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Old 01-09-2007, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
6,471 posts, read 15,945,539 times
Reputation: 8999

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FYI for anyone living in an apartment under rent control:

After many years of 3% maximum rent increases, it is now 4%, and as of July 1, 2007 it will be 5%.

What does this mean for me? My rent is going up in February, and again in February next year (the rent can't be raised more than once a year). I'll be paying more than $1,000 a month for my little two-bedroom apartment in an area where comparable apartments go for $1,350 and up. Is it any wonder I can't wait to get out of L.A.?

I resent paying more for less services (when I called maintenance, the voice mail box was full, for example!). Tick, tick, tick... The clock is running down until I can move out of here in two or three years! I keep telling myself to be patient, but sometimes it's not easy!
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:27 AM
 
2 posts, read 57,137 times
Reputation: 25
Lightbulb Rent Control In L.A.

It seems as though you should be thankful for the fact that you are paying what appears to be $350.00 less than the average for your area. For nearly 15 years Los Angeles property owners were allowed a 3% annual increase, not a sufficient amount to keep up with inflation alone (don't forget about the 40% increase from power companies last year in order to keep up with rising demand), and with the newly instated 5% increase many individuals seem to be up in arms.

Property owners, and tenants have to pay for the absurdities of rent control.

Property owners are many times stuck with tenants that abuse the premises or, more commonly, stay within the "gray areas" of the protection of the housing board, leaving the property owner stuck with a poor tenant who, in many cases, is paying far less than what is considered reasonable for like domiciles in the area. This has caused many property owners to convert their rental units into condo's, which do not fall under rent control. These "conversions" come at a high cost to the owner as, generally speaking, the owner is forced to pay a relocation fee to the tenant as stated in the (just slightly biased) "12 reasons for eviction". The outcome, less rental properties and higher rents for individuals looking to move up or for younger citizens looking to establish themselves in the community. Rental properties are a business, their valuations are generally done on a multiple per unit which is based on a return to the potential buyer. If rents are low, the value of the property is low which in turn causes owners to mitigate costs where possible. For instance, having a message machine address the needs of the tenants as opposed to a resident manager. Imagine yourself owning a storefront and the frustration of legally being able to increase your goods and services only 5% annually (this is after 15 years of only 3%) no matter how much your costs of doing business have increased over the last year. If you were to charge more than 5% you would be under direct violation of laws enstated by the local government. Furthermore, if you asked someone to leave your store you would have to pay them for the costs involved in finding another store which provides the same service....frustrating to say the least.

In conclusion, the next time you find yourself paying the $1000 rent (rent means the property is not yours but belongs to another party), be thankful that your not paying the $1350; the cost that a young couple may have to struggle to pay simply because the system has been abused for so long that property owners have been forced to protect their investments.
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:47 AM
 
1 posts, read 28,608 times
Reputation: 13
Default Pay Less and Still Gripe

I have been keeping up with the rent control issue in L.A. and the seeming sense of entitlement displayed here. I find it simply amazing that people who can not afford or have opted not to improve THEIR OWN financial status have the unmitigated audacity to even eek out a complaint. You RENT, AS DO I and have chosen to. If you feel slighted by renting, GO BUY YOUR OWN DWELLING. The US is the land of opportunity and California is the 5th largest economy in the world! Make the effort to improve your status if possible. If you are incapable of doing so be exceedingly glad that there is affordable housing available to you.
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Earth
17,444 posts, read 24,990,488 times
Reputation: 7337
Quote:
Originally Posted by bongduc View Post
It seems as though you should be thankful for the fact that you are paying what appears to be $350.00 less than the average for your area. For nearly 15 years Los Angeles property owners were allowed a 3% annual increase, not a sufficient amount to keep up with inflation alone (don't forget about the 40% increase from power companies last year in order to keep up with rising demand), and with the newly instated 5% increase many individuals seem to be up in arms.

Property owners, and tenants have to pay for the absurdities of rent control.

Property owners are many times stuck with tenants that abuse the premises or, more commonly, stay within the "gray areas" of the protection of the housing board, leaving the property owner stuck with a poor tenant who, in many cases, is paying far less than what is considered reasonable for like domiciles in the area. This has caused many property owners to convert their rental units into condo's, which do not fall under rent control. These "conversions" come at a high cost to the owner as, generally speaking, the owner is forced to pay a relocation fee to the tenant as stated in the (just slightly biased) "12 reasons for eviction". The outcome, less rental properties and higher rents for individuals looking to move up or for younger citizens looking to establish themselves in the community. Rental properties are a business, their valuations are generally done on a multiple per unit which is based on a return to the potential buyer. If rents are low, the value of the property is low which in turn causes owners to mitigate costs where possible. For instance, having a message machine address the needs of the tenants as opposed to a resident manager. Imagine yourself owning a storefront and the frustration of legally being able to increase your goods and services only 5% annually (this is after 15 years of only 3%) no matter how much your costs of doing business have increased over the last year. If you were to charge more than 5% you would be under direct violation of laws enstated by the local government. Furthermore, if you asked someone to leave your store you would have to pay them for the costs involved in finding another store which provides the same service....frustrating to say the least.

In conclusion, the next time you find yourself paying the $1000 rent (rent means the property is not yours but belongs to another party), be thankful that your not paying the $1350; the cost that a young couple may have to struggle to pay simply because the system has been abused for so long that property owners have been forced to protect their investments.
This is why I have mixed feelings about rent control. Rent control is good for existing, long-term tenants, not so good for young people and newcomers. Vacancy decontrol does cause rents to rise in areas with rent control. I live in a city that doesn't have rent control and rents are no higher than in neighboring areas that all have it. I don't have much faith in rent control's efficacy in preserving affordable housing. That said, for those already renting, it clearly has benefits.
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Old 03-01-2007, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
6,471 posts, read 15,945,539 times
Reputation: 8999
Quote:
Originally Posted by bongduc View Post
It seems as though you should be thankful for the fact that you are paying what appears to be $350.00 less than the average for your area. For nearly 15 years Los Angeles property owners were allowed a 3% annual increase, not a sufficient amount to keep up with inflation alone (don't forget about the 40% increase from power companies last year in order to keep up with rising demand), and with the newly instated 5% increase many individuals seem to be up in arms.

Property owners, and tenants have to pay for the absurdities of rent control.

Property owners are many times stuck with tenants that abuse the premises or, more commonly, stay within the "gray areas" of the protection of the housing board, leaving the property owner stuck with a poor tenant who, in many cases, is paying far less than what is considered reasonable for like domiciles in the area. This has caused many property owners to convert their rental units into condo's, which do not fall under rent control. These "conversions" come at a high cost to the owner as, generally speaking, the owner is forced to pay a relocation fee to the tenant as stated in the (just slightly biased) "12 reasons for eviction". The outcome, less rental properties and higher rents for individuals looking to move up or for younger citizens looking to establish themselves in the community. Rental properties are a business, their valuations are generally done on a multiple per unit which is based on a return to the potential buyer. If rents are low, the value of the property is low which in turn causes owners to mitigate costs where possible. For instance, having a message machine address the needs of the tenants as opposed to a resident manager. Imagine yourself owning a storefront and the frustration of legally being able to increase your goods and services only 5% annually (this is after 15 years of only 3%) no matter how much your costs of doing business have increased over the last year. If you were to charge more than 5% you would be under direct violation of laws enstated by the local government. Furthermore, if you asked someone to leave your store you would have to pay them for the costs involved in finding another store which provides the same service....frustrating to say the least.

In conclusion, the next time you find yourself paying the $1000 rent (rent means the property is not yours but belongs to another party), be thankful that your not paying the $1350; the cost that a young couple may have to struggle to pay simply because the system has been abused for so long that property owners have been forced to protect their investments.
You're speaking from a businessman's perspective. I'm speaking from the perspective of someone who can't afford to move to a better building! I think the price of rentals in L.A. is ridiculous. And believe me, the owner of my building wouldn't give better service if rent control didn't exist. I don't have any sympathy for him. It is within the owner's control whether or not he buys a building that is under rent control, after all.

I am grateful to pay $350 below the market rate - even when I grit my teeth at the manager and his family who scream at each other in Spanish, even when the Russian lady below me tells me not to use the water for an entire weekend, because there's a leak from my apartment into hers, and even when the ghetto family in another unit had a Christmas party and decided the entire complex should listen to their music for five hours.

Shall I describe the mentality of many landlords around here? If someone is Section 8, they'll tell them the rent is higher than it is for non Section 8, because they know they can squeeze more money from the government this way. That is wrong, because it's everyone else's tax dollars that pay for it.

I agree that the laws are slanted towards the tenants, but that's because otherwise many unscrupulous landlords would find a way to evict long-standing tenants. Tenants are at the landlords' mercy. Landlords have the option of selling the building, converting to condos, etc. It's not an equal situation.

I am especially annoyed at the 5% rent increase allowed this year, because my wage increase sure doesn't reflect that! I got my measly little 2% COLA (cost of living adjustment), which doesn't go very far. But, like I said, I'm playing the waiting game, and then I'm out of L.A. forever.
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:08 PM
 
9,722 posts, read 13,724,302 times
Reputation: 3325
I've got to agree that you should be glad to have a rent controlled apartment. In other parts of the city, a 5%+ increase every year is not uncommon. On top of that, they can raise it again if they give you a 60 days notice. (Imagine getting a rent increase over 10% in one year!) Plus, they can tag on all sorts of additional fees like suddenly charging for a parking space or for patio upgrades or new lighting in the parking garage, etc. We rented in one place in Glendale where we had three rent increases in a year!

If you read other boards for other states -- these rent increases are not uncommon. Some states are far more friendly to landlords than California is and tenants have absolutely no rights at all.

At least in California, if you are a long term tenant, they HAVE to give you back your security deposit if you don't damage the apartment (beyond normal wear and tear).
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:41 AM
 
2 posts, read 57,137 times
Reputation: 25
Default L.A. Rent Control

A businessman's perspective...yes. An ethical businessman's perspective, definitely.

The underlying fact that you must take into account is that a multi-family dwelling is a business and must be treated as such. If not, your business will without a doubt fail. Many property owners are seeing as little as 2-3% ROI when you can go to any bank and receive 4.50% APR with no headaches. The resounding fact of the matter is that rent control hampers owners to effectively maintain their properties thus driving prices to the rates we have seen over the past years. The lack of rental properties in the L.A. area is a direct result of rent control. It is not an equitable position for any of the parties involved.

An ethical businessman's perspective

I completely concur that the rights of individuals living within a premises (the customer) should be treated fairly but the keyword is fairly. The last thing we would like to see is a landlord's thug demanding an unrealistically "puffed" rent. The case as it stands now is the antithesis, leaving the owner with little control of his investment no matter how much his operating expenses increase. In fact, it has been a commonplace for owners to not keep their dwellings in great condition to help promote attrition...another sad result of controls placed upon the owner.

I fully support SCEP as it promotes a healthy, and more importantly, safe living environment. Codes of owning properties are continually in a state of flux; keeping up with all of them is nearly impossible. For instance, the spacing between the bars that either act as reinforcement for stairs or guards on multi-story dwellings had changed over the past years (I believe to 4 1/2" spacing max between bars) which in many cases caused a significant expense to the owner for a retrofit. This is what I consider a "cost of doing business" and is NOT the tenants responsibility whatsoever. Saftey is critical.

From what I can read into your post it seems as though you are in a bad position in regards to the owner ethically running his business, but keep in mind that he is losing $350.00 monthly from your apartment alone. You should call LAHD if you have genuine concerns about your living conditions.

As far as the individuals that "scream at each other in Spanish" or the "Russian lady below me tells me not to use the water for an entire weekend" or "the ghetto family in another unit had a Christmas party and decided the entire complex should listen to their music for five hours". One of Califonia's strong points is it's rich cultural diversity. We must try our best to live harmoniously, and respectfully, with one another.
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Earth
17,444 posts, read 24,990,488 times
Reputation: 7337
Quote:
Originally Posted by bongduc View Post
A businessman's perspective...yes. An ethical businessman's perspective, definitely.

The underlying fact that you must take into account is that a multi-family dwelling is a business and must be treated as such. If not, your business will without a doubt fail. Many property owners are seeing as little as 2-3% ROI when you can go to any bank and receive 4.50% APR with no headaches. The resounding fact of the matter is that rent control hampers owners to effectively maintain their properties thus driving prices to the rates we have seen over the past years. The lack of rental properties in the L.A. area is a direct result of rent control. It is not an equitable position for any of the parties involved.

An ethical businessman's perspective

I completely concur that the rights of individuals living within a premises (the customer) should be treated fairly but the keyword is fairly. The last thing we would like to see is a landlord's thug demanding an unrealistically "puffed" rent. The case as it stands now is the antithesis, leaving the owner with little control of his investment no matter how much his operating expenses increase. In fact, it has been a commonplace for owners to not keep their dwellings in great condition to help promote attrition...another sad result of controls placed upon the owner.

I fully support SCEP as it promotes a healthy, and more importantly, safe living environment. Codes of owning properties are continually in a state of flux; keeping up with all of them is nearly impossible. For instance, the spacing between the bars that either act as reinforcement for stairs or guards on multi-story dwellings had changed over the past years (I believe to 4 1/2" spacing max between bars) which in many cases caused a significant expense to the owner for a retrofit. This is what I consider a "cost of doing business" and is NOT the tenants responsibility whatsoever. Saftey is critical.

From what I can read into your post it seems as though you are in a bad position in regards to the owner ethically running his business, but keep in mind that he is losing $350.00 monthly from your apartment alone. You should call LAHD if you have genuine concerns about your living conditions.

As far as the individuals that "scream at each other in Spanish" or the "Russian lady below me tells me not to use the water for an entire weekend" or "the ghetto family in another unit had a Christmas party and decided the entire complex should listen to their music for five hours". One of Califonia's strong points is it's rich cultural diversity. We must try our best to live harmoniously, and respectfully, with one another.
You did a good job of summing up the problems of rent control. This is why it is difficult to find a single economist who supports rent control with the exception of the late John Kenneth Galbraith (even Paul Krugman is not in favor of rent control). It has greatly shrunk the supply of the housing stock.

About the diversity part, that's something that goes along with living in L.A., or S.F., or N.Y.C., or London, or any similar city. I think people in L.A. somehow are in denial about accepting this because so much of L.A.'s past identity was based on "we're not S.F., we're not the East Coast, we're not Chicago, etc." and thus there is not so much of a common identity. And this applies to people of every racial and ethnic group here. Part of saving L.A. means realizing that "we're all in this together"
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
6,471 posts, read 15,945,539 times
Reputation: 8999
Quote:
Originally Posted by bongduc View Post
As far as the individuals that "scream at each other in Spanish" or the "Russian lady below me tells me not to use the water for an entire weekend" or "the ghetto family in another unit had a Christmas party and decided the entire complex should listen to their music for five hours". One of Califonia's strong points is it's rich cultural diversity. We must try our best to live harmoniously, and respectfully, with one another.
I have no problems with diversity. I have problems with low class people. These are the ones who yell at their families all the time, blast their music without regard for other people around them, and/or move my laundry when it has only been finished washing or drying for five minutes, etc. We have several families in our building who are great, and I wish they'd never move! I don't discriminate on the basis of color, but I definitely discriminate on the basis of manners and consideration for others (or the lack thereof).

Thank you, as well, for your thoughts on rent control in general, and from a business owner's standpoint. I think I just need a better landlord!
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Old 03-03-2007, 01:29 AM
 
9,722 posts, read 13,724,302 times
Reputation: 3325
Quote:
Originally Posted by SandyCo View Post
I have no problems with diversity. I have problems with low class people. These are the ones who yell at their families all the time, blast their music without regard for other people around them, and/or move my laundry when it has only been finished washing or drying for five minutes, etc. We have several families in our building who are great, and I wish they'd never move! I don't discriminate on the basis of color, but I definitely discriminate on the basis of manners and consideration for others (or the lack thereof).

Thank you, as well, for your thoughts on rent control in general, and from a business owner's standpoint. I think I just need a better landlord!
Eeek!! Do you actually do this?! This to me is a really LOW class thing to do! Do you expect others in the apartment to go around and knock on doors trying to find who left clothes in the machines? It really *ticks* me off when people just leave stuff in the machines and don't take it out when the machines stop! No one knows if that stuff has been in there for 5 minutes or 5 hours!

This would be a really great discussion in "General Topics." I'm one of those who would move your stuff and I'm not low class -- you are!!!!! You should be standing there, at least a minute before your machines stop!!
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