Sawant Brings the Fight for Rent Control into City Hall

Comments

1

I'm interested to see if MO'B is willing to tank the value on his two rental properties in Wallingford... He still owns them, right?

2

Rent control is a loser proposition for everybody. It distorts the market by removing existing properties as they are transformed into condos, and forces landlords to cease maintaining their rental units.

It is stupid. Just like Sawant.

3

This looks more like a rent stabilization bill than a classic rent control scheme, but if they want to call it rent control, let 'em, I guess.

The tl;dr is rent increases for all rental units in the city are to be capped at the inflation rate. A board will be established to decide on applications for exemptions to this rule.

Some of the provisions, though, seem to be a bit good-intentions-gone-haywire, e.g.:

"Construction and Units not Previously Available for Rent
A. For any new construction project on the site of a demolished rental housing structure which existed on a parcel at any time within ten years prior to the issuance of the Master Use Permit for the new construction, a landlord may not charge rent in excess of the rent charged in the demolished units increased by the no more than the Maximum Annual Rent Increase pursuant to sections 7.28.050, 7.28.060, and 7.20 045, except that:
[...]
2. If the redevelopment increased rental housing available above the square footage previously present on the parcel, thelandlord may set initial rent without limitation on the additional units"

Or this classic Seattle recipe for death by committee:

"Control Board composition and selection process
1.The Rent Control Board shall be composed of 43 or more members as follows:
a. There shall be 35 Rent Control Boardmembers representing neighborhood renters, divided evenly with five Rent Control Boardmembers renting, as a primary residence, rental housing in each of the seven CityCouncil districts.
b. There shall be 7 Rent Control Boardmembers representing neighborhood landlords, divided evenly with one Rent Control Boardmember owning or managing rental housing in each of the seven City Council districts.
c. One or more designated young adult positions are added to the Rent Control Board pursuant to the Get Engaged Program,
[members are appointed by district councilmemebers until]
Beginning in the 2023 primary and general election, for terms starting on 14 January1, 2024 andevery two years thereafter, all members of the Rent Control Board except designated young adult positions shall be elected"

4

Rent control will help a lot of people who don't work high end office jobs actually be able to afford to have a place AND buy food AND have running water and not have to choose between one of those three things.
Anyone who is NOT for rent control has a gross misunderstanding of poverty and clearly has never endured the crumby wages of a lower or even middle class job. It's not possible to survive with the constant increases in rental costs. Period.
@2 Unless you have a really good paying job, a mommy and daddy/sugar daddy/mamma who pay your bills, 3 jobs, or 4 roomies in a 1 bedroom place, your perspective is completely uneducated and unrealistic. Your outlook is all well and good for people who don't have to deal with not being rich or living with family or any of the above mentioned scenarios, but for a working class singular human, having to pay nearly $2000 OR MORE for a one bedroom or studio apartment is just unreasonable and not doable.
Which is why bills like this pass. THANK GOODNESS or the homeless population would continue to increase.
In fact, I feel like even saw you comment on the homeless population post as well.. 2+2= ....

Affectionately,
-Has to wear clothes in society, just like you.

5

I understand, 4.

God forbid you have to wash your own fucking dishes.

6

Sorry you wasted your time on this one, Rich. To quote a better writer than anyone here, this grandstanding will-never-be-a-bill is a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing. The “43 or more members” requirement (hat tip @3) is just one of many “tells” which testify to the lack of seriousness here. (Also CM Sawant’s utter abandonment by other CMs, which ensures this whole pile of malarkey will go exactly nowhere.)

Too bad she spent so much time on the failed EHT, and then getting us sued over The Showbox. Raising regressive taxes on our jobs, and allowing a rich guy to take our tax money, just don’t seem like the progressive change we wanted.

7

Seattle needs rent-a-mob control

8

Wow. I'm not a landlord, but 3% doesn't even cover the increases in property taxes, water/sewer/garbage, and insurance I see every year. Forget about maintenance and cosmetic upgrades at that level. Maybe large commercial developers can absorb that, but small landlords really can't.

I know a few people who moved and now rent out their condos in the area. They still have mortgages and aren't making ANY profit. This seems like a great way to encourage small landlords to start doing Airbnb. Even Bernie's national housing proposal is more generous (and realistic) than Sawant's.

9

I recently renewed my lease for a year because I didn't have enough time / cash to move so I am now taking some of what I would be using to move to buy a new washer and dryer because my landlord hasn't maintained this apartment since they purchased it.

Fridge has gone out; had to buy one to replace it because the maintenance line wasn't responding to voice mails.

Last year they mowed the lawn twice; and after several years of ignoring this blackberry and vine infestation they finally decided to clean up the parking spaces so tenants can park in their parking spaces. They didn't remove all the blackberry bush so it'll just grow back.

Maintenance man quoted having 1900 units to maintain I hope he was joking and it was only 190 units.

Rent control is just part of the picture we shouldn't let people buy a property that they cannot properly manage.

There also should be a limit to how many homes a single business can manage; how many homes a landlord can own and rent out. Because I don't want a landlord to just hire a few management companies so they can have twice the amount of properties.

I wanted to be a home owner and unless I win the lottery or get a really good job earning 250k a year I really don't see that happening. It's because we won't limit how much a value can appreciate per year and I suspect the ways we judge appreciation should be recalculated.

Lastly yes my landlord has tried to step up to the plate they are going to remove their washer and dryer when the new one shows up and they are going to fix the electrical outlets that have screws in the ground hole and are a fire hazard. They haven't done it yet but they say they will so I hope; if not and there's a house that burns down because of a electrical outlet .. that was me.