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Abolishing Rent Control in California

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This sounds fun... or not: the Apartment Owners Association Convention is this week at the convention center downtown.

Here's another fun fact: they will be discussing how they can get the California rent control laws abolished, according to a number of housing advocate groups, including the locally based Coalition for Economic Survival and Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights, in a press release this week:

Dozens of seniors, elected officials, mobilehome tenants and tenants’ rights advocates will picket outside a statewide meeting of large, wealthy apartment owners, Tuesday, October 30 at 1:00 p.m. outside the LA Convention Center [in front of entrance to West Hall B where 12th Street dead ends]. Inside, apartment owners will be scheming to pass a statewide initiative to abolish rent control and jack up rents for hundreds of thousands of renters to make tens of millions of dollars for themselves. Wealthy apartment and mobilehome park owners are collecting signatures to put a measure on the June ‘08 ballot for their own financial gain. These landlords want the public to believe that the so-called California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act (CPOFPA) is about eminent domain, but the measure is really a dishonest attempt to abolish rent control and other laws that protect renters. The CPOFPA would eliminate rent control and gut renter protection laws, and strip protections for mobile home owners from forced condo conversions.

Rent control always seems to be tricky business. One example is an apartment that is old and never built that stable in the first place. Tenants never move, the rents hardly increase. The maintenance and low rents start to outweigh the taxes and resources and soon the building becomes a nuisance and liability. That should be a message to landlords: if you can't handle it, you shouldn't have bought it thinking you could raze it for condos in the first place.
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Photo by ChazWags via Flickr