Tim Cates: Tenants versus Tenants


Tenants and tenant advocates believe rent control is good.  In general, rent control is good for tenants in rent controlled units and bad for tenants in non-rent controlled units.  In the City of Richmond there are approximately 9,912 rent controlled units (40%) and approximately 14,617 non-rent controlled units (60%).  So why would the majority of tenants want rent control in the City of Richmond?

Tenants in rent controlled units (40% of available rental units) will benefit from rent control due to their rent increases being limited to consumer price index (CPI) adjustments and with the assumption they stay in their tenancy.  Tenants in non-rent controlled units (60% of available rental units) will see their rents increase much more than without rent control.  

The RPA and Tenants Together promote rent control as being good for all tenants.  This is simply not true . . . tenants should be in different camps when it comes to rent control.  They have been misinformed by their advocates and tenants in non-rent controlled units are effectively being sacrificed in the process.  I have been a practicing CPA for more than 30 years and it is disheartening to see the RPA driven City Council pass an important ordinance without disclosing the ramifications to tenants in non-rent controlled units.  

There is a petition for referendum available in the City of Richmond to have voters decide whether rent control and Just Cause for eviction is what they want.  Tenants in non-rent controlled units should think about what they want instead of blindly following the RPA and Tenants Together.  


By: Tim Cates, Certified Public Accountant

Photo: City of Richmond

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