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Against Rent Control in Menlo Park

From: domainremoved <Peter>
Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2019 00:02:04 +0000

Dear Council Members

I am writing to voice my opinion that I hope you vote AGAINST rent control in Menlo Park.

To be fully transparent I am the owner of a small 4 unit building in the Burgess Park area.

Here are a few of my reason why I am against rent control.

A) Rent Control will lower living standards:
I make a concerted effort to be responsive and timely to my tenants whenever they call about leaks, noises, whatever they deem as an issue. Most are minor, but regardless I respond quickly as my rents depend on a quality living environment. If the rents were artificially capped (controlled) my incentive would not be aligned to keep my tenants (as it is now), but rather to have them move on as I would be able to get better market rates with higher turnover. This seems to be the opposite direction that tenants would have you go. They want Owners to be aligned with their needs not working against them. I have to be responsive to tenants (better living conditions) to maintain strong rents.

2) Suppy is the issue
I come from a city and I know that the only way to solve these high rents is to allow for more density. There are not many things Economists agree on. but one issue they all do agree on is that rent control is not the answer - see this article in the Economist where they quote Paul Krugman of the New York Times ....... As Paul Krugman wrote in the New York Times in 2000, rent control is “among the best-understood issues in all of economics, and—among economists, anyway—one of the least controversial”. Economists reckon a restrictive price ceiling reduces the supply of property to the market. When prices are capped, people have less incentive to fix up and rent out their basement flat, or to build rental property. Slower supply growth exacerbates the price crunch.

See this article from te Seattle time https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/rental-control-is-not-the-answer-just-look-at-sf/

In short please do not pass rent control. It will only worsen the problem....

Best, Peter

Peter Cowperthwaite
Cowperthwaite & Company Real Estate
Office 650-851-8030 ex 1

Received on Mon Feb 11 2019 - 15:58:22 PST

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