compelling argument, but on the other hand, literally everything about this is incoherent and wrong and requires the speaker to have never ever thought about any of these subjects for a second


do they think without a landlord

there would be an apartment building sitting there for people to just go into? that apartments are “hoarded”?

what do you think the world would look like without this thing?



at least this isn’t as bad as the “insurance companies only exist to get between people who need health care and people who want to provide it” take, though it comes from the same place

think more than “not at all” about why events might happen and why people might have reasons to do things



Actually, what *would* happen? Like, there’s a new law, long-term renting of living or office space is illegal, and you can only own property if you live or work in that space for at least three months or it reverts to the state and gets sold at auction. Apartment buildings are now privately owned condos, and you do a similar thing for office space for businesses.

There’s an initial wave of homelessness so bad that the entire governing state breaks down, so its probably more interesting to just hand wave the transition and consider only the steady state. Property values *would* be a hell of a lot lower, that seems obvious. But even fairly successful people would have to live in group or extended family households well in to their thirties, unless high-prestige jobs started offering condos as a signing bonus. I think the top… say, 20-25% of the country by income would probably thrive, since land is now cheap and they could buy it wherever they wanted to live. The bottom 25% would be more interesting, basically anybody living paycheck to paycheck. For them, the only option is to live in a family or group home, since they couldn’t save up. So a large fraction of the country would be basically living in sprawling tribal halls that were inherited and passed from one generation to the next- you’d get all the downsides of that, including rampant abuse and tyrannical family heads, and exile-as-death. But this property would be owned and you wouldn’t be paying rent on it (aside from insurance and taxes). So ‘paycheck to paycheck’ would actually be easier to escape than it is now, since you wouldn’t be spending two weeks out of every year paying your landlord instead of yourself. (Though medical and educational expenses could still overwhelm). It’s a weird society, and probably worse than ours, but kind of interesting?

My guess is that the place the scenario breaks down is in “*long-term* renting of living or office space is illegal”. Renters end up living in short-term accommodations originally intended for travellers, getting kicked out of any given hotel (or other local analogue) after X weeks/months because the hotel would be violating the law by allowing them to stay longer.

Also probably a lot of couchsurfing, shading along a spectrum from “living with pre-existing friend who is genuinely not charging you anything” to “basically a live-in housekeeper, paid in shelter” to “exchanging money under the table”.

Also also, it depends on how exactly the law defines “rent”. A HELOC is effectively a mechanism for selling part of your house to a bank and then renting it back from them: is this legal in no-landlords-allowed world? If so, with what (if any) restrictions? Can you put a down payment on a house, cover the rest with a HELOC instead of a mortgage, and make interest-only payments for years on end?

(I personally know people who have done all of these things, which is probably why I thought of them.)


#one of the people reading this…may actually have done *everything* listed along the couchsurfing spectrum #I know a family in meatspace who did the hotel thing #the person with a large long-term interest-only-payment HELOC is me #(okay *technically* it’s my dad but like where do you think he’s getting the money from) #((we are *currently* doing well enough financially that we’ve been able to increase the payments to a little above interest-only)) #((and make occasional extra payments on top of that)) #((but we *were* only paying the interest for a long time)) #((and it’s still very much an option on the table)) #discourse cw #story ideas I will never write #fun with loopholes #homelessness #adventures in human capitalism

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.