It’s the kind of story which fosters sympathy for government intervention in the market. From ABC Eyewitness News in Chicago:
A San Francisco man is fighting to stay in his apartment, after his landlord suddenly hiked his rent from $1,800 a month to $8,000.
The tenant has appealed this incredible rent hike to the [San Francisco Rent Board], but it may be too late…
… They’ll decide in early August or so. But suddenly, the landlord served an eviction notice. Hutchinson now has to get out by July 21, weeks before that decision comes.
The circumstances suggest there may be more to the story than meets the eye. It seems unlikely that the housing market suddenly called for a 400% increase in rent. Couple that with the promptness of the eviction notice and it appears the landlord may have something against this tenant.
The question remains: so what? Is it the role of government at any level to tell a property owner how he may dispose of his property? Morally, no. Legally, such controls remain an ever-present reality.