Here’s Something We Could Do Right Now to Help Low-Income Renters

Comments

1
What about signing the no rehab certificate for 6 months instead of 3 months? Sounds like under the proposed law rent can increase on day 1(having given tenants notice) and on day 92 the permit application goes out.
2
Talk about doing the very least they can do. This is scrapping the bottom of the effort the council will do.
3
ju
5
"if the landlord lost in court" -- not going to happen. low income people for some reason have a difficult time bringing lawsuits on their behalf. these measures lack teeth.
6
What @1 said. Eating 3 months of the lower rents would be nothing compared to what they'll eventually be pulling in on some fuddy duddy condo-type rates. Heck, even 6 months wouldn't seem like much.
7
This is not the problem this is a symptom of the problem the problem is height restrictions. There is s severe shortage of housing because we have been building short building everywhere for 10 -20 years. Rents would go way down if we had more housing.
9
So...when you sell a car or a piece of jewelry should the government tell you to sell it below market prices? Why are landlords who invested their money in that asset evil for wanting market rates for rentals? Are you going to protect them from downturns in the market? No. But robbing their fair return on their investments? That's cool!
Here's the thing- you DO NOT have a right to live in an expensive neighborhood just because you really really want to. If rents go up you have 2 choices. Pay up, or get out.
10
My understanding is that all rental property continuously occupied by a tenant has a rent increase cap of 7% over any 12-month period (in Seattle) - not the 200% or 300% claimed in the post. It sounds hyperbolic, and while people do get rent-increased out of their homes, I don't believe anything Ms. Grover writes on the subject.
11
I spoke a little early - per http://www.seattle.gov/DPD/Publications/… any increase over 10% over 12 months requires 2-months notice. That'd be in addition to the 90 days/3 months discussed here.
12
@9,

If you can't recognize a couple of important distinctions between a piece of jewelry and a person's home I'm gonna go out on a limb and say you might be pretty freaking stupid.
13
Rents would go way down if we had more housing.


Oh. For fuck sake. BULLSHIT. Where has this ever been true? Please find any growing city with a healthy economy that building more units LOWERED rents. Go ahead. We'll wait. Show your work.

You can't. Because it has never happened. Anywhere.

Not without economic contraction, a precipitous devaluation of land, or government interference int he market place rents do not go down with more housing. The very best case scenario are plateaus of marginally stable rents for a few months. Best case. ANYWHERE.

This simplistic "supply and demand" mighty-market bullshit is a kindergartners understanding of housing economics.

We ARE building more and denser housing than ever before. And every unit built is asking higher and higher rents.

Sure, remove the height restrictions. I'm all for it. Build more density. But it won't do shit to lower rents.

The only thing that will do that will be to end the virtual monopoly a handful of big developers, banks and property management groups have on the big apartment developments. And. Get the city to invest in lower income developments that aren't ghettoized but integrated into high dollar neighborhoods.

And then finally, yes, RENT CONTROLS (of some kind) - which likewise may not lower rents over all, but at least will provide a small segment of renters the ability to go up, rather than down, the income ladder.

But just allowing developers to cut more corners, skirt more regulations, and plop up ugly worthless shit will not help Seattle. It will accelerate the destruction of the healthy Seattle communities.

This "supply and demand" turd that developer lobbyists have successfully ran up the Seattle flagpole and look - every goes saluting it.
14
@12

Speaking of stupid....

It isn't anybodies home. It's a rental property the lease or month to month rental payment entitles the tenant to inhabit. For the landlord, it's a business proposition from which they have every right to maximize profit.

Again- there is no right to live somewhere expensive just because you really really want to.
15
@13 speaking of kindergarten understandings, please show an example of:
" find any growing city with a healthy economy that building less units LOWERED rents."


While your at it, show any market where rent controls didn't just create a black market for limited housing.

The rhetoric that developers are evil people because they make money ( but you aren't when you ask for a raise ) and that we have to stop all density to save lower end rentals is currently being dis-proven by reality.

Everyone of these posts on every outlet has comments like yours, calling everyone an evil idiot and yelling for failed policies. Well we have failed policies now, and your rental is next.
16
As to why anybody would even want to live on overpriced, overcrowded, dirty, expensive Capital Hill filled with tattooed hipsters? Now that's the real conundrum.
17
@16: You think Capitol Hill, or any Seattle neighborhood for that matter, are "overcrowded and dirty?" Really?

I guess a guy as inexperienced as you would find Seattle a bit frightening

Good thing you've never been to Italy, your head would explode.
18
@9,14:

LOOK, THERE! EVIL PURE AND SIMPLE!
20
@12, 14: It's not market forces in action. It's a tactic to circumvent a law.
The law says that if landlords want to displace tenants in order to renovate the building, they need to compensate them for the inconvenience of finding new housing. (Because yes, tenants have rights. It's well-established in law that they do.) The current issue is that landlords often, rather than following the law, jack up rent abruptly and entirely independently of the going rate in order to force tenants out to make the building available for construction.
I understand that this is a little too much for your cruelly limited mind to comprehend, but not everything boils down to "market forces good, government bad".
21
@20 Your trying to make a point here, but its falling a little flat with all your weasel words. "circumvent" in your example means, "don't intentionally break" If you think the notice period isn't sufficient that's great, and you should lobby to change it, but attempting to add some moral foil by calling obeying laws, "circumventing" is disingenuous. I am sure we all circumvented the law by not robbing any banks today as well.

The other part your glossing over while trying to make the poor renters seem like the ever present hapless victims, for not realizing that there rents might go up while the neighborhood around them is booming is called a lease. Leases lock in your rent for 12 months at a time. After you get the bonus of not being tied down anymore and go month to month. This freedom also allows the landlord to change the arrangement, as long as they follow the tenancy rights you mentioned. Which in these cases, they did.
22
A signed certificate? Sounds like an expensive and inefficient way to accomplish nothing. I'm not convinced anything "needs" to be done but a strengthening of the rent increase notification rules from 60 to 90 days might be in order. It would be nice if there was a hard cap on year-over-year rent increases at ~10-15% but I doubt that could be enforced legally.

Also, doesn't this only apply to month-to-month leases? Can a landlord legally lease a property for a limited amount of time? In other words, if I sign a year lease at an apartment is the owner obligated to renew that lease at the end of the year? Or can they choose to allow the lease to terminate? (With appropriate notification.) I am actually curious but my point is if you make a bunch of onerous rules that only apply to month-to-month leases you will start to see a lot less month-to-month leases offered.
23
@14, isn't anybodies home? Tell that to people who have resided somewhere for over 5 years! You,sir, have no fucking heart.
24
@ 23,

Oh, come on. You know a home isn't defined by where you spend your time living your life and pursuing that which you value with those whom you love. It's defined by a monthly mortgage payment!
25
@21: The point is that what I refer to as a circumvention is currently legal even though it violates the spirit of the law. The whole point of closing that gap is to change that.
26
@14, "anybody's"...sorry sorry that was hurting my eyes.