At the quarterly meeting of DeKalb Area Renters Association (DARA), the topic of Rent Control was addressed by William ‘Will’ Heinisch, State Representative from DARA with the Illinois Rental Property Owners Association (IRPOA).
Rent control reduces landlords’ incentives to rent out apartments. This means that rent control in a city keeps apartments ‘available for rent’ scarce. Demand skyrockets for the few quality available apartments. Unable to respond to rising demand in the logical way–raising price–landlords impose conditions on renters, and this restriction begets more restriction, making many units and landlords difficult to deal with.
Rent control was created as a government program that can place a limit on the amount that a landlord can charge for leasing a home/apartment or for renewing a lease. Rent control laws can be enacted by municipalities or states and the details vary widely. Rent Control is intended to keep living costs affordable for lower-income residents, and there are no incentives to make improvements and upgrades.
Pretty much every economist agrees that rent controls are bad. Rent-controlled apartments cause stagnation. Tenants paying below-market prices for apartments are unlikely to move, even for higher wages or better jobs. This suppresses long-term economic growth, marginally disincentivizes the rent-controlled tenant’s instinct to find any work when unemployed, and depresses neighborhoods’ development overall.
In the City of DeKalb, there are already many low rent apartments (similar to the Hunter Group) that are not kept up in standards demanded by families wanting quality living conditions. Having Rent Control would increase these types of dwellings and not the enhancement of the economic standards most communities desire.
Members of IRPOA are encouraging property owners to contact Illinois State Senators and Representatives and encourage them to vote no on House Bill 0255.