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Culver City Council Considering Temporary Rent Freeze

image is a for rent sign.Due to the public response to a suggested Rent Freeze in Culver City, Martin Feinberg, Realtor, and many others anticipate a large crowd at Monday’s upcoming Culver City council meeting. The city council meeting is scheduled to include a discussion on a possible Rent Freeze—officially known as a “temporary moratorium on residential rental increases”—along with other tenant protections.

A group calling itself Protect Culver City Renters submitted a flyer to be included in the Council’s Monday night meeting agenda. Though little is known about the group the flyer they provided presents several proposals they wish to see occur. These proposals include a 3% annual cap on rent increases, just cause eviction protections, and relocation assistance when a tenant is evicted through no fault of their own.

Rents are already high in southern California and are likely to continue to climb. Culver City was declared the 5th most expensive city in California to rent in by Zumper in January of this year. Rent in the Culver City Real Estate area also has the second largest monthly growth rate, increasing 4.9%. High rent is difficult for tenants to juggle, but rent freezes can have their own problems.

High rents are typically caused by housing shortages as well as excessive government regulations. Rebecca Diamond conducted a study on rent control in San Francisco titled “The Effects of Rent Control Expansion on Tenants, Landlords, and Inequality: Evidence from San Francisco”. In it she states:

“[Rent control] can create big distortions of forcing people to stay in the ‘wrong’ apartment. You can imagine an old lady living in a four- bedroom apartment because it’s so much cheaper than a one bedroom, and on the flip side you can imagine a young person who has kids staying in a studio because they can’t pay super expensive rent elsewhere.”

Image is a woman's hand holding a fountain pen while using a calculator.Though rent prices may be more stable, a rent freeze can increase housing shortages and cause different problems by keeping people in units that would be best suited for someone else. However, according to tenant advocacy groups, rent freezes do help preserve diversity and protect vulnerable populations.

Local listing agent Martin Feinberg is interested in hearing what the Culver City Council decides to do about the temporary moratorium on residential rental increases at it’s meeting next Monday.