News

City Council backs immediate eviction protections

Eviction moratorium passes as urgency ordinance until rent control measure takes effect in December

In an effort to staunch a recent wave of evictions, the Mountain View City Council on Tuesday morning voted to immediately implement the eviction protections in Measure V, despite plenty of qualms over the idea of ushering new restrictions into the local housing market.

The council approved the just-cause eviction protections as an urgency ordinance in a 6-1 vote with Councilman John Inks opposing. It required at least five votes to pass.

The special meeting on Nov. 15 was the first time the council has met since the Nov. 8 election, when voters sent a strong message that they wanted to curb the rising cost of housing in the city. Citizen initiative Measure V won approval from about 53 percent of Mountain View voters, one of the rare successful rent-control proposals in California in a generation. In the same election, a competing council-backed measure lost.

But even before the election, tenants advocates and city officials were startled to learn that landlords were trying to evict tenants as a way to circumvent Measure V and its provision that would roll back apartment rents to October 2015 rates. Just in October, 14 evictions were reported throughout Mountain View, and there were likely many more that were never brought to the city's attention, city staff reported.

After learning about the evictions from a story in the Mountain View Voice, Mayor Pat Showalter said she asked city staff to prepare the Nov. 15 meeting to prevent more households from being displaced.

That put the City Council in an awkward situation on Tuesday morning: they were being asked to approve significant portions of a rent-control measure most of them had aggressively and repeatedly opposed. Councilman Ken Rosenberg explained there hasn't been one version of rent-control that he's liked, although he said he wanted to be sympathetic to tenants coping with rising rents.

"Measure V passed in spite of my efforts and others' efforts and a lot of money that went (against) it," he said. "I cannot sit here while more and more people get evicted from their houses for no fault of their own."

To prevent further evictions, staff with the city attorney's office proposed immediately adopting the just-cause eviction protections of Measure V. These proposed rules would essentially forbid landlords from evicting tenants except under specific conditions, such as failure to pay rent or criminal activity. Just-cause rules have long been sought by tenant advocates, but council members previously expressed concerns that the protections would cause landlords to become excessively picky in accepting new tenants. It would be a "stop-gap" measure to protect tenants until Dec. 23, when Measure V is expected to be certified and formally adopted, said City Attorney Jannie Quinn.

But there remained plenty of questions exactly how just-cause protections would affect the current spree of evictions. Independent legal aid groups indicated that 30 or 60-day no-cause eviction notices given to tenants could already be considered illegal under Measure V. Nevertheless, Kara Brodfuehrer, an attorney with the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, urged the Mountain View City Council to approve the just-cause protections anyway as a way to give "clarity" to landlords and tenants on the rules in the interim.

"It's really important this council pass this ordinance because the public needs this clarification," she said. "The voters have spoken and it's time to provide clarification."

The recent turmoil in Mountain View's rental market was on full display before the council. Vera Szepesi described how she and at least three other tenants at the Pamela Drive apartments were handed eviction notices in recent days. Their property owner made clear they were being evicted because of Measure V, and he hinted he would rescind the evictions if the law didn't pass.

"These evictions are clearly an attempt to circumvent the rent control measure that just passed," Szepesi said. "If I have to move because of the cost of increased rent, I'm not sure I'll be able to stay in Mountain View."

Her landlord, Kerry Mainini, spoke at the meeting and faulted the city for forcing him to oust his tenants. He was at risk to lose "35 percent" of his retirement, and his attorneys advised him his only recourse to protect his investment was to evict tenants. He left the podium cursing the council saying he wished their pensions get stolen "as you're doing to mine."

Joshua Howard, a spokesman with the California Apartment Association, warned that the unanswered legal questions surrounding Measure V showed its many flaws. He said "a legal challenge was imminent" against the measure. Asked after the meeting what he meant, Howard would say only that many landlords were considering their options.

Many City Council members expressed deep reservations about rent control, but they said voters had spoken and they intended to protect current residents. Clearly frustrated with the situation, Councilman Mike Kasperzak said the city was being asked to defend an inflexible measure. Since some attorneys consider tenant protections already in place, Kasperzak said it didn't make sense for the city to double down on a second set of prohibitions.

"The Council is now being asked to bail out the first of many deficiencies of this charter amendment which cannot be modified, amended or corrected except by a vote of the people," he said.

In the other corner was Councilman Lenny Siegel, who applauded the measure for being well-written, but said the just-cause protections were needed now more than ever. Even with new protections, many tenants would be afraid to defend themselves, he said.

"We have a large number of tenants who fear their rights have been destroyed in the national election --- they'll be afraid to defend anything for fear of deportation," he said. "These laws are designed to protect people and they will help people."

Comments

45 people like this
Posted by David Moore
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 15, 2016 at 3:54 pm

Fourteen evictions are "startling"? How many people rent in Mountain View, 10,000? While it may seen coincidental, less than 0.2% of all renters could have been evicted for reasons other than rent.


46 people like this
Posted by The Donald
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 15, 2016 at 4:06 pm

The Donald is a registered user.

I find this council has no kahonees except for Councilman Mike Kasperzak.
You know this is wrong morally.
You know this is wrong for this city.
You know this is wrong for the tenants in this city.
You know this is wrong for the investors that keep your coffers full.
Un-American policies are OVER in this country, TRUMP proved that and this little stunt brought about by the Tenants Coalition backed by Stanford University will bring nothing but problems for the housing in Mountain View.
You can't hurt me because I have diversified my investments throughout the bay area and Country but you will hurt the Mom and Pop that wraped their 401 K portfolio into your city.
Disgusting!!


33 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 15, 2016 at 4:09 pm

Can anyone cite one instance in any city anywhere on the planet where rent control made things better over the course of time?


13 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 15, 2016 at 5:08 pm

always so amusing to see people fight the laws of supply and demand. One way or another, markets will reach equilibrium. In this case the market will simply be driven underground e.g. via illegal subletting.


3 people like this
Posted by I_Got_mine
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 15, 2016 at 5:16 pm

"We have a large number of tenants who fear their rights have been destroyed in the national election --- they'll be afraid to defend anything for fear of deportation," he said. "These laws are designed to protect people and they will help people."

Your city has bigger problems than rent control. Yes, La Migra is going to enforce FEDERAL ILLEGAL ALIEN LAWS. If the MVCC and the MVPD decides to remain a SANCTUARY CITY, then don't be surprised when ALL Federal Money disappears, including money for Education. You might consider CALEXIT. However, when The Big One hits, don't be asking the U.S. Federal Government to rebuild your destroyed infrastructure.
Oh, then ALL your rental housing will be built after 1995......


21 people like this
Posted by What's Next?
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 15, 2016 at 5:17 pm

I am a landlord and attended this meeting in order to take the temperature of what will likely happen in the immediate term and next two years.

The council vote went down exactly as predicted. I have no problem with it, as that is pragmatic, no need to go against the spirit of what was voted for at this point, it is a marathon not a sprint to get this well intentioned but poorly written and to be poorly executed measure repealed in two years. It was apparent that was the approach of the council, to take the high road as they know they will need goodwill to implement this in a way that puts the city and its taxpayers in the best position in a bad situation.

What was striking was the unprofessional out of turn outburst and use of offensive and profane language by the Tenant Coalition's official mouthpiece Mr. Debolt. For those not present, Councilman Kasperzak (who actually voted for the ordinance) was giving his rationale for not voting for it, out of turn and disrespectfully from the back row, Mr. Debolt shouted "that's bull Spit" (edited for language) then followed up with "that's f'n bullspit" (again edited for language). It is curious that the Voice omitted the most interesting part of the meeting, about as "fair and balanced" as Fox News.

In a supposed civilized society where we should hear each other out and respect each other's positions, there is no place for this. Other leaders of the coalition approved and high fived him.

I was pleased by the contrasting professionalism of Joshua Howard who spoke with brevity, precision and respect. Interestingly, Mr. Howard tried to speak at the end to get the last word by queueing up late behind Mr. Debolt, a legitimate strategy, seeing this, Mr. Debolt left the queue to get behind Mr. Howard, it appeared childish but not surprising given the later offensive outburst.

The bulk of the pro measure V was anecdotal, I would really like to see some hard facts on average tenures and rents etc, the abhorrent behavior of some landlords is not the norm based on the limited non anecdotal evidence provided.

In short, I feel good that the landlord's professional approach will win out eventually, I for one will stick this out rather than selling and continue to operate my rentals in an ethical manner, as most landlords in Mountain View have done and will continue to do.


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Posted by Paul
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Nov 15, 2016 at 7:30 pm

But Mr. Joshua Howard claimed when he spoke at the meeting that a lawsuit was "imminent" and then doubletalked the reporter after the meeting. Honorable rhetoric in Trump's world, maybe. There will be no lawsuit - that will matter.


16 people like this
Posted by Huh
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 15, 2016 at 8:54 pm

Per the comments it sounds like the Voice left out some parts of the meeting. Weird.

What's with the gloating? Gloat away, lawsuit or not. Unintended consequences are on their way and they aren't pretty. here comes more construction once lamdlords sell these protected units and families are forced out of town anyway. The writing is on the wall.


15 people like this
Posted by Huh 2
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Nov 15, 2016 at 9:20 pm

Yup, I live in a reasonable small apartment, it's always been below regular MV rents. Wonder how long before the wrecking ball hits. And to boot, all the real expensive stuff is the newer apartments--those not covered under rent control. To the folks of measure V; thanks for nothing!


19 people like this
Posted by Best Part of Meeting
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 15, 2016 at 9:32 pm


To see the most interesting part of the meeting, go to the video on the city council site:

Web Link

At 1:18:10 Mr. Debolt testifies and rambles on without logic until cut off by the mayor

At 1:33:38 Mr. Debolt has his profane outburst. He is out of mic range but notice the shock on faces of the council, Mcalister asks him to leave, he declines

At 1:43:22 Mr. Debolt is lit up by Mcalister directly for his profane outburst

Watching this makes most objective observers less sympathetic to the tenants. You be the judge.


7 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 15, 2016 at 10:48 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

[Portion removed due to personal attack]

HONEST TO GOD. This whole "story" sickens me. And let's just see how long my comments stay up on this thread.


1 person likes this
Posted by I_Got_Mine
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 16, 2016 at 9:23 am

Just note who DeBolt works for. That will explain the slanted coverage of his behavior...You got caught and need to start damage control.It is noted that in the other places that this news organization covers, a story with DeBolt's rental problems has been already published.
This problem is not unique in M$M outlets. However, the loss of those same media outlets is to be noted. Is that the possible ending of the credibility and subsequent loss of this media outlet? Only time will tell.

Graduate, MVHS Class of 1973


2 people like this
Posted by Neighbors Helping Neighbors
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2016 at 10:15 am

Re: No Cause Notices to Vacate

Dear MV Voice Readers,
Neighbor Helping Neighbors, we are a local nonprofit organization for basic needs and who finds our clients suitable places to live. All incomes welcome.
We can tell you for certainty that there has been an "over use" by too many landlords, serving their otherwise good paying tenants with 'no cause' notice to vacate for the last four years.

We base our comment on client data of thousands of MV residents and renters from other Peninsula cities. NHN also, assists clients with their landlord tenant issues. Our records shows out of hundreds of NHN clients who received notices to vacate we have only had two that received notice to vacate for 'non payment of rent'. And in most other case there were no other grievances that involved violation of rental agreement.
However, 1/3 of the notices to vacate our clients received were for sale of property or remodeling or redevelopement. So, all but two in Mtn. View were for non payment of rent, the other hundreds were other wise good paying tenants who had not had any infractions or violations. In all cases, NHN has had verbal and written communication with each landlord, so all circumstances of a notice to vacate are verified.
It needs to be said that not all landlords were over using notices to vacate but the facts of this issue indicate to us that the majority of landlords for NHN clients have.
We applaud MVCC for taking this bold step to give their renters some relief. So, it also inportant to note that the emergency moratorium covers ALL rentals until 12/23/16 when Measure V will take effect.
If you are a renter who needs assistsnce or you know of anyone who wants extra help food, jobs, housing or landlord tenant issues, please send an email to NHN.FamilyAmbassador@gmail.com Phone 650-283-0270
We are happy to help.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors


15 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 16, 2016 at 8:59 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

You know, I just don't get it. I really, truly don't get it. Back in 2001 we were renting a place in Sunnyvale, the "dotcom" was taking off and rents were escalating everywhere. My landlord decided she could get a lot more $ and rather than offering us a chance to renew at a higher rate, she gave us 30 days notice to vacate. Now this was when there were something like .5% (yes, less than 1%!) availability and she only gave us 30 days. We also had a dog and a cat making it that much harder to find a place.

I was annoyed. I was annoyed she didn't give us a little more heads up particularly given the lack of availability in the market. But NEVER, honest-to-god NEVER did I think poorly of her for trying to get more money. It's HER PROPERTY for gods sake, her INVESTMENT, I thought and still think, good for her!

We did finally find a condo to rent here in MV and that's the positive as we came to know and love MV.

I respect the help you give to others NHN. But to imply that landlords are bad for turning a profit, that they are "overusing notices to vacate".....what the hell does that mean anyway? It's like newspeak for "we're upset we can't afford this anymore so we're going to come up with phrases that imply lack of legitimate actions. You imply odious evictions for reason of sale or remodeling. What exactly is wrong when an OWNER decides to sell or remodel? You should have NO say in that. You should have absolutely no influence on that. It's none of your business. Like, I mean really, it's not YOUR business, it's THEIR business. Their risk, their investment.

This whole thing sickens me. The attitude of entitlement and "you owe me" that is seeping into the culture and mindset is truly alarming.


4 people like this
Posted by The Donald
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 17, 2016 at 10:05 am

The Donald is a registered user.

MVResident2003,

This rent control problem is much deeper than just a entitlement mindset.
It is a major change on the Real Estate investment landscape in Mountain View.
Here are the current facts:

1. For every person moving into California, there are 3 moving out because the cost of living and housing and traffic congestion. They are moving to Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Arizona. We saw this in the late 90's early 2000's where people came from all over the country to the Bay Area only to find housing costs outpaced these high incomes.

2. There are more jobs in the bay area at this time than people to fill them. These jobs are high paying compared to the rest of the Country but not high enough after taxes and housing costs. Thus causing this exit to other States.

3. The rental market high rents topped off 6 months ago and is in decline throughout the Bay Area as we speak. It has already dropped 5% since June.

4. The price of houses and condos for sale has also dropped by at least 5% since June throughout the Bay Area. Houses are sitting on the market with no offers until discounted.

What were seeing is a market correction in response to the overpriced housing market in sales and rents. This is what is supposed to happen and always does when prices reach unsustainable amounts and is healthy in our economy.

What we have now is a price control in Mountain View which is probably going to allow rents to fall by 10% this year and probably next year too. After this correction is over rents will only rise by 2 - 5 % per year going forward depending on the CPI under rent control.
Thus, investment money will go elsewhere. Current landlords will not make improvements and the housing stock will not be maintained at past levels. Why improve...you can't get your money back. Why put any money in when no one moves because they have a rent controlled unit that's below market?
What you have is a city with a lot of apartments deteriorating with owners squeezing out there investment money trying to get some kind of return.



Like this comment
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2016 at 9:32 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

I just wanted to follow up on my research. I discovered that in the case of (Birkenfeld v. City of Berkeley, supra, 17 Cal. 3d 129, 160.) the California Supreme Court granted constitutionality to retroactive rent roll backing. The condition that is required is only that there exists an agreement by the city that there is a significant rental housing crisis.

This was further used in the case of Berman v. Downing (1986)[184 Cal. App. 3d Supp. 3]. This case stated:

[2b] Here, the city council declared a critical shortage of rental housing, the purpose of the moratorium ordinance was to permit the enactment of meaningful permanent legislation, the ordinance was of six months' duration only, rents were fixed at a time less than four months preceding the date of the enactment, rent control benefited all renters within the community, and the business of rental housing had been government controlled for at least five years. No significant impairment of contractual rights appears on this record.

However if you look at the Mercury news article Web Link, the news report stated that:

MOUNTAIN VIEW — The City Council on Tuesday night, after hours of discussion and sometimes scathing commentary from the public, took several steps to help resolve the city’s rental housing crisis.

and in the Mercury news article Web Link, the new report stated that:
MOUNTAIN VIEW — Landlords will have to provide 90-day notices for evictions and allow tenants to sign six-month or one-year leases under an urgency ordinance approved Monday by the City Council.

"The decision followed more than six hours of city staff presentations, expert testimony and several dozen sometimes impassioned 90-second entreaties from landlords, property managers, Realtors, developers, renters, teachers students and social workers.

The ordinance will be prepared by city staff and presented to the council for adoption on Oct. 27.

Other potential solutions to the city’s rental housing crisis, ranging from establishing rent stabilization to subsidy programs, are to be studied and discussed over the coming weeks and months."

So there is a record of the official determination that there is a critical housing crisis in Mountain View. Thus the constitutionality of retroactive rent rate roll backs is established. The CAA representative that appeared at the City Council meeting made a speech reiterating the arguments made to the voter to vote down Measure V.

From what this history I uncovered describes, the CAA or its members has no basis in challenging Measure V in any way. In fact if they do so they will have to pay the City of Mountain View the legal costs if they pursue it. There is no chance that the courts will provide any consideration for such a complaint and the City will be reimbursed by the plaintiff the legal costs. It is a futile threat the CAA surely knew, but it was determined to attempt to intimidate the City and it's citizens.


3 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 17, 2016 at 9:44 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

well, we shall see "Lawyer-man....I mean Business Man"

So you take what was legitimate well meaning intent by the City Council and twist it to a means of forcing your hand.

Several Shakespearean missives come to mind but I'm afraid they'd go completely over ones head.


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Posted by The Donald
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 18, 2016 at 8:06 am

The Donald is a registered user.

Unfortunately, I have to agree with the Business man after reviewing case law regarding retroactive rent rollbacks but I think there are other short comings to this measure that are changeable. One of them is funding and who will continue to pay for the future operational costs of this program. Whether or not its going to be challenged is questionable.
In any event, owners who will be affected to the point of going out of business will have to make plans of reinvestment of equity into other investments by selling to a developer that can provide a higher land use return by tearing down and rebuilding into expensive units. There will not be investment money to keep running a lame duck.


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2016 at 11:37 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

Believe me, I am independent regarding this situation. I am a very pro business person, and I really feel terrible about the problems on both sides of this problem.

However, the legal issues determine what practices a business can act upon. One who goes into business must be aware of the legal barriers of which control what a business can act on without legal liability.

This situation could have been avoided if the investors did their homework and determined that there was much more risk in their investment. Both landlords and the City Council had many opportunities to work out a much less difficult resolution amicably. This issue was discussed for more than a year, and the landlord/investor simply felt they had absolute power and would not compromise.

But in this matter the investors and landlords chose to believe that they had the upper hand. The citizens simply had no choice in the matter, either run away or fight. The investors thought they were dealing with lemmings, but discovered lions. Fortunately, the citizens did receive very good help from those whose mission is to prevent exploitation of the poor.

This should put this industry on notice that the rules of the game are not stacked in favor of the investors or landlords and it never was. The simple truth is there is no connection between what one pays for a property and the actual value of it.

Thus, one cannot simply roll the cost of purchase of property onto others. The Graham Case against Bank of America clearly shows that the appraisals are only valid during the transaction of a real estate property, after the documents are signed, it simply disappears and cannot be any basis of business actions.

In this age where one can access so much business knowledge for free in the internet, there is no excuse for those who do not do their homework. And that there should be just skepticism regarding any property values established by a real estate appraiser. As a business practice, that assessment is worthless. You must get an independent appraisal performed by an appraiser that has no financial interest of any kind regarding their work.

But I know that is probably impossible.

This is going to become a trend in California especially when it is proven to work in Mountain View. The market is going to experience as much as a 65% reduction in value in property because it has been a bubble even after 2007.

Investors should have been aware of this problem and decided not to gamble in a game that was simply not in their favor in the first place.




2 people like this
Posted by The Donald
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 18, 2016 at 12:56 pm

The Donald is a registered user.

Business man,

Most property owners understand business on a market level and believe in the Fifth Amendment's Takings Clause, which reads, "nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation." In 2010 the Supreme Court held that the Fifth Amendment’s just compensation requirement is triggered “when a state regulation forces a property owner to submit to a permanent physical occupation.”
That’s the issue I have in this case. Does the city’s rent stabilization law amount to a permanent physical occupation? There are no start dates and ending dates to this law.

The Court has had a difficult time articulating a test to determine when a regulation becomes a taking. It has said there is "no set formula" and that courts "must look to the particular circumstances of the case." The Court has identified some relevant factors to consider: the economic impact of the regulation, the degree to which the regulation interferes with investor-backed expectations, and the character of the government action. There is a lot of room for argument and interpitation as to how these various factors should be weighed.
With all that said, I won't be affected because I've owned my property for 31 years and paid 1/10 its current value with low taxes but what about the poor guy who invested in the last 5 years? Why is it right to damage him?
I know, its that "he should of known about the risk" thing you got going on.


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2016 at 1:05 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

I understand that you pointed out accurately the following statement:

In 2010 the Supreme Court held that the Fifth Amendment’s just compensation requirement is triggered “when a state regulation forces a property owner to submit to a permanent physical occupation.”

However, a month to month, 6 month or 1 year contract is not permanent occupation. Since these are renewable and temporary, the permanency test would fail. Even if the tenant is "likely" to renew indefinitely.

The Measure allows for annual increases in rental rates, and does not state that a tenant is a permanent occupant. The tenant is also not an employee or agent of the City or "State".

Given those facts, the supreme court ruling you cite is correct, but it does not apply in this case. There may have been "Long-Term" or "Lifetime" leases in the New York case. But that does not occur here.

That case simply would not apply here.





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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2016 at 1:19 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

THere is an update:

The supreme court case was dismissed by the court as sited here Web Link

the court ruled that:

WASHINGTON — Tenants in nearly a million apartments subject to New York City’s rent regulations could breathe a sigh of relief on Monday. The United States Supreme Court, after indicating it might be interested in hearing a challenge to the regulations, decided to let them stand.

As is customary when the court declines to hear a case, the justices gave no reasons. There were no published dissents. Perhaps one in a hundred petitions seeking review by the court is granted, meaning that the decision not to hear the case sent no larger message.

The challenge to the rent law was brought by James D. Harmon Jr. and Jeanne Harmon, the owners of a five-story brownstone on West 76th Street near Central Park. They live on the lower floors and rent out the six apartments above them.

Three of those apartments are subject to New York’s rent-stabilization regulations, under which the government sets maximum permissible rent increases and generally allows tenants to renew their leases indefinitely.

According to the Harmons’ lawsuit, filed in 2008, the tenants in the rent-stabilized units pay around $1,000 a month, or about 60 percent below the market rate.

The suit did not directly challenge the rent control law, an older system that applies to far fewer tenants. The Harmons said that requiring them to accept below-market rents amounted to an unconstitutional taking of their property.

“We still believe that the Constitution does not allow the government to force us to take strangers into our home at our expense for life,” Mr. Harmon said in a statement issued after the court turned down the case on Monday. “Even our grandchildren have been barred from living with us. That is not our America.”

David Mlotok, a tenant in one of the Harmons’ regulated apartments since 1976, said in an e-mail, “Obviously I’m relieved by the decision.”

A lawyer for the city, Alan Krams, said it was pleased with the ruling. “Rent regulation in New York City has a long history,” he said in a statement, “and the court properly left it to elected state and city officials to decide its future.”

Last year, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, ruled against the Harmons. A three-judge panel of the appeals court said the couple knew what they were getting into when they acquired the building.

It was that decision that the Supreme Court declined to consider.

The Court of Appeals added that the couple retained important rights under the regulations: they could in some circumstances reclaim the apartments for their own use; they could demolish the building so long as they did not replace it with housing; and they could “evict an unsatisfactory tenant.”

All of that meant, the panel said, that the city’s regulations did not amount to “permanent physical occupation of the Harmons’ property” and so did not run foul of the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment, which says private property shall not “be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

The Supreme Court has said that government regulation of private property can be “so onerous that its effect is tantamount to a direct appropriation or ouster.”


It appears that your information was in fact inaccuarate. THe Supreme Court has accepted that this action is not contestable and let the lower court ruling stating that the New Your Rent law was constitutional.

Please read the story and try to understand you were not reading the accurate history?


1 person likes this
Posted by The Donald
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 18, 2016 at 1:43 pm

The Donald is a registered user.

Business man,

I never said the Supreme Court agreed with Harmon but I believe Harmon is making a good argument against rent control. I agree with it and believe that there should be compensation where it is due. I know that right and wrong are not always decided properly by courts but it doesn't change the fact that some people are going to be damaged by this.
That's all I'm saying.


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2016 at 1:52 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

I have no argument with Donald regarding his belief.

This is a very harsh process that is going to hurt a lot of investors.

But the history of cases seems to indicate that it would be pointless to file a constitutional challenge of Measure V.

Again, this would have been prevented if the landlord/owners would have negotiated in good faith. It was an all or nothing gamble to throw up a wall.

I am just a messenger, I want the public to know what is the truth, from what is being presented. Your comments lead people to believe the supreme court made this action unconstitutional. Now you know that the reality is that what you claimed the supreme court said is not correct.

You are still empowered to your point of view, and I will not argue against it.


2 people like this
Posted by The Donald
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 18, 2016 at 4:30 pm

The Donald is a registered user.

Business man,

I'm not sure that all the challenges facing measure V are about Constitutionality.
Watch the Video www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWJehmkYxuw at the League of Women Voters in Mountain View on October 5th 2016 when Juliet Brodie who is the lawyer from Stanford that wrote most of Measure V has to answer...."who's paying for all of this question" @ 1Hr.24min.30sec. into the video. QUITE INTERESTING!!

As I am sure your aware, 2016 isn't 1980 when most Rental boards were set up and people now days expect compensation and protection from liability in our current world. This "Rental Board" is going to make regulations, decisions and have to run the day to day operations of overseeing 15,000 Mountain View rental units and need additional staff to meet the needs, some say 1 to 3 people per rental board member with benefits. Their going to need office, phones, computers, automobiles, insurance, lawyers and on and on.
Bottom line is that this bureaucracy is going to cost a fortune and they haven't even figured out how much to charge, who to charge or even how to collect this. Their estimates are between $2.50/month per unit to $19.50/month per unit. Their models from other cities show collection from only units under rent control to all units in the city to tenant paid. They have no clue and because Mountain View is 60% rentals, how could they?
This is going to be interesting.


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2016 at 6:05 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

My only concern is that the Measure V is not going to be shelved by any litigation.

Granted, this will be a significant program to initiate

But I feel that once it is established, it will result in equitable decisions and I would be happy to be a neutral member of the board. I do not think that landlords owners are not justified for some consideration. I only want good case-by-case decisions that are balanced.

This process has a lot of good potential if the parties will work together to achieve success. But if the opposition is stubborn, there will be animosity that will result in the likelihood of hostility in the board.

We as in all Mountain View citizens and stakeholders must stop this bickering and get to work.




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Posted by The Donald
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 18, 2016 at 10:12 pm

The Donald is a registered user.

Well litigation will be the start I assure you because of all these questions.
I and you can't start a program to steal other peoples money without a plan. Can We??
Just watch where this ones going with so much at stake in a area with so much talent...WE ARE ALL LAWYERS AT THIS POINT!
See you at the court house..and I have nothing to lose except respect for myself if these people steal money from these business owners. Don't you?


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2016 at 11:00 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Donald,

I guess you feel that a corrupted market where it is fair for Real Estate salespeople steal from rental property buyers is a good excuse to steal from the renters.

That is what has been happening here in Mountain View.

Remember no one should bank on speculation regarding property. This is what got us into the great recession of 2007-8. And you want to continue that?


Remember those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

I feel for those who do not understand what they got themselves into. I really do. But in the "Free Market" those who make mistakes must bear the cost.

But the important thing you forget is that the property owners should refinance their properties. There are programs out there to reduce the Mortgage cost by having the property reassessed and the principle modified.

A property owner should be doing that instead of wasting money and time in a frivolous lawsuit that cannot survive dismissal or demurr.

I am surprised you don't know about the alternatives, but I guess you miss that when you don't get a business education.


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Posted by The Donald
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 19, 2016 at 9:56 am

The Donald is a registered user.

I find it interesting how you state "But in the "Free Market" those who make mistakes must bear the cost." yet you believe in price controls and taking away rights of the free market from landlords.
This is not about what is right to you, its about getting those greedy landlords and jealousy! What are you one of the 98% that despises the other 2%?
I'm so glad I got ahead when I did.


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 19, 2016 at 1:45 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Donald,

Again you are demonstrating poor understanding, and it is unfortunate.

The mentality that one can own another, which goes all the way back to the Civil War, has been completely false. I understand that the original rules in the "game" was that those who owned the property had absolute power over those who don't.

But money is just money. It is nothing but printed paper and in fact it has only "psychological" value, because it is a flowing currency. The courts and common sense dictated that a citizen has superior rights over money. A good businessman cannot ignore this.

The fact that you believe that since one is more wealthy than another they are entitled to dictate the terms of living on those who don't. That is a poor argument, you must not disrespect or worse abuse your customers. That is why "Rent-Control" exists. The history is that if landlords did not abuse their customers, there would be no need for "Rent-Control" policies in the first place.

In fact, the constitution does not protect "money", it does protect property.

THe constitution states: "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."


But in rent control, the property is not "taken". The owner still owns it and they have rights to compensation under due process of law. "Money" is not even mentioned in this portion of the constitution and under the constitution, no one has a constitutional right to money. The "Money" value is immaterial in the eyes of the constitution at least this is the general rule established by the Supreme court.

Under California law and constitution, the "Money" value of property simply is an opinion of either a property appraiser or a real estate agent. Thus an owner of property simply must be very careful regarding decisions they make based solely on an opinion.

Those who value money over a citizen set themselves up for a nasty result. Anyone with a reasonable intelligence would not subscribe to such a false logic. And the evidence in history is solid regarding it. It is behavior like this that has created such a conflict between the 1%ers and the 99%ers.

Those with a rational mind can see that this approach simply inspires any action by the "99%er" to take to protect themselves. That is why the U.S., the States, The Counties, The Cities, and Towns establish rules of commerce. one example is the Uniform Commercial Code. Also the rationale why there is the existence of a "contract".

Your argument would state that if you had your way, you would own the factory one works in, the land or apartment they live in, the auto dealers that one must buy their car, the gas stations in the area where one works, the grocery stores or restaurants that one works, the auto insurance companies that one must pay to drive, the electric company, the heating company, and you get the idea.

That is constructive slavery, and we all know that this practice is simply unacceptable. I guess you would argue that slavery must be brought back to protect the 1%ers from losing their money.

Do you believe in this approach?


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Posted by The Donald
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 19, 2016 at 10:52 pm

The Donald is a registered user.

I find your approach to life interesting but not surprising. The truth is that the liberals have always added to my net worth through their control measures in California and this Country.
This measure V will only separate the middle class further from the very wealthy.
I have no one to thank more for my next 10 million than the very liberals that try to make it harder to achieve wealth. Obama did it, Brown did it and now the voters in Mountain View are doing it.
You don't get it because your so fixated on rich people and taking from them that you can't focus on your own success. If you could, you would try to be successful yourself without figuring how to hold others back.
Don't get me wrong, I have no hate for anyone, I even like you for your honesty.
Its just interesting and even amusing to be refreshed with a liberal perspective now and then.
Thank you


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2016 at 1:28 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Donald,

Boy you get me all wrong. I am no liberal. I know that liberals and conservatives simply want power over people.

I am a "middle" person. The liberals and conservatives twist history and compete to control others. I simply attempt to arrive with optimal solutions, but the liberals and conservatives cannot achieve this. They only will act in trying to go more liberal or more conservative.

Those who want power must take responsibility and accountability. If they do not wish any responsibility or accountability, then they cannot have power.

Stan Lee said it best, "With great power, comes great responsibility".

I believe in the original golden rule, "Treat others like you wish yourself be treated". This rule is more powerful in business than anywhere else.

Controls like Measure V simply occur when business practices go so inequitable, and that the market reacts.

But some believe in the other golden rule "Those who have the gold, rules". This attitude inspires regulation and control on business. It is a simply short sighted attitude that eventually can destroy any particular business.

Since the 1980s, business has chosen to only act on the desires of it's shareholders in short term planning. This has resulted in the eventual cost cutting traps that has destroyed many long time businesses. One great example is Radio Shack, a business that existed for more than 70 years. It should have never been able to fail. Landlords chose to strategize on cash-flow and "flipping" properties for short term gain or profit. This has caused prices to rise to levels that cannot be sustained. It is like burning a candle twice as brite, burning out the candle in half the time.

This has resulted in an economic unbalance of historical levels. It also has left the whole state of California in a situation where the industry has set itself up to fail. Even with the fact that the Real Estate and Housing Industry manipulated the supply to be in chronic shortfall. This was done by influencing local and state government planning to a snails crawl. Surely, the citizens had no influence in this situation.

the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce has had absolute power over the City for decades, the Chamber simply does not care about actual planning, only how much they can stretch price elasticity regarding housing before it snapped. That is exactly what finally happened.

Simple enough, the Real Estate and Housing Industry is only bearing what should have been prevented by wise and effective decision making. Whether the industry learns this lesson or not, will determine the validity of of the markets ability to self correct for false value.

Even Alan Greenspan stated: "

WASHINGTON — For years, a Congressional hearing with Alan Greenspanwas a marquee event. Lawmakers doted on him as an economic sage. Markets jumped up or down depending on what he said. Politicians in both parties wanted the maestro on their side.

But on Thursday, almost three years after stepping down as chairman of the Federal Reserve, a humbled Mr. Greenspan admitted that he had put too much faith in the self-correcting power of free markets and had failed to anticipate the self-destructive power of wanton mortgage lending.

“Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief,” he told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Now 82, Mr. Greenspan came in for one of the harshest grillings of his life, as Democratic lawmakers asked him time and again whether he had been wrong, why he had been wrong and whether he was sorry.

Critics, including many economists, now blame the former Fed chairman for the financial crisis that is tipping the economy into a potentially deep recession. Mr. Greenspan’s critics say that he encouraged the bubble in housing prices by keeping interest rates too low for too long and that he failed to rein in the explosive growth of risky and often fraudulent mortgage lending.

“You had the authority to prevent irresponsible lending practices that led to the subprime mortgage crisis. You were advised to do so by many others,” said Representative Henry A. Waxman of California, chairman of the committee. “Do you feel that your ideology pushed you to make decisions that you wish you had not made?”

Mr. Greenspan conceded: “Yes, I’ve found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I’ve been very distressed by that fact.”

On a day that brought more bad news about rising home foreclosures and slumping employment, Mr. Greenspan refused to accept blame for the crisis but acknowledged that his belief in deregulation had been shaken.

He noted that the immense and largely unregulated business of spreading financial risk widely, through the use of exotic financial instruments called derivatives, had gotten out of control and had added to the havoc of today’s crisis. As far back as 1994, Mr. Greenspan staunchly and successfully opposed tougher regulation on derivatives.

But on Thursday, he agreed that the multitrillion-dollar market for credit default swaps, instruments originally created to insure bond investors against the risk of default, needed to be restrained.

“This modern risk-management paradigm held sway for decades,” he said. “The whole intellectual edifice, however, collapsed in the summer of last year.”

Mr. Waxman noted that the Fed chairman had been one of the nation’s leading voices for deregulation, displaying past statements in which Mr. Greenspan had argued that government regulators were no better than markets at imposing discipline.

“Were you wrong?” Mr. Waxman asked.

“Partially,” the former Fed chairman reluctantly answered, before trying to parse his concession as thinly as possible.

Mr. Greenspan, celebrated as the “Maestro” in a book about him by Bob Woodward, presided over the Fed for 18 years before he stepped down in January 2006. He steered the economy through one of the longest booms in history, while also presiding over a period of declining inflation.

Now Alan Greenspan is no liberal, but even he discovered that the market did not effectively maintain real value, it was manipulated by a minority of power players.

Time for us to fix the actual problem and when the market is back in balance, I look forward to reducing governmental influence on it. But now, it is simply out of control and is causing long term damage to California




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Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 20, 2016 at 2:41 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

I think this is what my friend is referring to when he says "educated beyond intellect". Sigh.


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Posted by The Donald
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 20, 2016 at 4:07 pm

The Donald is a registered user.

I can understand your perspective but your economic analysis is flawed in many ways.
First of all, how is controlling one segment of the market (pre-1995 buildings)in Mountain View going to achieve this economic balance you seek when the rest of the market isn't controled.
Secondly, rent control is only in a small amount of the bay area markets.
Third, this needs to be done on a macro level not only to all housing but other investments in all markets throughout out California, the Country and the world to be successful to achieve this vision.
You can't stop humanity and greed in one little segment of the world. It doesn't work.
Man exists to conquer and society allows all to exist. We have governments that govern us for this but it is the responsibility of the whole that takes care of the all, not just the few.
Some people in this Country think that if you just took all the money and redistributed it evenly to every man, woman and child that this would solve all of our problems. No what you would have is the greatest economic boom for about 5 years and then all the have nots would have depriciating assets and the rich would own all the appreciating wealth again.
Your right, this world has a lot of problems but this is no resolution.


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