Perhaps one of the most iconic portrayals of a greedy landlord is Benoit from Puccini’s La Boehme. The character arrives on the scene at the opening of the play looking to collect rent and then proudly confesses infidelity to the poor artists he’s trying to shake down. They pretend to be outraged by his immorality, eject him, and use the rent money for a night on the town. The image of the poor but righteous tenants is so compelling a modern musical adaptation of the opera is called Rent. But are housing providers really trying to squeeze every last cent from their residents? A study from Berkeley indicates that often, housing providers leave money on the table, giving discounts and often failing to keep up with the market.
The study, Affordable Housing Without Public Subsidies: Rent-Setting Practices in Small Rental Properties, takes a look at how