From the SDCAA: It’s official! We defeated Measure W, one of the most onerous forms of rent control we’ve seen proposed. After a lengthy ballot counting process, the County Registrar of Voters released the final results yesterday.

No on W: 6,115 votes; 50.64%
Yes on W: 5,960 votes; 49.36%

AS WE COME OFF a very contentious mid-term election, one thing remains clear; the battle for rent control in California may have been won, but the war will continue. Yes, that’s me with the No on W sign – looking pretty serious. That picture was taken after the election, however, as I was giving the sign away to a visiting Rotarian as a gift that represents my industry. (I didn’t just give him an old political sign, I also gave him a delicious Julian Apple Pie.) As a member of the apartment association task force opposing rent control in 2018, I gave a number of talks about this contentious subject. We had a solid win at the state level with Prop 10 losing by a wide margin, but the local race in National City painted a much less desirable picture. Measure W in National City failed to pass by a mere 155 votes – or 1/10th of 1%. Very close indeed.

It is clear that the tenants activists will not give up after their recent loss. Here is a quote from a November 16th article in CoStar about Governor Elect Gavin Newsom, “The burden to act returns to the governor and the legislature,” said Christina Livingston, director of tenant group Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. “Californians have shown in poll after poll that they support rent control — putting reasonable limits on rents.” Then there’s the support for rent control by the founder of the Los Angeles based Aids Healthcare Foundation – Michael Weinstein – who supported Prop 10 with $20.5 million. The New York Times reported that Mr. Weinstein said that win or lose, he was not going away. If Proposition 10 fails, he has promised to pay for another bid to repeal the Costa-Hawkins law, possibly in 2020. “I’m kind of like gum on your shoe.”

Where do we go from here? If you’re an apartment building or rental property owner in San Diego, Imperial, or Riverside counties, The San Diego County Apartment Association (SDCAA) remains your strongest advocate. At a membership committee meeting I was a part of this week, we were notified that be prepared, for the fight will continue. If you’re not a member, and you plan to stay in the rental housing business, you should join. They are in the fight daily to protect your interests. If you want to get out of the business, call me, there is still a strong demand from investors looking to purchase apartments for sale in San Diego county. I would be happy to meet with you to discuss exit strategies which defer capital gains and investment opportunities that may increase your cash-flow, Also, consider registering for our next Rental Owner Workshop on January 16th or 19th. We have had very positive feedback from all attendees who are not only tired of the terrible T’s, but are concerned about government interference into their rental business.

As I mentioned in the opening of this article, one thing is crystal clear – as the housing shortage continues in our region, our industry is going to continue to have to fight to protect it’s interests.

Doug Taber, CCIM works with investors who want to build wealth buying or selling apartment buildings and rental properties. Doug can be reached directly at (619) 483-1031 or online at