Why Do You Assume All Landlords Are Rich?

I don’t want to argue the merits of rent control per se. But, what I would like to know is why does every single tenant advocacy group, person, attorney, legislator etc just assume that a landlord, just being a landlord, is rich?

Some are wealthy and some are not. Some large corporations are doing fabulously well today and some small businesses are suffering greatly.

Maybe we should means test landlords as a way to exempt some from the rent ordinances of SF & Berkeley? Would you consider that fair?

It’s interesting that your list of those who assume that landlords are rich practically encompasses the entire population. Could that assumption simply be true? Duh. In the Bay Area, all landlords are rich.

It’s very easy to come to that conclusion. If you’re a landlord, you own at least two units, right? (Generally, a landlord who rents a room to a boarder in his own house is exempt from rent control.)

According to HUD, for the 12 months ending March 2010, the median sales price was $647,300 in the city of San Francisco. I believe the price has increased in the last year.

But before you blow a gasket, I understand that the single family home sales price is not necessarily indicative of the value of a given unit. Those figures are harder to find. But is there a two-unit building in San Francisco that is worth less than $400,000? If there is one, it’s probably uninhabitable.

Is it fair to say that all San Francisco landlords have assets valued at least $400,000.00? Landlords who own more units than in this hypothetical San Francisco shack are worth considerably more.

Is that rich enough for you?

Anyone who didn’t come in with yesterday’s rain knows that rich people always complain about not having enough. It’s in their nature.

One of the reasons corporations do so well is that we subsidize them with tax breaks and write-offs. Interestingly, we also subsidize landlords the same way. Landlords can deduct their mortgage interest, maintenance costs, property taxes, property management costs and on and on.

I don’t even get my frickin’ $62.00 renters credit anymore.

I’m sorry. The poor landlord who deserves a means test to opt out of rent control is like the small company, say Bechtel with annual revenue of $30.8 billion, that deserves a tax break.

Of course you want to argue the merits of rent control–you want to argue the merits in a passive/aggressive manner so typical of apologists for landlords.

To paraphrase Bill Maher, “The next landlord who publicly complains about being vilified by tenant advocates for being too rich must be publicly vilified by tenant advocates for being too rich.

Update, December 1, 2013: Did I actually say $400,000 for an average value of two units? Just trying to be conservative…

Crow & Rose's legal practice emphasizes eviction defense, wrongful eviction and other landlord tenant and real property matters.

One Response to Why Do You Assume All Landlords Are Rich?

  1. Thank you this is the most awesome needed information ever! Love Kisses and high fives cause Y’all are getting at least one or two karma points for this one… THank you for not being souless Eat the Poor kinda folk cause they have descended upon Los Angeles. Our Landlord pulls in 60,000 $ a month. The property aquisition companies he is associated with cause they pool their resources to buy all the govt subsidized housing and swap some doorknobs and call it a “luxury rental” to re rent at a rate where by todays standards of 30% of your monthly income goes to rent, requires a person to pull in upwards of about 15 thousand a month to rent and that is not pesos. ????? Fifteen Thousand a Month US Dollars????? Waitressing I thought I could live well bringing in 500 a week two thousand a month. that was working full time in a busy restaurant and hotel. At the time I was paying half that in rent..50 %. I have since found more lucrative sources of income but my husband and I are artists we put everything back into our art. Our rent control apartment was the only thing keeping us in Los Angeles and able to create. Now? we had to sign the buy out agreement or risk eviction court. They filed before they actually posted the 3 day. My husband has lived here since the nineties and that’s the thing you don’t thinki about this buy out stuff is how easy will it be to get approved for a rental compared to then?… We have to have tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, and a fico of 730, show an id give a social security number and personal references. they charge monthly pet deposits? and its 35$ 40$ to every apartment you apply plus the refundable 2-500 deposit for “holding it” while the background check and credit check you. You wonder why the homeless situation is out of control? is because even if you have the cash they won’t rent to you without a 640 to 730 credit score it s like bad credit discrimination. credit scores should be abolished.I should not have to pay for anyone to check my background. there should be like a data base you volunteer you info for or something. I realize that it’s investment but if I come with letters of reference and a twenty year history renting that should be enough for anyone. Right to privacy? not while renting and yes I would love to buy a house if anyone can find me one where the buy out we were given would actually be enough for the down payment. Home ownership is so far out of reach for the average person who has to rent and we all do since 2008!

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