The Daily Journal and the Post are reporting that the B'game rent control measure has sufficient signatures for the November ballot with more than 2,332 verified signatures. There is some legal wrangling on whether the process has been followed, but let the analysis begin. The Law of Unintended Consequences is in effect in triplicate now. First, the Post notes
The measure would limit increases to between 1% and 4% a year and apply to complexes built before Feb 1, 1995.
That means that any complex that is more than 21 years old is ripe for tearing down. Not only are those some of the more characteristic buildings in town they also probably provide some of the more affordable units in town. Why wouldn't a landlord just avoid the whole thing by scraping, building bigger, newer and pricier?
Second, we have already heard from a Voice commenter that some landlords in San Mateo are already holding vacant units off the market to see what happens in November. Net effect: less supply, higher prices. As another commenter noted rent control hurts all the wrong people--the ones it is designed to protect due to basic economic reality.
Lastly, I have to wonder who would police all of this? Would the city be on the hook to hire staff to collect all leases, catalog them and then follow the annual increases? How many staff is that and who is going to pay for it? I was thinking I didn't personally have a dog in this fight since I am neither renter nor landlord, but now on further reflection Unintended Consequences #1 and #3 cause me to oppose the measure. More to follow as the fourth or fifth flavor of problem surface over the next few months as I am sure they will.