Tired of Luxury Apartment Buildings? Existing Property Owners Have to do Their Share to Stay Competitive.
I’ve lived in the L.A. area for the better part of 6 years. Since arriving in L.A. by way of San Diego, I did what a lot of people who rent in this area do, look for the best price, while ignoring the condition of the property. After all, I’ve come to expect high rents in Southern California, living here most of my life.
However, after residing in a building constructed in the 1930s, and owned by the children of the family who bought it all that time ago, my attitude toward “affordable” properties quickly began to sour.
Let’s define what “affordable” means for the Southern California area. Many buildings in the area are at the very least 30 years old. Aged and poorly maintained apartment buildings, offering no amenities whatsoever, are renting for a minimum of $2,000 per month in most cases.
I lived in two such buildings, overseen by an on-site “Manager”. I use the term manager very loosely. The individuals I dealt with gave little to no effort in keeping up the cleanliness and maintenance of the properties in question. The managers were either unemployed or under-employed, and did the best they could to maintain their either reduced or rent free living arrangement, mostly at the expense of the paying tenants around them. Any request for repair or service was either ignored or in certain cases met with outright hostility. Their attitude was “if you’re not paying $3,000 a month in rent you shouldn’t expect a healthy and clean living space that’s well maintained”.
Now we’re starting to see luxury apartment buildings pop up around our city. While the concerns about these developments increasing traffic, and inflating the prices of rent in the area are warranted, arguments against their creation are ignoring what I think is a much bigger problem.
When property owners exploit and abuse tenants, subjecting them to high rents and sub-standard living conditions, the free market will present a solution that may be undesirable.
Yes, Glendale does have a high number of luxury apartment buildings both recently completed and under development. But let’s not ignore the fact these units are often renting for a marginal amount more than people are paying for old, unmaintained buildings offering no amenities. Why should people be expected to pay $2,200 per month for a 2 bedroom unit built in the 1980’s that includes a coin-operated on-site laundry machine as the only amenity?
Many Glendale residents, including myself, are willing to pay more for a brand new unit, with a pool, gym, garage parking, and in-unit washer/dryer. It’s a no-brainer.
If we want the best possible community let us take our power back by taking care of one another. If you own older units, reinvest in your property and keep it up to date. Give people value for what they pay for, and maybe our city won’t continue to play host to large luxury developments.
Opinions stated in this article are those of the author exclusively, The Glendale Coalition for Better Government does not hold a position on this issue.