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Comments by lucas

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Posted on April 6 at 7 p.m.

"Landlords in Santa Barbara paid a premium for their rentals. " Maybe that is part of the problem. Maybe they paid too much for their properties. Maybe they did not pay a fair price in the first place. A premium suggests an amount greater than fair value. On the other hand, a large number of landlords inherited their properties free and clear. Its all a matter of record in the recorder's office.

Fair is what a buyer is willing to pay when both buyer and seller are in possession of all the facts. What do you think would happen to the tenant who tries to negotiate the rent based on facts collected from the recorder's office, zoning reports, permits, and compliance to city ordinances regarding the condition of rentals? If your first reaction is a snigger, then you understand there is no competition in this town because the fact have no bearing the rents charged (believe me, landlords with deficient properties ask the same rent as landlords with decent properties).

What on earth does fracking have to do with the subject at hand? If you are resorting to personal attacks and ad hominem, it suggests the poverty of your arguments. Besides, personal attacks violate the discussion guidelines of this forum. Click on the link at the beginning of the comments section for a reminder of those guidelines.

On Sleeping Dogs Tell No Lies

Posted on April 6 at 6:41 p.m.

Where did I say I wanted anything for free? What a strange way to deliberately misconstrue what I have said. No one is asking to live in SB "on the cheap." Pendulum swinging is a logical fallacy. The golden rule is a great philosophy and fosters healthy communities.

Asking the workforce to live elsewhere is impractical. The article says 82% of downtown residents rent. Most are part of the workforce. Think what would happen if jobs really were easy to get, and all those people you wish would move away actually did. Think of all the businesses that would have to close for lack of employees.

By the way, it is too bad the spotlight is on Pini. The brightness of that light means all the other slumlords in SB get to hide in the shadows. They get away with offering crummy rentals for too much money because there is no competition. Tenants cannot vote with their feet and their wallets as they do in healthy communities. It is vicious circle. If there were rental competition, tenants would not need to agitate as Nick suggests. Supply and demand would take care of the problem. As it is, they cannot agitate, because landlords are politically powerful in this town and love the status quo.

The only safe place to agitate is in this ineffective forum, and look at the strange reaction to simply a call for fairness and the golden rule.

On Sleeping Dogs Tell No Lies

Posted on April 6 at 6:24 p.m.

In the downtown area, half of the typical rentals in sunny SB are dark. Often there is no insulation, so it will be cold in winter and hot in summer. I once lived in a downtown place that simply could not be heated warmer than 60 degrees even if you ran the furnace 24/7. In summer, you were at risk for heat stroke. It is difficult to find a place that has both off-street parking AND laundry facilities, often neither is available. There are places that have off-street parking, but tenants are prohibited from using it. There are places that require tenants to park elsewhere during the day. If you are a professional who flies out on a business trip, heaven help you if you are away on street-sweeping day. The condition of rentals runs from decent to hovels. At least half the rentals appear to be illegal according to zoning reports and records in the recorder's office. This is the reality that tenants face looking for a place to live.

Since 1 bedrooms are running about $1500/month or more right now, to qualify, the tenant needs to make about $54,000/year,or about $27/hour. According top Nick's article, most downtown residents do not make that much. Many tenants make maybe one-third of what they need to qualify for a typical 1 bedroom. Income and rent in out of sync mostly because low rental inventory means there is no pressure on landlords to offer decent places at fair prices.

On Sleeping Dogs Tell No Lies

Posted on April 6 at 5:56 p.m.

So botany does not want to rent to anyone who makes less than the median income, and probably only people who make considerably more than the median can afford your places.

On Sleeping Dogs Tell No Lies

Posted on April 6 at 5:47 p.m.

I am not insulting the very few "landlords in this town who do offer good housing and like their tenants." They know who they are, and their units rarely come onto the rental market. Their departing tenants bring them new tenants, so people looking for a place never see their "good housing."

If a landlord wants an excellent long term tenant who always pays rent on time and keeps the place clean, and never has loud parties, I am that tenant. However I expect my rental to be my home, and a landlord who practices the golden rule.

I do not agitate because that would be dangerous as Jarvis acknowledged.

On Sleeping Dogs Tell No Lies

Posted on April 4 at 8:50 p.m.

in "once," the silent e is signalling that the "c" is soft and should be pronounced like /s/, so it is doing one of its 6 jobs.

On Teach the Children — All of Them

Posted on April 4 at 8:28 p.m.

Low income housing is not the only problem. There is also a dearth of affordable housing for median wage earners. If you make $50,000, then using the the salary-three-times-greater-than-rent metric landlords like, "market" rate for a 2/1 rental should be nor more than $1389/month. However, good luck finding a decent 2/1 for that. The lack of rental inventory means landlords can get away with offering crummy rentals for far too much money. They find tenants anyway because contrary to what some people want to believe, living elsewhere and commuting to SB is actually economically impractical in terms of transportation costs in money and time.

On Taking Racism Out of City Elections

Posted on April 4 at 8:02 p.m.

"lack of agitation on behalf of Santa Barbara's tenants" I agree with Nick. Renters should certainly have greater representation in city affairs than they do. However, in SB it is dangerous to agitate. The rental inventory is extremely limited, and even people making greater than $50,000 has to settle for a crummy rental. There is no competition, so there is no incentive for landlords to provide housing they themselves would live in. The tenant that agitates politically faces a real threat of retaliation. The "gots" as Nick calls them are the ones with the power to make the situation a lot more equitable, however many of them (maybe most of them) are landlords who clearly like things the way they are. The common suggestion that the workforce should all live elsewhere is completely impractical.

I know a tenant who has agitated, and even went so far as to submit a detailed report on rental condition to the city council a few years ago, only to most likely end up in the circular file.

Maybe, Nick, an investigative report series is in order.

On Sleeping Dogs Tell No Lies

Posted on April 4 at 7:46 p.m.

"If you are a renter you chose to not have a permanent stake in this community." This comment ignore the reality that even people making more than the median income cannot afford to buy now, and could not afford to buy even a few years ago. Check the demographics of the new voting districts. Nearly all have a greater number of renters than homeowners, sometimes dramatically so, and certainly far more than the national norm. The suggestion that SB has so many renters because of illegal aliens is ludicrous on its face.

On The Challenge of Renting in Santa Barbara

Posted on March 28 at 12:10 p.m.

"...if only wealthy people can live in a given place, who then, will do the manual labor?" Not only manual labor, done by "poor people," but all the labor necessary for healthy society. A few months ago, a mortgage lender published an article in one of the community newspapers analyzing affordability in Goleta. According to her figures, median home price is $803,500. Yearly required pretax household income (assuming a 20% downpayment) is $114,000. That is way more than the median income of SB, and exceeds what 90% of all Americans make. That is why tenancies far outnumber owner occupied homes in Santa Barbara. These tenants have jobs in SB With the lack of rental vacancies in SB, renovation evictions put a huge burden on all tenants, not just the presumed poor ones.

On Evicted Isla Vista Tenants Settle Court Case

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