Dowdall Law Offices, A.P.C.
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Rent Control Threatened by 4-1 Vote in Los Angeles County

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for !!!!!!!!!!!!me--cashual-shirt.jpgThe risk of mobilehome park rent control re-appearing in the County of Los Angeles since the phase out this office assisted in effecting years ago, has been simmering since the election of Honorable Sheila Kuehl, an advocate of Santa Monia rent controls elected to the Board. I wrote about this risk then, and well, it is back as predicted now. As reported in the Daily News (brought to our attention by WMA's excellent local rperesentative Jarryd Gonzales), a move is on to draft an ordinance. 

As reported, "[T]o further address evictions and homelessness, the Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to draft an ordinance" that, if passed, will control rents from rising at County parks.

The Board voted 4 to 1, on a motion by Janice Hahn and Sheila Kuehl, for study and pasage of rent regulations for parks in the County. If passed, the ordinance would affect all 86 parks in the County area. Supervisor Barger voted no, saying she thought it was worth exploring reasons why rents were rising and to look at updated conditional-use permits--and as one may impartially observe (see below), for lack of any good reason for intervention.

There was a consensus on the Board that research is needed before a proposed ordinance is presented to the Board in 6 months. County departments have 30 days to return to the Board with an update on several questions, including whether the County can impose a rent increase freeze until an ordinance is considered. 

There does not appear to be any demonstrable social problem which private owners could fix with rent controls. Rent controls do not appear to be any sort of a rational curative measure (as the cases require) to remedy a shortage of housing which government itself has caused. Nor is there any problem of sufficient seriousness to justify new disincentives to new construction. As all taxpayers foot the bill to enforce rent control bureaucracies, litigation and settlement for government missteps, it does not seem fair to voters to burden taxpayers with a whole new bureaucracy for government-created problems. Myopic planning is no reason to punish the rest of us. But one may opine that caring about voters is not this Board's forte.

Bereft of Evidence. The County received only 34 complaints from 8,503 mobile home units in a 3.5-year period - and only ten of those are rent related. That's 1 out of 850 resident spaces with a rent complaint! The facts are that residents have no rent complaints. Owners have been saints amid housing price spikes (in other forms of housing).

Only the overzealous appetite of a micro-managing government could rationalize such insatiable gluttony (1 rent complaint out of 850 residents?) Let's hope a wind of reason prevails to stop this unwise foray into attacking housing providers. THAT would instill a refreshing confidence in the good common sense of our very fine government leaders.

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