This past week, Q-line asked:

Santa Monica’s rent control law, first passed by voters April 10, 1979, has been in effect for three decades and it continues to be a hot button issue in this city by the sea. Do you think rent control has served the city well or do you believe it is in line for an overhaul?

Here are your responses:

“Yes, very definitely. Rent control is in line for an overhaul — but not by the people who are currently running it. It needs to be done by an impartial outside committee.”

“Rent control has been the best thing this city has ever done. I’ve lived in a rent-controlled apartment for a while. It gives me and my children an opportunity to have good schools and to afford it. I just lost my job and without rent control, I would be on the streets. Rent control is terrific.”

“As I mentioned before, rent control in its original form no longer exists. With de-controlled re-control, apartment building owners are doing very well here in Santa Monica and are fortunate to have tenants at all considering the economy as it is today. The simplicity of the rental situation is that the apartment building owners do not want to be under any form of control. Some of these owners actually believe that they are lords of the land. Alas! Woe is me!”

“Well if the landlords can’t get the fair-market value for their apartments, they’re better off just shutting them down and going out of business. That’s what rent control does: it puts landlords out of business.”

“Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights has sold out our once-quiet, sweet town to over-development and tourism because they throw money away on every crazy socialist program. Now we are a noisy, crowded, dirty, bum-filled, gridlock mess.”

“No, I don’t think rent control has worked at all. I’m a former landlord in the city of Sanmalicious. I think it’s been really awful. I still manage to rehabilitate a building though, but I think it was a terrible law, because it didn’t help a lot of the people that needed it. So no, I don’t think it has helped the city at all.”

“I believe that the Santa Monica rent control should definitely be overhauled. I mean, some people are earning $4,000 a month, they definitely shouldn’t be living in an $800 a month one-bedroom. But yet, if their neighbor only earns $1,500 a month, they definitely deserve to keep their apartment. I’m not saying that anybody should be kicked out of their apartment, but the people that are earning much, much more and have more assets — I think they should be remaining in the apartment, but their rent should go up accordingly. I also feel that the renters in Santa Monica that are in the rent-controlled apartments should get to vote and their opinion in this, not just the landlords, but the renters in the low-income rent control apartments.”

“Santa Monica has certainly been served well by rent control. But it might be time for an overhaul. I believe it’s now time to start considering commercial rent control as well.”

“There are by far more renters than apartment owners, so it’s a no-brainer that they would want to vote to cut their rents. It is not based upon any fairness, but purely greed. If there is anything good or righteous about rent control, it would be based on the tenants’ combined incomes, whether they were in the poverty levels. As it is, many renters are much richer than their landlords, yet get deep cuts in their rents.”

“While I oppose rent control, which distorts the free-market mechanism, I see the rationale for helping less fortunate people. They often contribute to the community in other ways. But I definitely feel that there needs to be a means test. People with significant assets and/or incomes should not be subsidized.”

“I am a tenant, and I’ve also been an apartment manager for [real estate management companies] and the only word that comes to mind is that they are crooks. We need rent control so we can be protected from people such as them. Yes, we need rent control. And those who don’t want it, well, naturally just move out to buy a condo or a home! It does serve a purpose for those who don’t make the amount of an attorney or a physician and/or etceteras!”

“Rent control is no longer the real issue. The group that poses as its chief advocate is actually now a front for developers and unconcerned with the resulting quality of life for residents. As a result, we have an entrenched City Council with lifetime tenure, with no term limits, which can even get away with undemocratically picking its own non-elected new members.”

“In these times that are hard for everyone, you need to leave rent control alone. Just leave it as it is, it’s a thing that needs to stay in place in the city of Santa Monica. There’s no money to move, no money to relocate, so just leave it alone.”

“I moved here in June of 1978 and so I’ve been on it since the beginning. If it wasn’t for the rent control, I would probably be homeless. I became disabled, and thank God because the rent hasn’t been increased. I’ve been allowed to stay in my apartment. I’ve had five different owners, and two that were really bad. My daughter got a disease because the landlord didn’t want to take care of the apartment, so we finally got the city to back us. I want to thank the rent control, and yes I think it’s worked and I’m glad it’s here.”

“Rent control was instituted as a temporary World War II housing measure for the northern defense industries where workers would have a place to live. It was supposed to be a temporary war emergency. News flash, World War II is over. The reason for having that is no longer valid. Most countries in the western civilized world, if the populace need housing, the government builds it and pays for it and rents it out. Food, shelter and clothing are three basic necessities of life, but only shelter is price controlled. Why don’t these committees pass a law saying gasoline should be no more than a dollar a gallon and milk also, and equalize everything? Also, even though the newspaper calls it rent control, it should more accurately be called tenant welfare.”

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