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Filling Vacancies

October 26, 1986

Some recent Times articles have noted an abundance of vacant apartments in the Southland. One actually called the renter a "king." A glance at the rentals section of many newspapers, including The Times, verifies this vacancy situation.

I've noticed, however, that almost 80% of these apartments are unfurnished. Landlords might find they could fill vacancies much faster by installing modest furniture, especially in single and one-bedroom units. Many who rent these units have neither the inclination nor the money to buy or rent their own furniture.

Another remedy would involve the free-market solution: lowering rents by reducing monthly rates and/or replacing the "last month" requirement by adjusting the security deposit modestly upward, thus reducing the overall entry fee. As one who has lived in rental units for 20 years, I've noticed that landlords with filled, modestly priced units usually have superior cash flows compared to those with many high-priced vacancies.

JOE HOFERR

Los Angeles

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