to new tenants, but instead just decided to use them for storage? Where would tenants in need of housing live?

  14. Just B,

    Cheap skates taking advantage of rent control doesn’t discredit the idea that rent control is for the working class, in my view, nor does it even come close to serving as a formidable argument to end it.

  15. Kyle wrote:

    “Suppose we decided not to rent out our future vacancies to new tenants, but instead just decided to use them for storage? Where would tenants in need of housing live?”

    Probably in the very same property, per emergency executive orders from both Obama and Arnold. We’ve had a couple of elections in this country since your kind of fear mongering carried any weight. Go fix a tenant’s toilet.

  16. Dear Rob,

    The point is you should be happy someone is providing you alternative housing, rather than having to purchase your own.

    But just so you know, it did happen not so long ago, and not so far from Los Angeles.

    Your toilet will be fixed shortly.

  17. And Kyle, you should be happy you live in a country where you can make a lucrative living off of renting property to people. Abuse that right by practicing business in a way which jeopardizes the well being of a significant number of citizens, and the very same country has ways and means of slapping regulations on you that you won’t like. It’s been that way since The New Deal, but I can see how many like yourself in the real estate industry would have forgotten it, considering you guys were given pretty much free reign to hose renters throughout the past decade.

  18. I just wanted to respond to Kyle’s noteworthy point about the high vacancy rate in LA right now and the resulting lower market rates for housing. (By the way, I’m not actually writing this for Kyle—I don’t expect to change his mind about anything—but for others who may be reading.)

    As someone who casually but regularly checks out the rentals listing on craigslist, indeed I can attest to today’s lower prices compared to last year’s. But the difference is hardly more than $100 on average, it seems to me. A few months ago it was really difficult to find a one-bedroom apartment for under $900 a month, but now you find a few here and there. The median one-bedroom unit is still priced at well over $900 in the LA area on craigslist.

    But let’s say that you’re looking for a one-bedroom apartment and you’re lucky—you land a one-bedroom in LA for only $900. Perfect for yourself and a cat. Now, to be able to comfortably afford this cheaper-than-average home, you would have to earn $15.58 an hour and work 40 hours a week. That would make your rent equal to one-third of your monthly income, which is considered standard. (Okay, I suppose that if you’re sharing your bedroom (or bed) with somebody, and this person also has an income and together you make more than $15.58 an hour, then you might be fairly comfortable.)

    But how many of those men and women working at McDonalds make $15.58 an hour? How many janitors make that much? Starbucks baristas—the best-paid baristas out there? Supermarket employees? Where would all the people who currently do these jobs live if rent-control laws weren’t there to put a cap on rent increases? And what if you have children and need a bigger home?

    The truth is that even with rent stabilization, many thousands of families in LA can’t afford the homes they currently live in, and they pay well over half of their monthly incomes in rent or just double up with other impoverished families in tiny apartments.

  19. Dear Kyle:

    I find it difficult to take you seriously. First, you call yourself a “housing supplier”. Is that really how you see yourself? It brings to mind George Carlin’s assertion about the increasing use of “soft” language. Just admit that you’re in real estate, be it as an agent, broker, banker, management or whatever. You’re obviously not here to win any friends so just drop the pretense that you’re anything but what you are.

    Second, you don’t present yourself in a very professional manner. If you’ve been in the business for 20 years I would think by now you’d have developed some professionalism. Instead, you come across as a petty brute. Have some respect for yourself and your audience.

    You contradict yourself when you claim that renters and supporters of rent control are whining too much. It seems to me that you do plenty of your own whining in your comments. Whining about all the risk that you are exposed to as a lessor. Maybe you’ve never considered entering another field, but ANY business enterprise (even non-profits) is exposed to considerable risk. Real estate is not in any way unique in that regard. I firmly dispute your statement that “housing providers take the biggest risks around”. That just simply is not true. I get the impression that you’ve been mouthing your propaganda for so long that you now actually believe it yourself. You’re providing a product to people at an agreed price. You are not a philanthropist nor are you a doer of good deeds. You are simply a businessman.

    One thing that is often overlooked in real estate arguments such as this is that housing isn’t just another good or service. It is one of the most basic necessities. It is not merely a widget. It is simplistic economic thinking to apply the argument that if a renter doesn’t like his situation then he should just take his business somewhere else. That may work if the discussion is about digital cameras, potato chips or sunglasses but to apply this approach to housing illustrates quite limited thinking. Mental health professionals consistently rate moving as one of life’s most stressful events, usually only behind the death of a spouse/parent/child and loss of job/income. It is because of this that a renter and his or her landlord will never negotiate on a level playing field. The land owner inherently has the advantage. It is in situations such as this where some form of regulation becomes necessary.

    It also becomes tiresome when issues concerning free markets get used to justify certain behaviors (e.g. modifying or eliminating regulations that protect consumers). Almost without exception, these arguments are used by those on the business side of the equation. I rarely come across stories and accounts of consumers demanding more free market mechanics. So, Kyle, let’s use your argument about free markets and the consumer and apply it to you and your business activities. If you don’t find that the terms and conditions of doing business are to your liking in Los Angeles and Santa Monica or any other community with rent control and other regulations you disagree with, or that you find that the risks here are out of balance with the rewards, then why don’t YOU move? If you or any other “housing supplier” don’t like the business climate here then take your operations some place else. You yourself stated that the other 95% of the country doesn’t have rent control. So have at it. There’s plenty to go around apparently. Yet strangely, you and your fellow real estate brethren persist in doing business here year after year. Either you are unskilled businesspeople who manage to lose money hand over fist (and haven’t yet realized it) whilst altruistically providing under valued housing to legions of unappreciative, spoiled, complaining renters or this is all a smokescreen to cover your attempt to change the law in your favor. It’s the lazy, unimaginative businessperson who tries to excel in business through the courts rather than through solid, forward-thinking business practices.

  20. Dear BooHoo,

    I have no problem with the laws. I follow them to a tee. I offer good clean housing at a fair price and I have no intention of going elsewhere. Yes, I am a businessman. This is America.

    What I do have a problem with is all the whining “poor” people like Chuy and Rob who feel victimized by us “housing providers.” Actually, Rob just apparently feels victimized by the world – so there’s no hope for him.

    You don’t like what McDonald’s is paying? Hey, there’s a thing called Night School, where you can go at night to get a degree or learn a trade. Instead of watching American Idol, take the time to better yourself and stop blaming others like the “big bad landlord.”

    And you then give excuses like “oh, I have a family that I have to support and I have to be with them at night?” Well, before you decided to bring other people into this world, did you calculate what it was going to cost you to support them? Why is it you feel you have a right to bring people into this world, and then expect others to help support them?

    I have no problem with my tenants and I treat them with respect – because they deserve it – unlike the “poor” whiners who have to blame successful businessmen like myself. Go clean my toilets.

  21. Kyle,

    I haven’t whined to you about anything. In fact, you were the one who came here whining about rent control. I never claimed to be poor, and I’m not, fortunately. And, I don’t feel victimized by the world. It just so happens that I like people, and don’t size up each individual person I meet as to how much money I can squeeze out of them, like you do. But by all means, carry on crying to everyone in here about market regulations. As you can see, you’re making all kinds of friends.

  22. bottom line-

    Its all about location location and location.

    And also supply and demand too.

    I have family that are landlords and some of their units have been empty for about 3 months NOW compared to before it was only 1 month turnaround between getting rented.

    Sure they started with the rental price high and then had to knock it down $100 bucks.
    (and they are in no rent control cities)

    And being a landlord is a business, unless you are a charity and providing a community service.

    I mean i wouldnt want to be a landlord, the work and stress not worth it in my opinion.
    I have consulted and advised a few of them about making sure you do credit checks, even a megan’s law check, and be very clear and direct and have it in writing in the rental agreement.
    So there is no IF’s about it.

    Dont mix friendship with business..cause you will get screwed and not in a good way! lol

    I love renting and i will rent until the day i die.

    As Ennis Del Mar said….I got nothing and i need nothing”…while living in that trailer in Brokeback Mountain 🙂

    * disclosure i do not live in a trailer, not that there is anything wrong with that. We got a few trailer parks in Montebello 🙂

  23. Thanks LoveandhateLA!

    Thanks for letting people understand that owning property is a business. Tenants are not my friends, and I am not their friends.

    And for anyone who does not understand business as opposed to socialism, Rob) – Walmart is a business – they want your money, and they work hard to get it. Target is a business – they want your money and they work hard to get. The corner grocery store down the street is a business, they want your money. There\’s nothing wrong with this – the reward of money is what motivates businesses and employees to do their best job, using the most efficient resources.

    (And dear Rob), if you think Walmart or Target is not sizing you up from the minute you walk in there, you are a very naive person. They absolutely want to figure out how to get you to spend the most amount of money possible.

    Unfortunately, the working class can\’t put a single face to Walmart or Target to blame for their own circumstances – unlike the easily targeted landlords.

    And for Chuy\’s further information – The annual allowable rent increase in LA is not a couple of guys sitting around at City Hall deciding what they “feel” is fair this year. The Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) in Los Angeles became effective May 1, 1979. The annual allowable rent increase is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Los Angeles – Long Beach – Anaheim areas for a twelve (12) month period ending September 30 of each year. Under RSO, the percentage increase can be no lower than three percent (3%) and no higher than eight percent (8%). The percentage is published on or before May 30 of each year for the following twelve month period beginning on July 1st and ending on June 30. The calculated annual increase percentage effective July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010 is four percent (4%). Its been like this for 30 years. I\’ve respected it, and so should tenants renting apartments.

  24. Kyle, I understand business and socialism, the differences between the two, and the interactions between the two. I challenge you to point out anything I’ve said in particular that would reveal otherwise. And when I said you weren’t making friends, I wasn’t necessarily talking about tenants. I was talking about people in general. You came on here and took shots at the working class and people who didn’t go to college, and equated them to basically bums with their hands out. You’re a hateful person. We can only hope that people like you learn to smell the roses as they get older. Because right now, you’re living in a sad existence, where your little world consists of wealthy people you can jack the rent up on without protest, and pesky working class folks who can’t afford it, and who you therefore equate to bums. Unfortunately, that’s what the business world does to some people. Many landlords and business people in general handle themselves with class. You’re proven you’re not one of them. In fact, I can only hope you’re more professional and courteous in person, and just use blogs like these to vent and say things that you know are inappropriate in real life. Remember, shallow con men like you always eventually get beat out by people who carry themselves with class. Best of luck, Kyle. I hope you get it someday.

  25. Dear Rob,

    As I said before, I offer a good clean living environment at a competitive MARKET RATE. My tenants stay for years. I don’t hold a gun to anyone’s head to rent from me.

    The point of the original rant is how terrible LA City is increasing rents 4% versus 1% for Santa Monica and how terrible such a thing is for struggling families, how horrible landlords are and how tenants are taken advantage by the big bad landlord.

    Damn right I’m going to defend landlords. And as far as rich goes, I’m far from it. I can’t afford to live in Malibu – but I’m not crying about all the big celebrities who pay the enormous prices to live there – boohoo, those terrible celebrities and the original Malibu home owners that are selling them their houses for such unfair ridiculous prices – what are the working class landlords supposed to do?

  26. people think just because you have a rental your rich and its not the case, and if your rich they shouldn’t have to pay you rent.

  27. If you can’t afford to live in Los Angeles, there are plenty of low-cost options elsewhere in this country. I don’t plan to move to Beverly Hills and expect to be accommodated for.

  28. Kyle’s argument about risk is hollow. Renting property is one of the less risky businesses. It’s less risky than a retail business, for example. It’s far less risky than selling something that might be considered a discretionary expense. Likewise, the justifiable return on investment is also small. When markets aren’t all out of whack like L.A. real estate, the actual ROI isn’t that big either.

    Nowadays, RE agents and landlords strut around like little Donald Trumps, spouting off their shallow capitalist rhetoric. It’s funny, because it wasn’t too long ago that the stereotypes of landlords were Fred and Ethel Mertz (I Love Lucy) and the Ropers from Three’s Company. It was a safe business for middle class people who didn’t need to get rich.

    PS – I agree with Browne about Section 8. It’s a big subsidy to landlords, with not much regulation with regard to property and neighborhood maintenance.

  29. Dear Alienation,

    Ok, let’s say my risk is minimal compared to other businesses. It’s still my risk, and my equity – not my tenant’s.

    As far as section 8s, I will never take a Section 8 (and neither will any landlord I know). If you think its such a great deal, by all means, take them. Because you are a landlord, and you know what it’s like dealing with them.

  30. Kyle,

    The fact you won’t take section 8 tenants doesn’t mean it’s not a subsidy to landlords. That discussion wasn’t about you.

  31. Kyle, you don’t offer a good clean environment for people to live in. Your labor does. When your labor takes your advice and enrolls in night classes to advance themselves in the corporate world, leaving you in the lurch and forced to do your own labor, then you can say that you offer a clean living environment. In the meantime, you sit on your ass and make a living off of the backs of others. You don’t offer anything, because you’ve never created anything to offer. You use the creations and labor of others to get money from people.

    Understand one thing, Kyle, because I think this is the point you’re missing: Rent regulation is not designed to restrict capitalism. It’s designed to restrict you!

  32. Are we still doing this “get an education” bs? Because the majority of my friends that have lost their jobs had an education, some of them two or three educations.

    The vast majority of the people I know who rent property (who are landlords) got that property from their parents or from a loan from their parents, so lets stop this, “I’m a businessman and I worked for this” crap, because we all know it’s crap.

    I don’t know anyone who has rental property that grandma or grandpa or mom and dad didn’t help them attain.


  33. Browne, exactly! We have entry level employees at my job with masters degrees. Even more sad is the retirement aged employees we’re hiring. Another topic for another day, but, in short, a grim reminder that we’re going to be working when we get up there in age, too, as retirement as we know it was merely a leg of the ever fading New Deal.

    I only know one person who earns 6 figures or more, who came from even a middle class background, let alone poor. She was a brainiac even as a kid, and wound up being a doctor. Know two guys that made it to the
    NFL, but didn’t make enough money to be rich forever. One’s a teacher now and I have no idea what the other is doing, but they are not rich by any means. That’s it. Every other rich person I know (or, more like, know “of” by extension of friends and family), be it land owner or anything, inherited it from their parents or family. But I’m sure Kyle is a self made success story in the real estate market…just like every troll who comes onto blogs to mock the working class, under the guise of being a real estate agent whose liberty is violated by oppressive socialist orders like rent control.

  34. I support my rent controlled tenants with thousands of dollars out of my own pocket in subsidies. I will gather a list of 10 tenants (not mine) who are need of financial help to pay their rent this year. Anybody who wants to put their money where their mouth is and help these tenants, feel free to give me your contact number. Otherwise – you are all talk.

  35. Kyle, why do you need any of our numbers? How about a p.o. box to mail the money to? Or, were you just challenging us for our real identities to sound all tough? “you are all talk”. LOL.

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