This article was posted on Monday, Jul 01, 2019


To the City Council:

Hello, I believe a landlord should have some hope of getting to, or, very close to market over a reasonable period of time (not 50 to 100 years!)
I came up with two ways this can be accomplished, while at the same time, tenants will have protections from severe spikes – (explained in the text below).
My situation:  I have been a small, mom and pop landlord for 20 years.  I have never raised rents. Since high school (I am now almost 60 years old), my profession has been driving school and city buses, in addition to truck driving/hauling for a few of those years. I saved all my extra money for the first 20+ years of driving jobs for a down payment; my rentals are my only investment! 

Rent control would punish those landlords the most who have voluntarily kept their rents the lowest over the years – (like myself).
I have two different tenants who make $200,000.00 to $300,000.00 per year.  I have a couple just out of college (one year ago) who make $150,000 per year.  My last 10 years’ income has averaged about $55,000 per year.
Why should I have to subsidize those who make three to six times what I make?  So, I have to subsidize those who are younger, have their lives ahead of them, make much more money than me, and  have much more opportunity via the college degrees they have?
This is what will be forced upon me if there is not something written into any rent control law that is proposed, that does not consider, whatsoever, folks like me who have extremely, way below market rents TO BEGIN WITH!  (It is key to recognize how far under the market a rental is.)
The typical formula for raising rents annually in rent controlled cities that I have seen, is “one have of the inflation rate”.  Using this rate, I would only be able to raise my rents by $5, yes, $5 dollars per month – (my long term tenants pay approximately $1,000 in a $2,000 market).  I am at retirement age now and I have treated my tenants more than fair over the last 20 years.  I should not be punished by having to support those who make so much more than me.

Proposal #1:   Why not write into the law that a landlord can go to say, 85% of the market rent with a six month notice, then, maybe some sort of rent control formula kicks in at that point?  Otherwise, at $5 per month, it would take me 100 years (yes, 100 years) to go from the way below market $1,000 I currently charge, to $1,500, which would still be $500 under market.
Proposal #2:  Another option – how about a “4-year plan”.  I give notice that rents will go up from the current rent to market rent over four years of equal, annual raises.  This allows tenants who may not have a lot of resources, to be able to plan, knowing exactly what the rent will be over a reasonable, predictable period of time.  The tenants will not have to worry about a sudden, one time huge increase.
I have other ideas as well. In summary, however, applying rent control to those who have near market rents the same as those landlords who have very low rents is very short sighted and unfair. Please have something in place for those like me.
NOTE: “Cost of Living” adjustments do not work and are not realistic with rent control.  When the “trades” are in demand, (i.e., plumbers, painters, etc.) their pricing goes straight to market pricing.  During the bad economy/real estate bust 8 to 10 years ago, fully licensed general contractors were advertising on Craigslist looking for work at $25 to $30/hr.
Let me give you a few examples of pricing that I personally have had to deal with over the last 10 months:

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  • One Rat in Attic: Average of first three bids – $2,600.00 (probably $500 or less in slow times?)
  • Termites in living room eating wood carpet tack strip: Average of first three bids -$2,400.00.   This was to treat a specific area and also spray crawl space and attic.
  • “T” drain behind sheet rock in upstairs bathroom sink leaked and needed to be replaced. First Bid – $1,950.00.  Probably after 20 calls over two days, I got a guy to do the job for “only” $650.00.   (less than a two- hour job)
  • Insulate Attic: Average of four bids was over $4,000.00 including Home Depot at $5,400.00 – (I thought they would have been one of the cheaper).
  • Current Vacancy:  Popcorn ceiling scraped (no asbestos) re-texture, paint. Three bids so far – $4,895.00, $5,100.00 and the third guy was less, but, I did not really trust him.  So, I got up on the ladder while continuing to look for more reasonable pricing, and started and completed the scraping.
  • Lots more than listed here, but, those are the highlights.   

There are many more things on the horizon, remodels, carpeting/flooring, electrical, new plumbing and electric, major problems, or even a rebuild (ouch!)  No, I can’t keep up with these costs even remotely close with $5 to say, $20 per month rent increases per year.      Thank you, Rick L.   



Here is a brief letter I wrote to the CPUC: 

Last year, the California Building Industry Association published a study that found swapping out natural gas appliances for all electric alternatives would cost the average household in Southern California more than $7,200 to upgrade wiring and electrical panels and to purchase new appliances.  On the heels of this report, I would like to voice my opposition to any additional regulations on the housing industry unless they are fully funded by the state general fund.  I cannot afford to upgrade my electrical system to satisfy the new greenhouse gas regulations and it’s simply wrong to expect me to shoulder the burden for all of my tenants.  I’m under rent control and I can’t IMMEDIATELY recoup the additional costs that these regulations would impose.  We don’t need to be at the vanguard of climate change and we certainly don’t need to cripple the housing industry to do it.       Sincerely,   Rex Nishimura



Today, we received a call from our resident manager that the trash had NOT been picked up at the above reference site. 

I called Athens’s customer service (I was put on hold for over 10 minutes) and finally spoke with Latoya. She told me per her information the driver indicated the trash was picked up as scheduled on Tuesday, May 7th.   I explained it had not been picked up, Latoya re-checked her screen and then told me a driver marked the trash picked up at 10:30 a.m.  Below see a photo taken at 11:00 amNO trash had been picked up yet two Athens drivers marked the trash as picked up.

I made a second call to Athens at 2:14 pm to follow up and was told the same incorrect information that the trash had been picked up.  We asked for a phone call from the Route Supervisor and are still waiting for that call. It is now two hours later.   

 As you know, overflowing trash is not only unsightly it is a health hazard with the tenants.  Several families have young children and their automobiles are adjacent to the garbage 

How come this didn’t happen in the past when there was competitive bidding for services?

This is only one of the abuses inherent in awarding monopolies to businesses!

This is exactly one of the problems at we discussed with the Councilman Koretz and his staff.  We stated at this meeting, that this trash collection situation continues to deteriorate!

Meanwhile, trash collection fees have increased as much 200%.  This drives up the cost of housing while giving windfall profits to the trash monopoly!  

The City claims they have an “oversight committee” yet these abuses continue.  

Isn’t it time to correct this problem?  We do know the answer and it isn’t protecting monopolies. Sincerely, Victor Bardack, Pacific Investments