Rent control will NOT be on the November ballot for Long Beach

System - Monday, June 4, 2018

It looks like Long Beach will not have rent control on the November ballot. According to the Long Beach Post, the "housing advocates" who were trying to get rent control on the November ballot failed to submit the petition in time. This is good news for Long Beach. With the high cost of housing, I certainly understand why many people may think rent control is a good option. However, the reality is that it is a more complicated problem than one onerous law can solve and there are many unintended consequences like reducing the number of new units, reductions of investments in neighborhoods especially those that have historical housing.

Let's face it, correctly operating a rental property is expensive in today's world. The cost of labor is going way up, particularly for trades such as plumbing, electrical, roofing, carpentry, painting and all general handyman serves. It is expensive to have work completed. Once you take into consideration the costs of having insurance and workers comp, EDD, SSI and all the other required withholdings and expenses like sick pay things start to add up quickly.

What happens when the landlord is stripped of his ability to adjust rents? Properties get run down.

One key factor to help explain why rents are going up is that wages are also going up. Rents can only go as high as people are willing to pay. Landlords can ask whatever they want, but if you think about it, tenants are bidding up the rents. If nobody is willing or able to pay X dollars for rent, then the unit will stay vacant until the rent gets reduced to the proper amount.

This topic has many more details and complexities that can be discussed, but it looks like at least for now, to be off the ballot this time in Long Beach. I know and appreciate that the high cost of housing is hard for a lot of people but rent control is not the answer. Housing affordability remains an issue, and people will keep looking for solutions. So stay informed and remember is complicated.

Check out the Long Beach Post article here: