Seattle landlords selling their properties – could it happen here?

The University of Washington just released a rental housing study commissioned by the City of Seattle that the Rental Hosing Association of Washington says “supports what landlords have been telling [Seattle] officials for years”.  Among the findings were the following:

  • 89% of survey respondents said that the landlords’ perspective is not considered by Seattle officials
  • 40% of survey respondents said that legislation targeting landlords has led to and is leading to an increase in owners selling rental properties.

That is confirmed by one landlord in Seattle who sold his unit because of Seattle’s laws with respect to security deposits.  Does this sound familiar?  Could it happen here?

With all of the pro-tenant chatter we have been hearing, it is not hard to believe that Chicago (and Illinois) are becoming even more of a tenants’ paradise.  Landlords are constantly fighting with the onslaught of rising taxes and utility charges in addition to a legislative environment where rent control is very much on the horizon in addition to the already tenant-slanted Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance and unduly ineffective eviction timelines.

Landlords are getting fed up.  And when that happens, they sell.  And when they sell, unless they sell to another landlord, rental housing supply does what?  It goes DOWN.  And when rental housing supply goes down, what happens?  Rent goes UP.  And, of course, that’s why the Chicago City Council wants to impose rent control (or tricks like Alderman Moreno’s proposed amendment to require long notices for rent increases).  Do you think Chicago takes the landlord perspective into account?  Is it possible that once progressive politicians succeed in removing the prohibition on rent control and Chicago institutes its version, that Chicago landlords will not run for the hills?  Honestly, how much more will Chicago landlords endure?

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