Journalist Jeong Park was asked to pay close to $12,000 to move into apartment, including five months rent.
Finding a house to rent is becoming near impossible with skyrocketing rent prices. With coronavirus eviction moratoriums coming to an end, rent prices have started to shoot up, despite there being no value addition to homes. Finding affordable homes was already hard but higher rent prices are making it increasingly difficult for people to find affordable housing. Journalist Jeong Park perfectly summed up how crazy the market was getting as he tried to find a new home in Los Angeles. Park had found a nice place and intimated the same to the management company in the hope he could move in soon.
He asked the company to check with the owner about the terms to avail the place but was stunned by the terms of the landlord. "Manager has given an offer for approval, his terms are as follows: 6 months rent due upon move-in. The unit does have a 1-month free special, so it would be 5 months' worth of rent that will cover you for 6 months," read the message. "A security deposit of $3100. In total, this would come out to $11,575 to move in." Park was shocked at being asked 6 months rent in advance and the steep rent.
The demands seemed a little too steep for the management company as well. "We understand this is a lot, unfortunately, we don't have a say in management's approval," they noted before adding that CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program coming to an end was the reason why landlords were jacking up prices and even becoming the norm. "Due to the CA moratorium being extended, stricter approval terms are becoming more and more common. Please let me know if you would like to accept this offer. If so, We can hop on a phone call and sort out the details. Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you," ended the note.
An agency once tried to get me to pre-pay rent.— Oneironaut (@Oneironautilus) March 16, 2022
I said to them "Then what collateral do I retain to ensure you keep your end of the bargain?"
They went very quiet very quick.
The tweet went viral garnering more than 30k likes in a short period as it resonated with many. It seemed almost impossible that one would have $12k to spare to pay 6 months of rent in advance. After a few people suggested it might be illegal to demand 6 months' rent, Park did a little digging and found out the law was ambiguous and thus favoring the landlord. "This subdivision does not prohibit an advance payment of not less than six months’ rent if the term of the lease is six months or longer," read the reported law pertaining to the matter. The keywords are 'does not prohibit an advance payment' and thus enabling the landlord to call the shots. "I realize that’s how the legislature (or maybe the landlord lobby) wrote it, but that is a tremendously confusing sentence," noted one person.
As a former resident of K-Town, they've been working to gentrify East Hollywood for awhile now, especially because the former rapidly gentrified and got pretty expensive.— Self Help & How to Guides For the Apocalypse (@ljmontello) March 16, 2022
These management groups & investors are determined to buy up the whole city to rent for obscene prices.
Many others joined in to complain about the skyrocketing prices of rent and about landlords themselves. "Dude in Seattle refused to rent a 300 sqft apartment to my wife and I because we didn't have $30000 upfront. Sh*t is evil," one person said. "This is how gainfully employed people end up homeless," added another. One landlord weighed in on the matter. "I’m a landlord (7 units) in a big NE city. I keep my rents at 5% below market rate, charge one month’s security and one month’s advance rent which is credited back at the end of the lease. I was flexible during Covid. Know what I get? Great, long-term tenants. Greed is bad biz." Another pointed out that landlords often charged higher with no value addition whatsoever. "The common response to a renter who has just had his rent increased — Renter: Why did my rent go up $500/month? What changed? Landlord: The market changed. Now, I can charge $500 more each month," they commented. "We’re all gonna be homeless soon enough," wrote one person.
I cannot BELIEVE they used the moratorium as a reason to be MORE unforgiving with rent holy shit— Raksha #FreePrakashChuraman (@raxsha) March 16, 2022