The City of College Park’s limit on rent for rented units not in apartment buildings under the city’s “rent stabilization ordinance,” was recently lowered to 0.8% of a house’s assessed value, down from 1%. The change has sparked debate covered by today’s Diamondback. City council members argue, accurately, that the law restricts the amount of rent landlords can charge in the city. Students and landlords argue, also accurately, that the intent of the law is to discourage properties from being rented to begin with. In fact, the law itself (Chapter 127 of the city code) states in its purpose section that its intent is to reduce “the number of single-family homes that are rental properties.”
RCP co-founder David Daddio has described how the combined effect of the ordinance with owner-occupancy requirements on new housing has suppressed student housing in the city. A lawsuit filed by students and landlords against the City Council and Mayor Stephen Brayman is currently pending. Although exorbitant rents are clearly a problem, we have long maintained the bigger problem is the simple lack of enough rental housing near to the university.