Rent Control Is a Failed Policy

Rent Control Is a Failed Policy


It’s just like listening to politicians who don’t believe in climate change. They have rebuttals to global warming like “It snowed today” or “Then why am I still wearing a jacket.” Just like some facts are skewed to represent their points of view as valid, those of us who actually look at the increased hurricanes, drought and rising global temperatures aka “facts.” know better than to align with their ideology. 

The same holds true for rent control. The slogan they chant is “Communities thrive with rent control.” Please be very specific and show me this community. Just like the weather, all we have to do is look outside our windows and see the rising rents in San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland. I personally don’t know one person who would refer to San Francisco as the affordable community thriving because of rent control. 

What is being proposed in Alameda is that we, as a community, can no longer govern ourselves. We need a board and the courts to decide who our neighbors are and what is best for our town. In case you haven’t heard they are not just coming for me, they are coming for you as well. The single-family homeowners are targeted heavily in the proposed initiative because those behind the initiative know that these homeowners represent more than 20 percent of all the rental units in town. These homeowners, too, will have to pay $18,000 in buy outs to tenants if they need to do repairs on their homes that cause a tenant to move out so they can make those repairs.

Just as you can’t ignore the scientific data that supports the effects of global warming, you can’t ignore the data available at your fingertips (on Google) that pops up when you search with the words “effects of rent control.” With almost the same percentage of scientists who believe that our world is in fact warming up, you will find an equal percentage of economists who have documented the detriment of rent controls on a community. 

Since its inception in New York City, rent control has been researched and documented as a failed policy by economists who almost unanimously agree that it is harmful to a community on many levels. It’s as harmful to the fabric of this town as any hurricane or flood. 

Rent control does absolutely nothing to promote sustainable affordable housing. In fact it causes market rents to rise. So why is a “greedy landlord” like myself opposed to rising rents? Because it takes this gem of a city we call home and binds it to draconian regulations that set us up for failure and will change our town overnight as a community. One hundred sixty-four years of history and tradition are at stake. 



Farhad Matin is the owner of BenHad Properties LLC.