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Reader Poll: Should Boston Bring Back Rent Control?

At a recent Boston City Council meeting, Councilor-at-large Althea Garrison requested a hearing on rent control as a way to combat the housing crisis in Boston.

Garrison supports rent control, saying residents are being evicted at high rates and landlords need to be held accountable. She said low-income families are often forced to rent at extreme high costs.

Other councilors spoke out against rent control, saying it hurts small landlords who rent their units out for under market price value and can’t afford to make improvements to the property like new paint or windows.

What do you think? Should Boston bring back rent control? Vote in our poll and add your comments in the section below.

Web polls are unscientific and reflect only those who choose to participate. polls do not have any official significance and are only intended for the interest of our readers.

9 Replies to “Reader Poll: Should Boston Bring Back Rent Control?

  1. Sorry, but I have yet to see landlords renting under the market rate in the North End. Could someone please tell me where these unicorn apartments are?

    1. I think you misunderstood. The reference is stating that with rent control, landlords need to price units below supply/demand market rates, and as such don’t make enough for the upkeep on an apartment. Basically they’re saying that rent control ultimately leads to rundown apartments because landlords don’t have the incentive or capital to put money back into the units.

      1. I think it’s funny how you phrase supply/demand market rates. I think what you’re trying to say is “unaffordable to the vast majority of people”.

      2. Also, believe me, I live in a rundown apartment in the North End and my rent is certainly at supply/demand rates. So why is there mold in my bathroom? If I’m paying good money, shouldn’t it not be a hazard?

    2. I believe that rent control protects existing tenants, not someone who is moving in. The tennant is protected against a landlord slamming them with a big increase from one year to the next. There is no protection for someone wanting to rent an apartment, they will pay the market rates. They dumped it in Cambridge a number of years ago because that is high turnover rental market. Their findings were that it actually drove market rates higher as landlords would try to. recoup lost income and lay an increase on the incoming tenant. Also, their was a lot of fraud where someone would rent a controlled unit and sublet the unit for profit. This of course breaks the lease, but the courts were clogged with lease-break cases.

      1. You are exactly right about Cambridge. At this same time, I rented on Charles St. Boston, After a few years, the landlord sold the building, and the non-rent controlled apts. skyrocketed, tripled. Some Boston landlords with few apts. could not upgrade or upkeep during this time, but it was indeed good for the tenants, I eventually moved; the new owner wanted my apt. I moved to Charles River Park where the rent was reasonable, Friends did too to CRP, then bought. There were too few available, reasonable apartments on the Hill to rent, if any. All in all, I think it might be a good idea for rent control at this time for a limited time, but then, I am not an economist.

        1. Not saying that rent control is necessarily bad, just that rules neeed to be carefully thought through. There have been ocassions where rent control back fired and made things worse. In coming up with new regulations, old policies need to be studied well so that history doesn’t repeat.

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