We’d love to take your $50,000, but we can’t afford it
From the S.F. Gate: S.F. landlords offer tenants tempting offers to move out
This is what San Francisco rent control has become. 24 years ago, the Reyes family moved into a studio apartment in San Francisco’s Mission District, a favorite haunt of tech employees and urban hipsters. The neighborhood is booming but rent control has kept their rent to $549 per month while the market rate is probably $2,000 or more.
By law, the landlord can neither raise the rent nor evict them so now he’s forced to offer the family a $50,000 tenant buyout just to leave. Note that this effectively means refunding all rent paid for the past 7+ years, just to reclaim an apartment he already owns, maintains and pays property taxes on.
Rent control has effectively granted the tenants a tangible property right in their landlord’s property. It’s a strange sort of Adverse Possession (Wikipedia), in which the legal owner knew of their presence all along and still couldn’t do anything about it.
Who would want to build apartments in a city like this? That’s why the cycle of high rents, rent control and housing shortages continues.
San Francisco’s housing market is expensive and dysfunctional. At least the views are nice.