Letters to the Editor: No excuse for big rent increases

Letters to the Editor: No excuse for big rent increases

Letters to the Editor

So let's do the math, folks. A simple example. Landlords and their apologists are claiming parcel taxes and sewer fees and permit fees are breaking their backs and the only way to stay out of lifelong traction is to raise the rent. Okay. So they raise their rents 20 to 50 percent because they claim that's what is necessary to stay in business. Let's ignore the obvious problem that comes with a different solution for now (i.e. taxes, and permit and sewer fees needing to be directly addressed at city level).

Instead, let's say this:

1. Those are straw dog arguments.

2. Do the math. A parcel tax (Measure A) is voted in at 32 cents per square foot. For a 2,000 square foot property, the year's tax would be $640. Maybe you have two tenants in that property. That's $320 each. Spread it over a year: that's $27 a month. Each. Say you charge $1,200 for each unit (and we know that's cheap). That's .023 percent. And you have obliterated your own cost. Your COST of DOING BUSINESS (which seems to be the mindset of business in general these days). But you want a little profit, so you raise the rent 10 pecent for a $120 rent increase. Okay. But this is Alameda, so because you can, you raise the rent 20 percent. That's better: $240 x 2 x 12 = a nice little profit of $5,706 founded on the reasoning that the new parcel tax is breaking the landlord's back. And in this town, without rent control OR self-control, rents are being raised by as high as 50 percent, which in this instance makes an irresistible profit of about $13,000. For one excuse of a tax.

I am a homeowner. I know what it costs to live here; however, you cannot evict people without cause. You cannot raise rents 20 to 50 percent. Not, at least, without consequences. In this case: rent control.

Kathryn Hopping