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http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2...erm-mix-at-capitol-hills-st-johns-apartments/

A 22-unit Capitol Hill apartment building at Harvard and Pike is affordable to locals, accessible to mostly culturally conscious visitors, and — so far — sustainable as a real estate investment. Over the past 13 years, management of the St. John’s Apartments might have stumbled upon a novel solution to a small part of Seattle’s affordability crisis.
Today, studio and one-bedroom units in the building are priced at $850 or below. Meanwhile, seven of the units are available for short term rental for between around $80 a night to $200 for the larger two bedroom spaces.
However owners of properties won’t be allowed to have more than 3 units of short term rental under the new rules and regulations set up by the city. Here is a situation where the owners are doing a very admirable job of making housing affordable, but city regulations will stifle it. I imagine few owners are as generous as these owners, but perhaps the city can craft an amendment to their new policy?
 

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I don't think a new vague thread is needed for this topic (even just put it in Planning rant thread) but just these few recent Seattle laws are harming housing and decent landlords all in an effort to push everything but rent control:
Rental Registration Ordinance
First Applied, First Approved
Deposit timing and amount limits

Potential landlords like me are dissuaded from investing in rental properties and offering them to others. Current landlords are leaving the business.
 

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Current landlords are leaving the business? Are you kidding? The only landlords leaving the business are those near retirement and wanting to cash in on huge equity gains. These small attempts by the city to treat tenants fairly and to limit the transformation of urban core housing into de facto motels is nothing compared to the regulations landlords cope with in other cities. To much Drama Queen-ism on this thread. Shut it down.

(BTW - how many affordable housing units existed in this building BEFORE the current owners bought it? 30? 40? It may have been rundown, but it was working for people of limited means. Now there are 15 units used for permanent housing.)
 

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Not only are small landlords leaving the business there are plenty not getting into the business. Ask anyone you know who has significant cash to invest (in this case I'm thinking a few hundred grand minimum) and especially with stock market so high - real estate is an obvious answer. I just bought a rental cabin on Whidbey instead of putting my money to work in Seattle. South Whidbey (north probably too) has its own housing crisis but at least county government isn't making it extra bad.
 

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I have a feeling apartment building owners are zero-sum - if one leaves, someone else will buy it and supply isn't affected (except that you're somewhat discouraging building new apartments). But on the "single" family home side it's another story.

I looked at moving a few years back, and one home had a cheap rental in the basement. A quick search told me that previous tenants had complained to the city multiple times about small things - getting them free rent and keeping them from being evicted. Good for them, but if I'd bought it I'd probably just convert it back to a play room and not deal with the hassle.

A neighbor recently moved in across the street from me and converted the grandfathered-in duplex to a SF home. I think this was for similar reasons, and now that unit is gone forever (it is not legal to re-establish a duplex in SF zoning).

This kind of thing surely happens all over the city. Yes, there are heartbreaking stories of bad landlords making life hard for their tenants. But with too strong of tenant protection laws the effects are much more diffuse - shutting down a unit drives everyone's rent up, and physically evicts some family from the city (you just don't always know which one).
 

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Two notes on the OP's article:
1) Setting rental rates at lower than equilibrium supply/demand opens up to subletting at market rates. That's Econ 101. Even if I had a studio for 850 (not even talking about the $200 studio) in Cap Hill I'm subleasing it out to someone else who wants to pay market and I'll pocket the difference as income. And if the city wants to prohibit subletting after arguing for affordable housing, that's stupid.
2) "forced altruism" is bad. Let me do good things like charging way below market rates for people because I want to, not because I have to.
 
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