The election is over, most of the signs are still up, but at least the lines are gone. The people have spoken for better or worse and the one thing we can all agree on is - we’re glad it’s over. The impact of the election did have some focus on the rental market and could even impact you as a landlord in the coming months.
Here are six things to know about the election and your rental business:
- The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will most likely be untouched for the next two years. A Democratic controlled House and Republican controlled Senate give us all assurance our elected officials will accomplish very little over the next two years. See previous blog to see the changes in the new tax law.
- California’s Prop. 10 on rent control was defeated. The proposition put before the voters would allow cities in California to expand the reach of rent control. The debate went as high as the gubernatorial race and was supported by one candidate who ultimately was beat out by Gavin Newsom. With the measure’s defeat there is no clear sign of any groups pushing the fight further: however, claim to the effort is California’s estimated average rent being 30% of take home pay.
- Solar - Arizona’s Pop. 127 - failed, but Nevada Question 6 - passes. The Arizona and Nevada measures were to increase the amount of consumed clean energy to 50% by 2030. Landlords in Nevada might see utilities increase, but might also see more incentives to place equipment like solar on their rentals. The measures weren’t solar specific, so incentives could come in a number of fashions including energy efficient appliances.
- ‘Just Cause” - is under attack in Tacoma where City Council is considering increase legislation to give more rights to tenants. ‘Just cause” traditionally is used across the country for tenants with verbal or month-to-month rentals. It allows the landlord to evict the tenant on a number of grounds for a quick eviction. Tenant advocates are fighting for a longer period of notice time before the tenants must vacate.
- Short term rentals have taken a beating and in the Bay area two specific landlords are paying out $2.5M for violating city ordinance in getting registered as a short term rental. More cities are moving towards regulating the short term rental space, which is putting pressure on prices. This is worth all landlords watching as regulating long term rentals with a registry and fee isn’t a far move from short term rentals.
- Scooters are finding more support than rejections. Scooters might seem like a transportation issue and not related to your rental, but they’re actually a closer ride to each other than you think. Whether it means scooters lying about on the sidewalks of your rental neighborhood or transportation to the local bus, scooters have drawn interest from the community and candidates. Scooters have proven in cities such as Portland, Oregon to reduce traffic congestion in the downtown area and in Memphis to increase revenue for local small businesses. The closer your renters are to convenient resource the better your rental is at attracting renters which means higher rent. Amenities such as bike lanes or paths may actually be a bigger selling point then once thought.