A blog post from WIrecutter over at Knuckledraggin My Life Away brings us a story about how California landlords are charging fees for parking spots, trash pickup, pest control, use of a mailbox and routine maintenance requests everything they can think of. This is the only sensible response that landlords (or any business) has when a government has inflationary policies coupled with price controls.

The entire situation was created with the double whammy of the eviction moratorium and tax increases. In my area, you can add large increases to property insurance. Any business that has increased costs must recoup those costs by increasing prices. The government responded to that by enacting price controls (rent control). In places all over the nation, landlords are being told what they can charge for rent, even as the costs like property taxes, interest rates, and insurance continue to climb.

So landlords are responding in exactly the way that I predicted they would- they are looking for new revenue streams by charging for perks that used to be gratis. Here is what I said on the matter nearly two years ago when communities in Florida were talking about rent control:

If rent control is enacted, there are steps I can take: Each year, I will raise rents by the highest permitted under the new law. On top of that:

– I will no longer provide lawn service as a part of rent. That will shift $900 a year of expense to the tenant.
– I will no longer provide a free washer and dryer. I will recommend a company that will rent the tenant one at an additional cost, if they don’t have one. That company will be owned by me. The going rate for that is $144 a month.
– I currently pressure wash the outside of the property twice a year. I can push that off to the tenant, and make it their responsibility as a part of cleaning.
There are many ways that I can maintain profitability. Just taking the three steps above will have the effect of increasing the cost of renting by 15 percent without increasing the rent itself.

Landlords will have to be creative.

The list is endless. I can have parking stickers made, and I can charge you $15 per month for each sticker. Any car parked on the property had better have a sticker, or there will be a $50 fee charged per day for not having a sticker. If the fee isn’t paid, cars without stickers will be towed. I’m not a jerk, though. Parking in the garage will still be included in the rent.

I offer my tenants a lot of free perks- washer and dryer, lawn and pest control, all included in rent. Many landlords offer similar perks. Some rent furnished homes and include the furniture in the rent. I can see rent for furniture being an extra fee. Perhaps extra fees for things like a refrigerator, a stove, or a dishwasher. Florida law requires rental properties to have functional heating, but not air conditioning. There can be extra fees charged for use of the air conditioner.

This is a situation that was created entirely by government. Businesses respond in a rational way to price controls and increasing costs. Government officials and idiot liberals don’t seem to understand that.


Steve · September 11, 2023 at 1:16 pm

I would say that they do count on it (Alinsky tactics), and are counting on the landlords to react that way. Then the landlords can be painted as Scrooge McBucks “packing their wallet with the monies taken from the poor renters.” That of course requires further gov’t intervention (and votes from the renters) “to fix the problem”. And round & round it goes…

EN2 SS · September 11, 2023 at 1:28 pm

Government officials and idiot liberals know exactly what they are doing, it is part of their plan to destroy this country. Well, finish this country off, it has already effectively been destroyed, but is just too big to fail suddenly. The suddenly part is coming soon.

Brian · September 11, 2023 at 3:09 pm

I wonder if the “landlords” the article/new segment are big corporation types and not small landlords who only have a house or two. The whole article constantly said landlords without mentioning any specific places.

mike fink · September 11, 2023 at 7:50 pm

Remember when they regulated that a standard toilet used too much water when flushed and mandated new toilets that only had a whimpy flush? It did not occur to the enemy that people would simply keep flushing until they were satisfied, and that they would ultimately use more water in doing so then if big gov had just minded its own business.

    Anon · September 14, 2023 at 6:23 am

    This occurs in other places as well. My gas bill, which is govt controlled, is full of little charges: delivery fee, line maintenance fee, transfer fees, fuel adjustment charges. All because .gub is controlling the price of the actual gas I use…….companies gotta make revenue somewhere….

Lenny Ladner · September 12, 2023 at 4:42 am

As expenses go up.
Rents go up.
Renters get pushed out of their apartments.

Guess what happens?
Big monopolies buy the properties or the government buys them.. Then the government houses illegal aliens in these apartment complexes.

TheMan · September 12, 2023 at 6:47 am

Maybe they can all just file bankruptcy on their rent payments. It worked well for you.

    Divemedic · September 12, 2023 at 10:24 am

    OK you and your entire IP address were banned from this site a year and a half ago, and I still keep having to weed out your stupid personal attacks from posting. Now you are putting in fake names and email addresses to post anyhow. You are not welcome to post here, Hedge.
    Your story keeps changing. You owned a marijuana farm, where you were making 6 figures. Then you said you worked for a resort company. I know that you are really at University of Oklahoma, where you have been since arriving in the US from Egypt. Do I need to go on, or is that enough to show that I am only not doxxing you because I am trying to be kind?
    Just go away, I have had enough of your shit. I work long hours and have run out of patience with you. This is you, though, isn’t it?

      TCK · September 12, 2023 at 6:12 pm

      I vaguely remember ‘Hedge’ from a while back, but now I’m thinking the overall story is more interesting than I thought. Would it be too much trouble to give some more details?

        Divemedic · September 13, 2023 at 8:13 pm

        He was a minor annoyance because he kept coming here and making personal attacks. He claimed at various times to own a legal marijuana growing operation, work at a resort, and other things. He kept bragging about how he made six figures, lots of outrageous stuff. I got tired of the personal attacks and warned him several times. It kept up, so he had the distinction of becoming the first person to be banned from the new site for reasons other than being a spammer.

        He didn’t accept a ban, and has kept trying to insult and goad me. He is one of the reasons why I have considered going to a free registration in order to post. I’ve finally had enough. He isn’t even a US citizen.

          TCK · September 14, 2023 at 1:48 am

          Thanks for responding, I remember the part about the bragging, but hadn’t realized just how much of a nuisance he’d been. I guess some people just have too much time on their hands.

Bear Claw · September 12, 2023 at 3:31 pm

Funny. In Oklahoma if you want a substandard education you go where he went. He also lives in an area considered a poverty zone so he is probably one of those parasitical leaches.

Tenants and Bankruptcy – Area Ocho · September 13, 2023 at 11:11 am

[…] was posting under a fake name because he was trying to evade a ban and is thus a complete asshole, Hedge (posting as “TheMan”) raised an interesting point, one that I am sure he didn’t seriously […]

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