Monday, May 9, 2011

San Francisco's Rent Control Makes It More Expensive to Rent There

We noticed this piece from Bob Wenzel at the Economic Policy Journal on the entirely-predictable yet still-stunning results of rent control in San Francisco.

Odds are, half of one of these houses is vacant.

Citing the Bay Citizen, Bob reports that one of every 12 units in the city are now vacant according to Census data, a 70% increase from the decade before. That's right, 31,000 units are sitting vacant these days in one of America's most expensive cities. The reason? San Francisco's rent control laws make it incredibly difficult to raise rents or evict tenants, and many smaller landlords are finding that rent dollars aren't worth the risk of being stuck with a bad tenant for years on end. So they're taking apartments off the market in greater numbers. This, of course, makes life tougher for upstanding renters, who must pay higher market rents for the remaining apartments. Just another example of government at work, screwing over the decent and hardworking for the benefit of a small number of dirtbags.


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