Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What "Market Rate" Really Means

A tenant's letter to the Board of Supervisors of San Mateo County, John Maltbie, County Manager, with a copy to the Daily Journal:

Dear Supervisors and Mr. Maltbie:

I've attached a copy of a marketing promotion for a multi-unit building in Burlingame for your reference. In it, you will see on page 4 that the realtor is suggesting to buyers that, should they buy the property, they can easily raise rents to all of the tenants and achieve "market rate."  So, a person in a studio can expect a $700 increase, and a 1BR can be increased by $1,200.  This building has actually been sold.

On pages 11 through 14 you can see the comparables and just imagine the impact on the renters of all of those buildings after experiencing new ownership.

"Market rates" are being set by predatory speculators.  In Burlingame a couple of weeks ago, a "representative" from Marcus & Millichap was doing a "survey" of renters he would see in front of their buildings, and after asking a few friendly questions, would ask how much rent the tenant was paying.  One can only imagine where this "survey" is headed.

Owners are being told that if they keep their rents at reasonable levels, their property values will plummet. So they must keep up with the Joneses and impoverish or economically evict their long-term and even valued tenants.

Large corporations are snatching up apartments and rental homes for their employees, paying 30% and more above "market rate," setting new "market rates" for others to achieve.  Average working people have to compete for housing with very high earners, and now even their corporate employers with billions of dollars behind them.

Renters are the infrastructure of San Mateo County, and we are being dismantled piece by piece Please take leadership of this crisis and pave the way for the Cities to defend our infrastructure, our people, and institute rent stabilization immediately where you can.

Cynthia Cornell
Burlingame Advocates for Renter Protections

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