Stop Commercial Rent Control

Write to your elected officials now and tell them that you oppose the City Council’s commercial rent control legislation ( Intro. No. 847 )

The longest recession in sixty years has driven down the city’s tax revenue and driven up job losses. Commercial property has seen rents plummet and vacancies skyrocket as tenants adapt to rapidly changing market conditions. Now the city council wants to give tenants a right to stay in their space indefinitely and force building owners to renew a tenant’s lease at an amount established by an arbitrator.

The council sponsors of this legislation prefer to call it the “Small Business Survival Act” and allege that it simply provides for the arbitration of commercial rents. However, hidden in the bill are provisions that would allow a tenant to reject the determination of the arbitrator, to remain in the space with a rent increase of 5% and to be given the right of first refusal for the lease terms negotiated by a prospective new tenant.

This legislation would wipeout the owner’s right to operate his building in the most appropriate and professional manner, would undermine the building owner’s ability to negotiate a fair market rent, would jeopardize the financial stability of the property and would lower property taxes to the city.

Commercial rent control would lead to the disinvestment in property and the deterioration of commercial neighborhoods, similar to the destructive impact residential rent control had on housing and neighborhoods.