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Rent control pits tenants against one another

Soaring rents are a serious problem. Many Californians are paying much more rent than in the past or cannot afford to live where they’d like to. Unfortunately, Proposition 10’s solution — allowing for more rent control — does not fix this problem for the community as a whole. Instead it helps current tenants who decide to stay in their units long term, but hurts future renters and those who might want or need to move.

The primary problem with rent-control laws is that they invariably reduce the available supply of rental housing. First, if rent-control ordinances apply to single-family homes, landlords may find it more profitable to sell their income properties rather than continue to rent them out. Landlords, likewise, may find it more profitable to convert their apartment buildings into condominiums and sell those. Third, developers of new housing units will be more likely to build and sell condominiums than apartments for the rental market.

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