Increasing evidence of rent control legislation and mounting pressures to enact more laws prompted the nation's realtors to take a strong position here today against what was called "a non-solution" that affects all property owners.
Norman D. Flynn, a rental property executive in Madison, Wisc., and chairman of the ad hoc committee on rent control for the convening National Association of Realtors, said that rent controls now are in effect in more than 250 U.S. cities. But he pointed out that rent control legislation was defeated when put on the ballot in Madiscn and Ann Arbor. Mich.
Flynn and other speakers on a panel insisted that rent controls tend to push more of the burden of increasing taxes on owners of single residences because the control of rents tends to lower the market value of apartment buildings.
Panelist Paul Maihan of the NAR research staff in Washington added that a study of recent tax increases in D.C., which has had rent control since 1974, showed that assessment on single houses increased approximately eight times more than did taxing valuatons on apartment buildings in one recent year.
Raymond J. Howar, the third panelist and a Washington rental property owner and member of the Tenant-Landlord Commission in the District, said that voter pressure resulted in the continuation of rent controls, which are causing rental property owners to have less money available for maintenance and repairs. He also memtioned an increasing tendency of rental apartment owners to sell them to redevelopers who turn hotels.
A realtor spokesman said the organized real estate brokers plan to take their case against rent controls to all levels of government -- but particularly to the Congress.
In discussing rent controls and his fight against them in D.C. for orgainzed owners, Howar insisted that tenants in upper income buildings get diminshed services when returns to owners are lessened. Also, he said in informal discussion after the panel, tenants on fixed income are deserving of "some form of community or federally paid subsidy" in order to be able to pay rents which assure both a reasonable return to landlords and an incentive to keep up rental buildings and build new ones.
Although he ded not make the point in his prepared remarks, Howar responded to a question concerning how much of a rent increase is "fair" by staying that he personally is of the opinion that any annual increases permitted in rent al property owners have insisted that increases permitted in rents have failed to keep pace with CPI