By Laura Kusisto : wsj – excerpt
Investors, housing advocates gear up for a fight, expected to spend tens of millions of dollars on campaigning
A push to expand rent control in California is sending a chill through the state’s apartment industry, prompting more investors to sell properties or hold off on buying.
Ben Lamson, whose family owned just under 100 apartments in the Inland Empire area in southern California, said he has sold about 70 units and is in contract to sell the remaining ones. He is taking all the money and investing it in properties in the Las Vegas area, he said…
“These renter groups are starting to speak out and say, ‘These rents are ridiculous.’ They’ve gotten more organized than they ever have been,” he said. “I started getting a little freaked out or a little scared or concerned [that] this could really happen.”.
In late April, a coalition of housing advocates said they submitted some 595,000 signatures, more than enough to get a measure on the ballot in November to repeal Costa Hawkins, state legislation that prevents cities and towns from imposing rent control on buildings constructed after 1995 and on single-family rentals.
Both sides are gearing up for a fight and are expected to spend tens of millions of dollars on campaigning… (more)
The threat of returning rent control decisions to the local governments by repealing state controls seems to be having some effects already.