Tenants and property owners speak on rent control during city council meeting

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Rent control was a hot topic during Monday night’s city council meeting. Hundreds of people showed up and spoke out both in favor and against the idea.

But, rent control wasn’t on the agenda. Instead, the city was considering sending a letter — asking the state Legislature if it would repeal the decades-long ban on rent control.

Renters and property owners explained the real impacts this has had on their lives. 

Multiple tenants spoke out about rent rising:

“My rent has gone up twice in four years, unlike my wage, and my apartment building recently sold to an out-of-state investor.” 

“If developers are afraid of Albuquerque because they can’t charge whatever they want for rent it means they don’t really care about Albuquerque residents, they only care about their profits.” 

“They are raising rent and people who have lived here their entire lives are being pushed out.”

“At least 40% of Albuquerque residents are tenants, that’s nearly half this city. There are far fewer landlords please represent the majority– the tenants so we can democratically control how much landlords can charge us for rent.”

On the opposite side of the spectrum, property owners and real estate brokers spoke out against rent control, saying it will not only hurt current businesses but prevent future developers from coming here.

“We live and work in a free market, milk goes up, gas goes up. We don’t get to dictate attorney fees, we don’t get to dictate doctors’ fees, we don’t get to dictate the cost of living.”

“It’s not the solution if anything it makes things worse.”

“Rent control is not the answer. Even the suggestion of rent control has negative effects, it impacts the housing market by discouraging new construction.”

“The idea of repealing rent control is not going to move the needle in the right direction, like you may think if anything it will do just the opposite and slow growth or stop growth.”

At the end of the night, the city council voted 2-7. So, they did not send the letter asking the state Legislature if they would consider repealing the ban on rent control.

KOB 4 reached out to both the New Mexico Republicans and Democrats to see if rent control was an issue they will bring to the Roundhouse in the next session.

“I haven’t yet drafted any legislation. But it is something because it has become such an issue, and many people on the ground are asking for this opportunity to respond to the crisis we are in. It is something I am listening to, and I am thinking about as we go into the 2023 session,” said Andrea Romero, (D) House District 46.

KOB 4 did not hear back from the Republican Party of New Mexico.

This ban on rent control was passed back in 1992, saying no municipality or political subdivision can issue rent control or anything that looks, or acts as rent control – only the state has that power.