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The Dirt on an Illegal Rent Hike

Posted by John Hathorn on March 5, 2021
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It hasn’t been easy for anyone during the pandemic, and certainly isn’t helping an already strained relationship between renters and their landlords.

Santa Monica is taking aim at landlords who are accused of skirting special protections for renters that have been enacted because of the coronavirus pandemic. The city announced last Friday that it charged the owners of an apartment building on Euclid St. with illegally increasing the rent of a tenant by more than 10 percent during a state of emergency.

WS Communities LLC and 1433 Euclid Street LLC face three counts of price gouging after being accused of raising the rent of a tenant from $865 a month to $2,336 in February 2020 and then to $3,000 in March and April 2020, according to a city statement. “The tenant paid the increased rental amounts under protests,” the statement said. The companies are scheduled to be arraigned in court on March 24. I’m curious to read what their reasoning is for raising the rent.

California prohibits landlords from increasing the rental price of a housing unit (even if it does not fall under a rent control protection) by 10 percent if the governor, local officials or the president of the United States has declared a state of emergency, city officials said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on March 4, 2020, in response to COVID, that remains in place. Former President Donald Trump also declared the pandemic a national emergency in March.


DID YOU KNOW?  U.S. Treasury yields are climbing, signaling growing market confidence that an economic recovery is close, following the COVID pandemic. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.369%, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond advanced to 2.162%. Yields move inversely to prices. Interest rates are head up!

DID YOU KNOW?  Bitcoin’s value plummeted 17% in one day earlier this week. Crypto has had quite the run in the past year. Can you imagine if the DOLLAR plummeted 17% in one day? Or what if your home’s value moved up and down so dramatically every week?

DID YOU KNOW? 65% of the members of TIGER 21, an elite multimillionaires club with an average of $100 million in assets, expect the stock market to end 2021 even higher. Real estate remains the largest chunk of portfolios, at 27%.  Industrial real estate “is on fire,” particularly distribution centers that form the backbone of the internet delivery chain. Investing in workforce housing is also popular, including converting limited-service hotels. Those units could be garden apartments around cities aimed at tenants making about $50,000 a year in stable jobs. What members do not feel is hot is hedge funds, which have steadily shrunk from being 7% to 9% of portfolios a decade ago to 3%, the lowest percentage ever. Why? High ANNUAL fees.

DID YOU KNOW? Of the $123.6 billion in U.S. VC funding in 2020, $26.4 billion went to Silicon Valley, $20 billion to San Francisco, and $67 billion to California.  The employment growth rate of the top 15 largest tech employers in Denver (14.7%) and Sacramento (14.5%) were nearly four times that of the Bay Area’s 3.7%. (Marketwatch)

In your 90402 Real Estate News…there has been lots of activity over the last two weeks!

Seven new listings came on the market:

552 Stassi Lane– Listed at $5,440,000. This is brand new construction, 4,000 sqft architectural with some views only from the roof deck.

332 Entrada Drive– Listed for $2,695,000. Mid-century bungalow ready for updating on a very private, flat 6,000 sqft lot. Last sold in 2007 of $1.6M.

224 24th Street– Listed for $3,995,000. This one came on the market a year ago for a few months at $4,295,000. They ended up leasing it instead. It is back now and hoping to sell quickly. Charming Colonial with good bones and nearly 3,800 sqft of living space plus a pool. I think this will sell in the 4’s.

340 Mesa Road– Listed for $2,395,000. Little 2 bedroom canyon bungalow on a 3,900 sqft lot. Last sold in 1999 for $885,000. Tiny little home just around the corner from Rustic Park.

522 9th Street– Listed for $5,600,000. Built in 2003 this 3700sqft, 5 bedroom home with pool has been leased many times over the years and is now offered for sale.

231 16th Street– Listed for $5,549,000. Charming and updated traditional home. Nearly 3,700 sqft with 4 bedrooms. Last sold in 2011 for $2,750,000.

501 19th Street– Re-Listed at a still aspirational price of $5,990,000. Large 10,500, corner lot with a 5,800 sqft house, ready for updating. Originally listed in December for $7,089,000.

Four properties went under contract:

295 Mabery RoadListed by yours truly for $3,595,000. This great mid-century architectural received an excellent offer after just one week on the market with an even better back-up offer in place!

509 21st Place– Listed at $5,150,000. Was only on the market for 10 days! This one outperformed everyone’s expectations.

458 26th Street– Listed at 2,998,000. Was on the market for about two weeks!

425 23rd Street– Listed at $6,295,000. As expected, this unique home went under contract after just a couple weeks on the market. Inside joke – “I never liked this house”.

Three Sold:

728 26th StreetListed by our very own Shann Silver, this home sold with multiple offers for $2,582,100. Nearly 90k over asking!

528 Marguerita Avenue- Sold by Pence Hathorn Silver for $5,400,000. Originally listed for $5,650,000.

1508 Georgina Avenue– Sold for $7,000,000. Originally listed for $6,795,000.

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