Friday, August 07, 2015

You aren't on my side. You are one of them.

Today I had to go in an handle some insurance stuff. As soon as the girl looked through my account she realised I have a rental and asked if it was open. I told her is wasn't, but the conversation we had sort of terrified me.

You see - the rental market..... hold on.. let me center myself. The stories I have been reading are off the chart crazy. If you tell anyone you have a rental these days - they know someone who is looking for a place.  And the rents? I have a rental and I'm floored all the time by the way rents are skyrocketing. This girl was paying 2100 a month for a place under 1000 square feet. Her lease is up in Oct, and she's already started looking and I'd have to say - it doesn't look good. She went on to indicate that we should have rent control. Which wouldn't mean much but another Bay Area City just enacted it. With the way rents are skyrocketing - I'd guess this movement might try to gain steam.

I've lived in a rent controlled building though when I first started out. It was all I could afford in East Palo Alto. There is a tiny sliver of EPA on the Palo Alto side of the freeway. I was basically at the border of EPA and Palo Alto. The freeway saved you from the worst of EPA.

So I know a little about what happens in a rent controlled building. The landlords basically do not fix anything. It also disincentivizes other people to rent because if you can't raise the rents - why would you go through all the pain of renting to someone? It just creates a shortage.

I told her about some of the horror stories I had. I was in court probably 5 times a year because the landlord would always be in trouble for something. Rent control only encourages higher rents because no one wants to rent if they can't raise the prices. Rent control sounds good. But if you live in a rent controlled building you find out real quick why it isn't.

I tried to help her by giving her my property managers number to help her find a place, but her switch had already flipped off. I think she decided I wasn't trying to help her. I was one of those asshole landlords. Which maybe I am. I'm definitly a bitter landlord. Every time I hear someone complain about how high the rents are - I wonder if they "strategically" gave up their houses during the recession. I went through five years of some pretty intense pain because of them. There were a lot of people who were in bad siutations, but there are tons of them that also who would have afforded their places, but chose to give them back because everyone was doing it at the time.

That lady should be mad at them. Not me. They are the reason they haven't been building enough for seven years now. A year and a half ago I predicted this. Read: A new housing crisis looms. A shortage.


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