The Heartbreak of Giving Up a Rent-Controlled Apartment

The Heartbreak of Giving Up a Rent-Controlled Apartment

Tess Wilson
Mar 25, 2013

In the 7 years I've lived in San Francisco, my rent has only increased by 7%. My rent is half the city average for a studio apartment and a few hundred less than the price of a room in a multi-bedroom apartment, so though it is near the max of what I can afford to pay, it is a hell of a deal. Any bets on how much the rent will increase when I move out this summer? 

I'm guessing it will at least double. I've heard of rents doubling on much less desirable apartments than mine, and my immediate neighborhood has gotten more and more in-demand. (In other words, there is less and less in my immediate neighborhood that I can afford.) However, though my little apartment is sunny and lovely, the building itself has some glaring flaws that I would hope would be fixed if they were going to charge that much — so perhaps just a 50% increase?

Though I am the master-tenant, my former partner is also on the lease, but declined when I offered to hand the apartment over after I moved out. I would love to sublease it to a close friend, with my landlord's approval, but worry about that complicating a friendship. Maybe it would work out fine, but what happens when they find out that my next door neighbors like to listen to "Insane In The Brain" on repeat on weekend nights? Will I be expected to lower the rent?

I guess the only thing for me to do is to thank my lucky stars — and rent-control laws — that I've been able to afford to live in San Francisco for so long, and in my own dear little apartment, no less. But my hope is that the rent will remain the same, and some other hard-working dreamer will have the chance to live in this beautiful but demanding city.

What have you done in similar situations?

(Image: Nickolay Stanev/Shutterstock. My building is not that fancy.)

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