South Pasadena City Councilmember Diana Mahmud said there are multiple sides to the issue, sticking with Khubesrian argument of complexity. According to Mahmud, increased property taxes for landlords as a result of proposition 13, the fact that the apartment complex has been under market rates for a long time and years of ill maintenance have forced apartment manager Jerry Wise to impose higher rents.
“The issue of whether or not to consider inaction of a rent control or a rent stabilization ordinance is very, very complex,” Mahmud said. She wants the ad hoc committee to look at ordinances passed in Northern California and determine, “whether or not most rent control ordinances are imposed is based on submitting to the electorate or if it is something the city council on its own decides,” before any action is taken.
Furthermore, Mahmud said that rent control cannot be applied to one or two properties on their own, which makes it difficult for any action for tenants at Amberwood. The City of Oakland imposed a 90-day moratorium on rent increases for the entire city early in 2016. In May, the city of Santa Rosa imposed a moratorium on rent for 45 days. So, imposing rent control isn’t impossible but it may take longer than many tenants in South Pasadena want.
It was a small victory for tenants in South Pasadena to negotiate a lower rent increase, yet some residents have already moved out in search of less expensive places to live.