The Reason Los Angeles Apartments Are Lacking Fridges

Rental rates in Los Angeles are among the most exorbitant in the United States, with even modest apartments costing thousands every month. At this price, we expect some amenities. And usually running water and electricity are available. But many new tenants are surprised to find that there is a giant empty space in the kitchens.

There is no refrigerator. Occupants must bring or purchase their own. Why?

Some of the blame lies with California property law. In the state, owners are not required to supply a refrigerator as an amenity. And because they don’t have to, many of them, especially those who service dozens or hundreds of units, choose not to take advantage of it to save the expense and hassle of getting them repaired or to their replacement if they cease to function.

There are other states with similar policies. Florida, for example, doesn’t tax refrigerators either, but few people report that a rental is missing one. It’s possible that a market for apartments without refrigerators took hold very early in California, causing a kind of miserly contagion where landlords looked around, saw that few other rental properties offered one, and also removed. Once the market has settled down and refrigerators are no longer expected, there is no longer any reason to supply them. As a result, savvy Los Angeles renters often transport their refrigerators from location to location.

Although things have started to change a bit — California landlords can now offer refrigerators, but in higher-level units — many renters in Los Angeles are still surfing used appliance ads or hoping the former occupant will take pity on his own and leave his behind. . At least California still requires indoor plumbing.

[h/t The Los Angeles Times]

Karl M. Bailey