Sunday, May 20, 2018

California Apartment Landlords in Major Panic

By  Laura Kusisto

A push to expand rent control in California is sending a chill through the state’s apartment industry, prompting more investors to sell properties or hold off on buying.

Ben Lamson, whose family owned just under 100 apartments in the Inland Empire area in southern California, said he has sold about 70 units and is in contract to sell the remaining ones. He is taking all the money and investing it in properties in the Las Vegas area, he said.

Mr. Lamson said he started reading news about the push for rent control a year ago and decided it was time to leave the state where he was born and has lived for five decades. He and his wife bought a home for themselves in Las Vegas, where they plan to retire in the next five years.

“These renter groups are starting to speak out and say, ‘These rents are ridiculous.’ They’ve gotten more organized than they ever have been,” he said. “I started getting a little freaked out or a little scared or concerned [that] this could really happen.”

In late April, a coalition of housing advocates said they submitted some 595,000 signatures, more than enough to get a measure on the ballot in November to repeal Costa Hawkins, state legislation that prevents cities and towns from imposing rent control on buildings constructed after 1995 and on single-family rentals.

Both sides are gearing up for a fight and are expected to spend tens of millions of dollars on campaigning.

Read the rest here.


  1. I know the weather is nice, but I can't figure out why anyone who could move, chooses to stay in California. It seems to be a place engaged in a never-ending series of experiments with the worst economic and political ideas.

    1. California lives on a fragile desirability reputation. It was was appealing for sooo long that no one ever imagined it would degrade to the point it has where people are moving away by the hundereds of thousands each year.

      I lived there for nearly 20 years and couldnt imagine being there still. Its a shame to be honest

    2. Well, I own my house clear, so I don't have to pay the ridiculous rent or mortgages, and for someone like myself (I go from startup to startup, joining before the VC funding comes in) SF Bay Area still offers the best opportunity to become wealthy.

      The wide-eyed kids who go for the dot-com pipe dream by being recruited by later stage companies are the ones really being fleeced. So are the non-tech people and pensioners (though the prices for all kinds of services go up pretty much in sync with tech wages, and a plumber around here makes as much money as a mid-level programmer).

  2. --- In late April, a coalition of housing advocates said they submitted some 595,000 signatures, ---

    'Housing advocates' who are irony impaired or simply too ignorant of basic economics to be alive.