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Eviction Threat Is No Surprise

August 27, 1989

So--hundreds of evictions loom (Times, Aug. 13).

If the moderate tenants had been listening, if the reporters had done research and reviewed transcripts of rent board meetings, this would not come as a surprise.

Mom and pop landlords as well as apartment industry representatives have been telling this bureaucracy for 10 years that unless and until regulations were formulated to either/or:

1) give a fair rate of return;

2) address the historically low rents issue by allowing larger general adjustments;

3) provide for some form of vacancy decontrol/recontrol,

the housing stock would deteriorate, plus small owners would just give up and go out of business.

The Santa Monica Rent Control Board and its vocal, militant tenants minority refused to listen. The city attorney, whose large staff supplements the rent control bureaucracy, refuses to listen. I urge your reporter to review the maximum allowable rents in this city. He will find many instances of where, after 10 years, rents are still under $200 per month! You can't maintain property at that level.

Mr. Wayne Bauer, rent control board member, is on record that if he could pass a regulation, whereby the owner had to pay the tenant to reside in an apartment, he would!

Now that the ship is taking on water (if not actually sinking), I wonder how many more board members will jump ship? One already has, rumor hath three more seriously considering and now three attorneys have resigned. Something is obviously wrong with the system.

It's time to put people on this board that are truly concerned about housing for the poor, elderly, handicapped, students, etc. as promoted under the charter amendment. It was never intended to just provide the lowest rent--forever. This board must have owners on it to understand the economic forces of rental property.

As we've continually stated, rent control as currently administered is not a housing policy, it's a political policy; therefore, it will not work to accomplish the desired result.


Santa Monica

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