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October 2018


Neil Shekhter – California’s Rent-Control Initiative


By NMS Properties, Inc.

LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / October 7, 2018 / According to Neil Shekhter, despite a heated battle over rent control, the real-estate sector in California is writing sizeable checks in an effort to defeat a November ballot measure predicated on giving cities more leverage to regulate what landlords are able to charge their tenants. In opposition, the initiative’s backers responded with a cash infusion totaling $10 million.

“We know we will be significantly outspent by the opposition,” says Rich Haughey at the National Multifamily Housing Council. Haughey believes that the deep pockets of developers and investors only serve to compound this problem in California’s housing market. He further states that “the greed of billionaire corporate landlords is tantamount to wide-scale misery for the millions of people residing in the state and, if not addressed, could result in a marked increase in the state homeless population.” Needless to say, California’s dream of attracting new residents is dying, and therefore, voters are encouraged to show up at their polling locations to express their discontent with the state’s out of control rent prices.

According to several reports, the most recent contribution to Proposition 10, which is a campaign that previously only raised $2.5 million, has, for lack of a better term, up the ante after raising a staggering $11.9 million in support of the initiative to lift California’s restrictions on rent control. It’s important to note that the exponential increase was precipitated by the initiative being placed on the ballot.

Also, a great deal of the debate surrounding rent control has been focused on tenants and the challenges they face in finding affordable rentals in the Bay area. And the influx of early contributions aimed at challenging the measure is a testament to just how much is on the line for real estate investors and landlords, alike. After all, this is initiative threatens to roll back the 1995 Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act, a law that places limits on municipal rent control ordinances.

According to Rick Haughey, the possibility of the measure being passed ‘scares the bejeezus out everyone in California’s rental community.’ He further states that, in light of this threat, Proposition 10 will be running a full-scale campaign, which is intended to inform voters of the consequences that could befall the state’s housing market if they don’t come out and vote. That being said, Haughey admits that nothing will immediately change even if voters approve Proposition 10, but it will allow the state’s cities and counties to regain their ability to place a cap on rental properties intended for single-family homes, apartments, and condominiums built within the last 10 years.

In addition to being able to curtail the out of control rent prices, the passing of Proposition 10 could pave the way for cities to adopt a ‘vacancy control’ policy. This would serve to limit how much a landlord can raise the rent after the property has been vacated by the previous tenant. Although this would be a tremendous win for renters, Proposition 10 faces an uphill battle. According to Haughey, getting people to turn out and vote can be a challenge in and of itself, especially those who are less affluent or younger. That said, he fully believes that those who have been personally impacted by higher rents or have faced eviction will likely make a point to make their opinions heard.

NMS has offered quality rentals in the Los Angeles area for nearly three decades. Since 1988, NMS has developed and managed a large portfolio of premier apartment buildings and commercial properties in Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Brentwood and the San Fernando Valley

Jessica Zalban

NMS Properties, Inc.

SOURCE: NMS Properties, Inc.

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