Why the threatened rent strike would have a devastating impact on housing supply and workers, not just landlords
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Responding to reports regarding a potential “rent strike” being threatened by a tenant group in the San Diego area, the Southern California Rental Housing Association (SCRHA) is raising awareness of the severe negative impact such an action would have on rental property-related jobs and the local housing supply.
Rent strikes have been proposed in various areas of the United States – as well as some spots in Europe and other parts of the world – among people who feel they should not have to pay rent because of the mandatory COVID-19 shutdown.
“Everyone loses in a rent strike – not just the landlord,” said SCRHA Board President Kendra Bork. “The unintended consequences of a rent strike would be to take away jobs and income from the workers who are on the front lines of this crisis.”
SCRHA Executive Director Alan Pentico said many rental property owners and managers recognize that the crisis is impacting tenants, and many are working with tenants who have lost income to provide flexibility or adjust terms. Meanwhile, he noted, tenants have received increased protections in recent weeks. On March 27, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order halting evictions statewide for renters impacted by the pandemic. Various local jurisdictions have enacted their own tenant protections, as well.
“We are greatly concerned about the discussions taking place of a potential ‘rent strike,’ which would be not only illegal, but devastating to small, independent operators in the rental housing industry and would have a ripple effect of hurting the people who work in rental property-related jobs,” Pentico said. “Non-payment of rent could unfairly hurt the people who work in our rental housing industry and would damage our housing supply, both now and in the future.”
The consequences of a rent strike would be severe, impacting the owner’s ability to pay essential employees: managers, custodians, maintenance technicians, painters, landscapers, pool service personnel, trash disposal personnel and others. Many of these jobs are designated as essential during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis because they provide health and safety services on these properties.
Kendra Bork, 2020 President of the Southern California Rental Housing Association and CFO of Cambridge Management Group, explained why you should not participate in, nor support the threatened rent strike amid the coronavirus pandemic.