Comments

1

Rent control has never worked anywhere it’s been tried.

It always backfires and rents end up rising for everyone but a very few.

2

Okay I’m a little confused. These tenants have “landlords failing to address housing code violations,” so they want rent control so they’ll be stuck with those same landlords forever?

Wouldn’t it be easier to find a better job so they can move to a better apartment?

3

SCC Insight did a great write up on this before signing off in Dec

https://sccinsight.com/2021/12/27/rent-control-revisited/

TL:DR rent control is dumb but Sawants version is particularly draconian.

btw as I’ve noted previously Lewis is the swing vote in many of the key committees this year. This one but also public safety and finance. Hannah, you really should get him on the record on where he is leaning on key issues.

4

Note to Hannah. I feel that your reporting is getting a little less strident and believable. I feel that you have the passion and potential to be a great reporter/journalist. I see your energetic pursuit of the story and I wonder if your reporting might evolve to encompass a broader perspective if you had a better mentor/editor. Like you had at your other positions that brought you here. I would hate to see you relegated to a less than multiple perspective reporter. Help us.

5

If rent control is enacted, and high rents are replaced by waiting lists and few vacancies - what then?

7

@5 - that's the problem. Rent control makes winners out of the tenants who have cheap places now, and absolutely screws everyone else. There is much less incentive to build more rental housing. It becomes more advantageous to sell houses to owner-occupants than to keep them as rentals. Rent control will ultimately result in fewer places for the renters who Sawant professes to love so much, and will make things worse for them in the future.

8

@7 that is exactly what Sawant wants though. The mistake many make with Sawant is assuming she is somehow ignorant of the downsides to rent control. Far from it. She knows what will happen and embraces it. Why? By driving private landlords from the market the only solution will be to build government owned housing filled with voters completely dependent on and beholden to her Marxist movement. When she says her goal is to destroy capitalism she literally means it.

9

Oh, look. The adenoidal post-adolescents who read Ayn Rand at 15 and never recovered their sanity are all commenting...

10

The 6-month notice requirement is just stupid. All a landlord has to do is include a clause in the lease stating the rent will increase every six months.

11

@9 as usual nothing to add to the discussion but ad hominem attacks.

12

The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom in San Francisco is $3,137. For a two-bedroom, it's $4,103. If you want to live in one of the more popular downtown neighborhoods like Rincon Hill and Channel Mission Bay, a one-bedroom apartment is between $4,445 and $4,564.

https://www.economist.com/europe/2021/03/09/after-a-year-berlins-experiment-with-rent-control-is-a-failure

13

Hannah,

As a journalist you have an important role to educate and inform your readers. Therefore, I would encourage you to look at the impact of Rent Control in Berlin, Germany. The government enacted Rent Control in 2020 and " the number of flats on the market dropped — by some 30%.--Deutsche Welle.

Imagine is 30% of Seattle apartments disappear from the market? It was result in dramatically increased homelessness.

Also, San Francisco has had Rent Control for years and the average one bedroom apartment is $3,137...and in a good neighborhood it's over $4,000. It would be important information for your readers to know.

Thanks.

14

To add to the unintended consequences, If rent increases are limited, landlords will raise rents every chance they have, giving notice whenever they have to. This is not scaremongering. It just makes sense that landlords will do this. We often hear about someone having their rent raised 500 bucks or more when a new owner takes over, and that surely sucks for them and I am sympathetic. But when that landlord sold, they got paid because the new owner knew they could raise the rent. The owner could keep rents low, knowing that maybe they did not need higher rent, but would cash in when they sell. Now, that same landlord will know that he or she has to raise the rent every year to keep up, so when they sell, they can get maximum price for their retirement or purchasing something else. So, which is worse, tenant gets cheap rent till it is raised 500 bucks, or tenant has rent raised every year by 100 and then no big raise later? Well, good that tenant is not taken by surprise in first scenario, but bad that they are paying more rent every year. But in no scenario does the tenant actually get low rent forever, so what is the point?

Or, landlords raise the rent to begin with when renting, knowing they can not get more later, and tenant sucks it up and pays more, knowing it can not go up. But again, in no circumstance, does the tenant get cheap rent forever.

16

Rent control is stupid. It distorts the rental market, penalizes any new investment in housing, and fosters deterioration of existing properties. New housing may be developed, but outside any area of control. Rent control only exacerbates the cycle of despair. Anyone who tells you different (@9) is an idiot.

Enjoy.

17

Seattle be prepared: All seattle renters will see rent hikes every year of 10% instead of only a few renters. Give thanks to kSHAMa; the harbinger of rent hikes.

18

Why are they ALL not working harder for stiffer fines on Landlords w/ code violations? I had them, but none of us were aware of them. Never had a complaint, but a lack of a handrail on cement steps, or a faulty powered flood light never really had impact. I'd appreciate from both sides of the contract, a mechanism to document shortcomings, and documenting that the improvement got done and not exacerbated by tenant or visitor activity.
For rent gouging miscreants, there ought to be equality in process, and get your stuff up to snuff.

19

Sawant is only represented by about 21,000 people in a greater area population of 2,500,000 people. Shut the fuck up and quit covering her nonsense, fool. Get a clue.

21

Landlords ask for whatever rent they think the market will bear. No landlord raises rent just to see an apartment sit empty. If you are composing about high rents then you can’t afford to live in that area .

22

@18 each rental unit in seattle by city ordinance has to be inspected for unsafe or unlivable violations and they are required to fix it. If it’s unsafe or unlivable, and your landlord refuses to fix it, bring it up to the Seattle Helpline at (206) 684-5700. You should have received a renters guide from your landlord when you moved in:

http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/RentingInSeattle/languages/English/RentersHandbook_English.pdf

23

@22 - There is over 100 pages of information that renters have to be provided. Anyone who is even marginally iterate is quite well-informed of their rights.

24

Pitiful patronizing pinche pendejos pissed per petty pet 'points' precluded

25

Oh, cry us a river.

There are millions of unhoused people in the streets all over the country because housing is so expensive and difficult to apply for.

People cannot just move to another place and get a better job and a place to live. Moving is expensive and MANY folks do not even have a car. Or their car IS their housing.

Everyday we see sad people that are hungry and /or unhoused. Approximately 25% of workers are homeless. Greed is to blame. Stop all your stupid right wing nonsense.

The wage slaves are getting fed up VERY fed up. We help homeless people even though we have low incomes because we have done that lived that and understand.

It used to be a lot easier but cheap housing has been torn down for condos. It
was easier around 25 years ago but since then housing costs have skyrocketed so the average working class person is at a sore disadvantage. We do not expect you to change.
But change is bound to happen.

26

25 sounds like another entitled person wanting to get something without putting in the work. I’d like to live in a penthouse in a high rise in Manhattan. I won’t get it because I can’t afford it. Should someone just give it to me because I want to live there? There are literally thousands of cheaper small towns with cheap rent. Catch a bus. I would if I couldn’t afford where I was trying to live. It’s all about choices without expecting someone to just give it to me without putting in the work to get it. You’re choosing to live in one of the most expensive cities in the world and expecting someone else to take care of you because of your choices.


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