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The Lockean Project

Rental registry

“Rental registry”, Carmel Pine Cone – Nov. 10, 2023

So having a City of Monterey rental registry will do what? Monterey Mayor Tyller Williamson stated that “housing is a human right.” The city council seems to have agreed, since it voted 4-1 to support a rental registry. Why?

This registry will provide the city with a lot of personal and even private information from landlords and tenants at an estimated cost of $400,000 per year. But where is it explained how this step — which a casual observer must see as a first step toward rent control — increases and/or improves the availability or affordability of the housing stock in Monterey?

In law and economics, we ask, “Cui Bono?” — “Who benefits?” How will this registry help landlords? How will it help renters?

This adventure in municipal “governance” must be seen as a power grab. Is this exercise not a violation of private property rights? Landlords will pay the $400,000 and may pass only half along to renters … so $200,00 from landlords is desirable and $200,000 from renters is desirable … because? This needs to be explained.

Is any attention to be paid to existing laws/rules/regulations/historical realities/geography/weather and the shape/happenstance of the Peninsula and how each of those factors plays into the availability, i.e., the supply and demand, of housing? This seems to be an important enough issue, that I suggest the Monterey City Council table this regulation and submit it to a referendum as to why a registry is needed at all.

Given the attendance at the meetings, it is obvious that a significant controversy existed and exists. The council ought not to be in the business of essentially telling the (assumed greedy) landlords to keep quiet and bend the knee.

Anonymous, Monterey