This past week, Q-line asked:

The Rent Control Board recently approved a 1 percent increase for the coming year pleasing renters and upsetting landlords. Do you think the Rent Control Board got it right or did they shortchange property owners?

Here are your responses:

“The Rent Board did it absolutely right. People are losing their jobs all over the place. The landlord next month can get his rent again if people have work. The 1 percent doesn’t amount to an awful lot, and it doesn’t amount to a destruction of the landlords. Frankly, I think the Rent Board got it absolutely right.”

“In every game, somebody has to lose. This time I’m glad it wasn’t the renters.”

“I think the Rent Control Board did a good job with setting its annual increase at 1 percent. With normal estimation of what the increase should go up setting at CPI, and CPI would be negative, they very easily could have given 0 percent, but I think the fact that they took other things into consideration that landlords have to do and gave a 1 percent increase anyway is very good and they’re doing a good job at balancing it out. It’s not as much as most landlords want and it’s definitely more than most renters wanted, but overall I think they struck somewhere in the middle and they’re doing a good job.”

“A high percentage of apartment building units in Santa Monica are now rented at market value due to de-control re-control. Now when an apartment unit is vacated in Santa Monica, the owner is allowed under rent control rules to raise the price of the rental unit to market value. Those tenants who are still fortunate enough to be renting an apartment unit under the original rent control law have been living in those apartment units for a good many years and have been contributing greatly to the owners’ mortgage payments often under adverse harassment conditions. Keep in mind, folks, the owner ends up owning the apartment building and other high profits from the high appreciation value of the property. The tenant ends up with rent receipts. The 1 percent increase is fair.”

“Well the Rent Control Board let the rent go up very low because they don’t care about the landlords one bit because they know that the landlords aren’t the ones that voted them into office, the tenants did, so they don’t care about the landlords.”

“As an ex-landlord, I think that 1 percent is way too little. Let’s get real and wake up and smell the coffee. This is ridiculous.”

“I think that the 1 percent rent increase is more than enough. I think the landlords need to do their part also in helping their tenants in these hard economic times.”

“For over 30 years, we’ve been ruled by Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights. As their name implies, they are for renters and only demonize landlords. They have totally ruined our once beautiful town with their socialist program and cronyism that shames the Tweed ring. Every election, they get reelected simply by terrorizing tenants. The week before every election, they call and send canvassers to knock on tenants’ doors and threaten them by ranting that their evil landlords will raise rents and throw them out if they’re not elected. With over 65 percent renters in our town, and a huge treasure trove of money, they just keep on winning. Most of the old mom-and-pop owners have long ago been driven out of town and mostly corporations own the rentals now. Every year, they have to show renters how wonderful they are by further stomping on more owners’ rights. This time, they slapped owners in the face with a 1 percent raise, so why stop there? Why not vote to reduce the prices on everything back to 1979? We can vote to make gas 29 cents again, and steak 39 cents a pound. I’d love to still pay 25 cents for a quart of milk and a loaf of bread, or 10 cents a pound for bananas and oranges. Come on, if we’re going to go commie, why not go all the way?”

“How would you like only a 1 percent raise on your salary this year? The progressive Rent Control Board would say you’re lucky to have a job. Rent Control is a failed New York City carpet-bagging idea. I know at least a dozen people who have been edged out of their apartments by new owners. They weren’t even allowed to re-negotiate their rents because of the socialist city government. So each year dozens of middle class renters lose their apartments to higher tax-paying new condo owners so the city can spend tax payer millions building low income housing for people from East L.A. How can you run a business on a 1 percent increase? What was it that one of the Rent Control fascists said? We’re all in this together? It takes a village full of idiots. What a great town.”

“The Rent Control Board is a bloated bureaucracy. Rent Control should be means tested. It should only be for those who truly need it.”

“There are renters paying only $600 for an apartment at the beach in Santa Monica. This is ridiculous, since you couldn’t rent a garage in the worst part of Los Angeles for that. To be just a teeny bit fair to owners, they could either have a tiered increase — for example 4 percent for those paying under $1,000, 2 percent over $1,500, and 1 percent over $2,000 — or to be really fair it should be based on the tenants’ combined income per unit. If the tenant is in the poverty level, then they can be subject to rent controlled rent levels. If the combined incomes are much more, then the landlords should be free to charge fair market rent.”

“Of course the Rent Control Board shortchanges property owners, but rent control itself shortchanges both owners and renters. Owners cannot cover their costs. Renters accept deteriorating and out-of-date properties in exchange for cheaper than market rents. And rent control keeps properties scarce and more expensive for everyone else.”

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