Remember that couple I mentioned in my Sunday post? They were renting a back apartment in Santa Monica and were forced to move on three weeks notice when the house sold. They did find another apartment in Santa Monica, but it’s become a nightmare. There’s a leaking sewage problem. The sleazy landlord refuses to fix it. The place reeks. Which, as they’ve now learned, is why the previous tenants moved.
This for $1400 a month for a less than 700 sq. ft. apartment in a supposedly enlightened city! Property owners have rights, lots of them. Renters have few or none. My friends may have to move again. Trouble is, this move tapped them out financially. This is how people become homeless. (A brother has offered an apartment in another city to them, but had he not been there…)
Something is seriously wrong when the economic system is so avaricious. It ain’t right. In Cuba, the average rent is 2% of wages. That’s right, 2%. And you don’t get tossed in the streets or reamed by greedhead predator landlords either.
Home prices in the once friendly and affordable Santa Monica are insane. Realtor.com shows 2 bdr / 1 bath homes there start at $800,000, and lemme tell you, for that price, it will be teensy tiny and probably a fixer. A 2 bdr / 1 bath condo is $450,000 and up. It’s all quite mad. Will those buying now using risky interest-only mortgages be able to hold on when interest rates go up? It’s almost a given that many won’t.
Speculators and demand drive up prices. People get greedy. No, I won’t fix the broken sewage line, screw you. If you don’t like it, move. And so our friends may have to.
Sue, a forensic accountant, has turned down jobs in three other areas of L.A. because we can’t afford a house there, and the commute would be too hideous. And that’s for a couple who by most accounts are doing well financially.
Imagine what it’s like here in L.A. for recent immigrants and the poor, those with no money and nothing to fall back on. They are exploited and abused even more. But now such exploitation is happening to the middle class too.