Ian – Memo to Vancouver: Whenever someone says that nothing can be done to make Vancouver more affordable … they’re wrong.

Paris

Rent control laws in the city of Paris are doing exactly what they were designed to do. That’s what France’s Minister for Housing, Emmanuelle Cosse, has been saying in recent celebratory interviews to the French media. …

According to figures released by Paris’s Rent Observatory this week, 30 percent of the city’s new residential rental contracts signed over the past year have come in lower than the previous contract for the same properties. …

In zones of high demand—a.k.a. the cities of Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Montpellier, Ajaccio and Arcachon—all rental contracts are overseen by an official observatory. This observatory estimates and fixes a median rent per square meter for a given area, separating the district’s real estate into price bands based on whether it’s furnished and the number of rooms.

No future rental contract is allowed to charge more than 20 percent more than the fixed median rent for the apartment’s price band. This not only (in theory) prevents galloping rent rises, it also provides prospective tenants with a clear marker of how much landlords have the right to charge.

That’s how it is supposed to work, at least. In practice, reports from real estate agents (who opposed the law) suggest that landlords are still getting away with charging too much in some areas. This is because it’s up to tenants to complain, and in certain areas many of them are prepared to pay extra to get the right apartment.

Still, even amid reports of overcharging, the overall proportion of overpriced apartments is falling, so the law is clearly having some effect even if informing tenants of their rights has remained an issue.

 

From Scot:

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More in the New York Post here.