Here’s the quick summary. City Supervisor Chris Daly introduced legislation to add the following additional tenant “protections”:
- Landlords cannot raise the rent above 33% of tenant’s income. An alternative amendment restrict this to situations where the tenant has a “hardship” – defined as being unemployed, having wages cut, or living on a fixed income and receiving a cost of living increase.
- Allows tenants to add roommates other than family to help pay rent, even if explicitly forbidden in the rental contract.
My take. I think this going too far, and I am glad the mayor seems to agree and will veto it. Already 88% of rental units in San Francisco are subject to rent control, with annual rent increases being capped at an average of 2% per year. Now a landlord must charge rent based on a person’s future income? How can they control that? And then tenants can bring in whomever they want as additional roommates, also creating more wear and tear on the place?
This is different from having the government provide unemployment benefits, or even “bailouts”. This is forcing individuals to directly subsidize other individuals arbitrarily. Imagine being a cabinet maker and being forced to accept a 50% discount to any customer who lost their job recently, regardless of your own costs or financial needs. I echo the concerns of this editorial:
We all like the idea of businesspeople doing the benevolent thing when their customers are hurting, but it is not fair for a public entity to force such behavior on a private one.
Am I missing something here? Let me know in the comments.