News

City-backed rent control heads to ballot

In 4-2 vote, council backs second rent-restriction measure to compete with citizen-backed initiative

This November, Mountain View voters will have a choice of two competing ballot measures that would restrict increases in apartment rents. In a late Tuesday night meeting on Aug. 9, the City Council approved final language to place a citizen-backed rent-control measure on the November ballot, but members also signed off on their own hastily crafted alternative that they described as less rigid and onerous.

The council-initiated measure was approved in a 4-2 vote with Lenny Siegel and John Inks opposed, and Ken Rosenberg absent.

By all accounts, it was a curious situation. Councilmen John McAlister, Chris Clark and Mike Kasperzak, each of whom had previously come out against rent control, joined Mayor Pat Showalter at the Tuesday meeting to fine-tune their own version of it. Some council members even agreed to help campaign and write ballot arguments in favor of the measure. They described their decision as an example of pragmatism, a necessary move to offer voters a "middle-ground" option to a citizen-backed rent-control initiative that they opposed.

"We're crafting what we think is a better methodology; it's an honest difference of opinion," Showalter said. "The need for rental protections is very real, and without (the tenant advocates') efforts we wouldn't be considering these ballot measures."

But the council members' sudden endorsement of restricting rents was called out repeatedly by supporters of the citizens' measure. Placing a second measure on the ballot was tantamount to a political "dirty trick," said Councilman Siegel. The action gave the appearance that city leaders were acting on behalf of landlords and were attempting to split the vote in November, he said.

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"This is going to be confusing for voters; they'll think it's either/or for these measures," Siegel said. "Are the people putting this on the ballot really going to be supporting this?"

Skyrocketing rents and their impact on Mountain View's large tenant population have created a political groundswell and forced local leaders to make the issue a top priority in the past year. After months of discussions, council members in March presented what they called a palatable answer -- a complex non-binding mediation program to try to settle disputes between landlords and tenants.

But the council majority at the last moment gutted what critics called the most important piece of their solution -- they removed a binding-arbitration system that would have allowed independent officials to impose a solution to landlord-tenants disputes. In effect, that meant it was entirely voluntary for landlords to lessen rent increases or address tenants' concerns.

In response, the momentum of the hundreds of tenants who had shown up at council meetings instead went toward raising support for a rent-control measure. The Mountain View Tenants Coalition successfully gathered 7,300 signatures for an initiative that would basically tie rent increases to the rise in the regional Consumer Price Index as well as create a variety of protections against retaliatory evictions.

At a special meeting last month, the City Council came out against the tenant coalition's measure. Council members' chief criticism was that the citizens' initiative is written as a charter amendment, meaning its provisions would be enshrined in the city code and amendable only through another public vote. But authors of the measure say that was intentional because otherwise the rental protections would be vulnerable to the whims of the council.

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Mayor Showalter called a special meeting in July to consider a city-backed alternative measure to compete on the November ballot. In a proposal that gained majority support, the council agreed to dust off the binding-arbitration system they had previously rejected and rewrite its language as a ballot measure. They agreed the binding-arbitration program would be mandatory only if a tenant's rent increase exceeded 5 percent.

At the Tuesday meeting, council members hashed out final details for their measure with no time to spare if they wanted to make the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters deadline for placing the competing measure on the Nov. 8 ballot.

In a long and nuanced discussion, council members for the first time considered how they would draft eviction protections. At its last meeting, the council backed the idea of using the just-cause eviction protections in the tenant coalition's measure as a template. But on Tuesday, Clark came out against that idea and he urged instead creating a system of financial disincentives.

"I really feel the just-cause protections will gentrify this city more than anything else," he said. "(Landlords) will become really picky for who they're letting into their units."

Clark's idea, which won majority support, led to the rewriting of the council's measure to use the city's existing tenant-relocation ordinance to penalize landlords who evict tenants without cause. The city last updated that program in 2014, and it currently affects landlords only if they displace four or more households. Households are eligible only if they subsist on less than 80 percent of the local median income (about $85,000). City officials promised they would update the relocation program in September before the election to make it applicable to more tenants. In effect, landlords who paid the relocation penalty would be allowed to circumvent the eviction protections.

The council considered making its rental protection apply to Mountain View's large number of mobile homes -- a move that might open up a significant voting bloc. The Tenants Coalition's charter amendment doesn't specify mobile-homes as a protected group, but an attorney representing the group indicated its language could be reasonably applied to cover these residents. But City Attorney Jannie Quinn warned that mobile homes fall under a different section of state law, and council members declined to include it for fear they would risk a future lawsuit.

If the council-initiated measure passes, the City Council wouldn't be allowed to amend it for at least two years. After that, a five-member supermajority of the council could make changes to the program or revoke it entirely.

Critics warned that the council's action would create confusion by putting forward two superficially identical measures that nonetheless contain significant differences that the average voter may find hard to distinguish. Clark and others gave assurances they were writing up ballot summaries that would offer a clear choice for voters between the two policies.

But the council's motives for bringing forward the measure were repeatedly called into question by Tenants Coalition supporters, and some speakers pointed out the significant political campaign contributions that typically come from landlord interest groups.

"Are you really going to commit yourselves to campaigning for this ordinance you voted for?" asked Joan MacDonald, an organizer with the tenants' group. "Or are you going to sit back and let the California Apartment Association campaign against both (measures)?"

For their part, the measure's supporters on the council defended their actions as doing what they believed was the best for the community.

"I don't think any of us can be bought by a $500 check -- if you believe that's the motive behind this, then so be it," Clark said. "Voters want to help people, at least on a temporary basis. They deserve a middle ground instead of a black-or-white choice."

At the meeting, the City Council was also obliged to formally put the Tenants Coalition's rent control measure on the ballot, which it did on a 6-0 vote. Supporters had collected enough valid signatures to assure it a place on the ballot.

In an email following the meeting, a representative from the Tenants Coalition criticized the city's measure for providing weaker protections and tacitly allowing rents to rise faster than wages.

As a charter amendment, the Tenants Coalition's measure would supercede the city-initiated measure if both should pass.

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City-backed rent control heads to ballot

In 4-2 vote, council backs second rent-restriction measure to compete with citizen-backed initiative

by Mark Noack / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Wed, Aug 10, 2016, 1:57 pm

This November, Mountain View voters will have a choice of two competing ballot measures that would restrict increases in apartment rents. In a late Tuesday night meeting on Aug. 9, the City Council approved final language to place a citizen-backed rent-control measure on the November ballot, but members also signed off on their own hastily crafted alternative that they described as less rigid and onerous.

The council-initiated measure was approved in a 4-2 vote with Lenny Siegel and John Inks opposed, and Ken Rosenberg absent.

By all accounts, it was a curious situation. Councilmen John McAlister, Chris Clark and Mike Kasperzak, each of whom had previously come out against rent control, joined Mayor Pat Showalter at the Tuesday meeting to fine-tune their own version of it. Some council members even agreed to help campaign and write ballot arguments in favor of the measure. They described their decision as an example of pragmatism, a necessary move to offer voters a "middle-ground" option to a citizen-backed rent-control initiative that they opposed.

"We're crafting what we think is a better methodology; it's an honest difference of opinion," Showalter said. "The need for rental protections is very real, and without (the tenant advocates') efforts we wouldn't be considering these ballot measures."

But the council members' sudden endorsement of restricting rents was called out repeatedly by supporters of the citizens' measure. Placing a second measure on the ballot was tantamount to a political "dirty trick," said Councilman Siegel. The action gave the appearance that city leaders were acting on behalf of landlords and were attempting to split the vote in November, he said.

"This is going to be confusing for voters; they'll think it's either/or for these measures," Siegel said. "Are the people putting this on the ballot really going to be supporting this?"

Skyrocketing rents and their impact on Mountain View's large tenant population have created a political groundswell and forced local leaders to make the issue a top priority in the past year. After months of discussions, council members in March presented what they called a palatable answer -- a complex non-binding mediation program to try to settle disputes between landlords and tenants.

But the council majority at the last moment gutted what critics called the most important piece of their solution -- they removed a binding-arbitration system that would have allowed independent officials to impose a solution to landlord-tenants disputes. In effect, that meant it was entirely voluntary for landlords to lessen rent increases or address tenants' concerns.

In response, the momentum of the hundreds of tenants who had shown up at council meetings instead went toward raising support for a rent-control measure. The Mountain View Tenants Coalition successfully gathered 7,300 signatures for an initiative that would basically tie rent increases to the rise in the regional Consumer Price Index as well as create a variety of protections against retaliatory evictions.

At a special meeting last month, the City Council came out against the tenant coalition's measure. Council members' chief criticism was that the citizens' initiative is written as a charter amendment, meaning its provisions would be enshrined in the city code and amendable only through another public vote. But authors of the measure say that was intentional because otherwise the rental protections would be vulnerable to the whims of the council.

Mayor Showalter called a special meeting in July to consider a city-backed alternative measure to compete on the November ballot. In a proposal that gained majority support, the council agreed to dust off the binding-arbitration system they had previously rejected and rewrite its language as a ballot measure. They agreed the binding-arbitration program would be mandatory only if a tenant's rent increase exceeded 5 percent.

At the Tuesday meeting, council members hashed out final details for their measure with no time to spare if they wanted to make the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters deadline for placing the competing measure on the Nov. 8 ballot.

In a long and nuanced discussion, council members for the first time considered how they would draft eviction protections. At its last meeting, the council backed the idea of using the just-cause eviction protections in the tenant coalition's measure as a template. But on Tuesday, Clark came out against that idea and he urged instead creating a system of financial disincentives.

"I really feel the just-cause protections will gentrify this city more than anything else," he said. "(Landlords) will become really picky for who they're letting into their units."

Clark's idea, which won majority support, led to the rewriting of the council's measure to use the city's existing tenant-relocation ordinance to penalize landlords who evict tenants without cause. The city last updated that program in 2014, and it currently affects landlords only if they displace four or more households. Households are eligible only if they subsist on less than 80 percent of the local median income (about $85,000). City officials promised they would update the relocation program in September before the election to make it applicable to more tenants. In effect, landlords who paid the relocation penalty would be allowed to circumvent the eviction protections.

The council considered making its rental protection apply to Mountain View's large number of mobile homes -- a move that might open up a significant voting bloc. The Tenants Coalition's charter amendment doesn't specify mobile-homes as a protected group, but an attorney representing the group indicated its language could be reasonably applied to cover these residents. But City Attorney Jannie Quinn warned that mobile homes fall under a different section of state law, and council members declined to include it for fear they would risk a future lawsuit.

If the council-initiated measure passes, the City Council wouldn't be allowed to amend it for at least two years. After that, a five-member supermajority of the council could make changes to the program or revoke it entirely.

Critics warned that the council's action would create confusion by putting forward two superficially identical measures that nonetheless contain significant differences that the average voter may find hard to distinguish. Clark and others gave assurances they were writing up ballot summaries that would offer a clear choice for voters between the two policies.

But the council's motives for bringing forward the measure were repeatedly called into question by Tenants Coalition supporters, and some speakers pointed out the significant political campaign contributions that typically come from landlord interest groups.

"Are you really going to commit yourselves to campaigning for this ordinance you voted for?" asked Joan MacDonald, an organizer with the tenants' group. "Or are you going to sit back and let the California Apartment Association campaign against both (measures)?"

For their part, the measure's supporters on the council defended their actions as doing what they believed was the best for the community.

"I don't think any of us can be bought by a $500 check -- if you believe that's the motive behind this, then so be it," Clark said. "Voters want to help people, at least on a temporary basis. They deserve a middle ground instead of a black-or-white choice."

At the meeting, the City Council was also obliged to formally put the Tenants Coalition's rent control measure on the ballot, which it did on a 6-0 vote. Supporters had collected enough valid signatures to assure it a place on the ballot.

In an email following the meeting, a representative from the Tenants Coalition criticized the city's measure for providing weaker protections and tacitly allowing rents to rise faster than wages.

As a charter amendment, the Tenants Coalition's measure would supercede the city-initiated measure if both should pass.

Comments

Vote No on Both
Cuernavaca
on Aug 10, 2016 at 2:47 pm
Vote No on Both, Cuernavaca
on Aug 10, 2016 at 2:47 pm

Vote No on both...emphatically put an end to this topic (including the mind reading of council motivations).

PS - Council members Clark and McAlister will have to tiptoe around this topic on the election trail...as they're both now on record as supporting a form of rent control.


Name hidden
Another Mountain View Neighborhood

on Aug 10, 2016 at 3:00 pm
Name hidden, Another Mountain View Neighborhood

on Aug 10, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


John
Old Mountain View
on Aug 10, 2016 at 3:01 pm
John, Old Mountain View
on Aug 10, 2016 at 3:01 pm

It's a slippery slope when one type of landlord is actively being discriminated against (by voters or city council). Commercial landlords should be taken to task too. From $2NNN to over $6NNN in a few short years. Maybe a coalition to combat $15.00 dollar drinks and $50.00 dollar meals would make sense to include on either proposal. The pain of higher prices is everywhere. Why pick on residential landlords? Cell phone bills have tripled. TV providers have not been kind, daycare is through the roof.

"Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other." Oscar Ameringer.


Lesser of 2 Evils
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2016 at 3:12 pm
Lesser of 2 Evils, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2016 at 3:12 pm

The outside group that wrote the rent control ordinance wrote in it, that the taxpayers will have to pay the legal bills to defend it in court, should it pass. If this rent control passes, then the new rent control board will have the power to make new laws and the city council can not change it, nor can voters vote these people out. Any laws that they pass will also have the burden of the taxpayers will have to pay the legal bills in court to defend it.

If you support rent control, vote for the city council's version.


ShowMeTheData
Registered user
Martens-Carmelita
on Aug 10, 2016 at 3:17 pm
ShowMeTheData, Martens-Carmelita
Registered user
on Aug 10, 2016 at 3:17 pm

Outsiders who want to move here, no matter how much they think they need to, and can pay, have no right to take an apartment away from someone who got here first. Once you move in, you should own it for as long as you want to stay, right? And if you need to make some extra money, you should be able to AirBNB or sub-let the space for as much as you can get.

Landlords who don't like any of this are selfish, bad people, not much better than the ones who cut down on maintenance, or try to harass tenants into leaving. The city needs to hire new inspectors to keep an eye on them, and issue fines. But keep their noses out of who's living in the space -- that's the tenant's business. This is right because "tenants" are not just tenants. "Tenants" are the real, rightful homeowners. Because we were there first.


Ed
Old Mountain View
on Aug 10, 2016 at 3:38 pm
Ed, Old Mountain View
on Aug 10, 2016 at 3:38 pm

Where to begin?

"We were there first" describes squatter's rights, not renter's rights.

"The real, rightful homeowners" are the real, rightful homeowners.

"Once you move in, you should own it for as long as you want to stay, right?" No, actually you should stay for as long as the lease you signed says you should stay.

To sign a 12-month lease and then demand that the owner let you stay indefinitely is pretty bold.

To sign a 12-month lease and then try to get the city to pass a law forcing the owner to let you stay indefinitely takes real chutzpah.


Waldo
Registered user
Waverly Park
on Aug 10, 2016 at 3:42 pm
Waldo, Waverly Park
Registered user
on Aug 10, 2016 at 3:42 pm

@ ShowMeTheData --- Actually, you were not there first, the landlord was there first, and the landlord is the actual homeowner, not you. As for sub-letting your rental unit, if you signed a rental agreement forbidding that, you shall not do it, regardless of however much you feel it is your right to "make some extra money."


John in MV
Sylvan Park
on Aug 10, 2016 at 3:50 pm
John in MV, Sylvan Park
on Aug 10, 2016 at 3:50 pm

It's alright, really. In 10 years, 80-90% of the apartments in MV will have been knocked down and replaced by owner-occupied townhouses, and the rent-control issue will be moot. I plan to sell my single-family home with granny unit within a couple years before the craziness hits that too. Still taking the "long" view after 38 years in MV.


Todd
Slater
on Aug 10, 2016 at 4:39 pm
Todd, Slater
on Aug 10, 2016 at 4:39 pm

Landlords already are attacking both measures (above). Guess the plan of the politicians on the Council is to split the vote and prevent either measure from getting a majority.


ShowMeTheData
Registered user
Martens-Carmelita
on Aug 10, 2016 at 5:48 pm
ShowMeTheData, Martens-Carmelita
Registered user
on Aug 10, 2016 at 5:48 pm

John in MV: Replacing the apartments with condos or townhouses will be the landlord's next trick; that's why we need laws to make that illegal too. And the city needs to hire attorneys to fight the cases. It might cost the taxpayers a lot of money, but worth it for the just cause of defending first-come rights to housing. East Palo Alto has shown us the way: Web Link

Or better yet, cut the landlords out of the loop altogether, like Chicago did with Cabrini Green.


Ed
Old Mountain View
on Aug 10, 2016 at 8:02 pm
Ed, Old Mountain View
on Aug 10, 2016 at 8:02 pm

Just like Cabrini Green, indeed. Fantastic troll! I totally fell for it.


eric
another community
on Aug 10, 2016 at 11:14 pm
eric, another community
on Aug 10, 2016 at 11:14 pm

Rosenberg sure misses a lot of votes on topics where his position might be uncomfortable.


reader
Old Mountain View
on Aug 11, 2016 at 8:33 am
reader, Old Mountain View
on Aug 11, 2016 at 8:33 am

Many important to any rent control decision:
From: Web Link

"Under state law in California, property that was issued a certificate of occupancy after February 1, 1995 is exempt from rent control. (CC 1954.52.) State law also exempts tenancies for single-family homes, if the tenancy began after January 1, 1996. Also, most cities exempt new construction built after the date of the ordinance, and owner-occupied buildings with four (or sometimes three or two) units. "

This ordinance would not apply to much of the housing that is more desirable. Would it only create a subset of cheaper places that have far more people wanting them than there are apartments? Could it encourage developers to buy and replace older apartments.


True
Registered user
Blossom Valley
on Aug 11, 2016 at 2:24 pm
True, Blossom Valley
Registered user
on Aug 11, 2016 at 2:24 pm

John in MV,

We should be so lucky my friend. I would love nothing more than to see the percentage of rental property in MV shrink by an order of magnitude.

Vote no on both proposed initiatives. I should not dictate to someone else a cap on the return on their investments or compensation for their labor.......you shouldn't either.


Fed Up
Old Mountain View
on Aug 11, 2016 at 7:32 pm
Fed Up, Old Mountain View
on Aug 11, 2016 at 7:32 pm

Capitalists need protections, poor people don't - or so the city council believes.

And on a different topic - what's with knocking down the modest homes in Old Mountain View and replacing them with ridiculous McMansions? Larger houses could be built without the bad taste.


george drysdale
another community
on Aug 12, 2016 at 10:33 am
george drysdale, another community
on Aug 12, 2016 at 10:33 am

What you're seeing with Mountain View's city council has happened thousands of times throughout history. Price fixing rents to appease a very numerous block of renters. Rent control is the premier study in economics because price controls stop the production of housing causing ever greater shortages. Supply and demand is thwarted. It goes on and on, in order to graduate from high school must pass a class in economics. Most of the city council members must be high school drop outs or flunk outs or just power hungry cynics. Here we go again and again and . . . George Drysdale a social studies teacher


Linda Curtis
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Aug 12, 2016 at 1:34 pm
Linda Curtis, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Aug 12, 2016 at 1:34 pm

I say to the last 2 commenters: Why is MV City Council your target? They're hands were forced by one sector of MV citizenry despite the majority of councilmembers knowing enough about unintended consequences to reject rent control as ineffectual and even harmful to the market.

It's not just a simple supply and demand situation, since replacing older housing units with newer ones removes affordable housing greatly in excess of what AFFORDABLE housing is built. Doing so increasingly tips the scales toward higher and higher prices. We will end up with more units but so much less affordable housing since none of the new can be rent controlled, and the very few "affordable" units they include to get their projects approved have typically gone to a few lucky folks and also to some real operators who manipulate their way into them (forever) by fabricating their situation. I've met several such reduced priced units recipients in MV. Also the really bottom tier poor do not have the resources, such as a computer, to be abreast of availabilities and to even enter the raffles for a chance at the reduced priced units so many compete for. Hard for anyone actually homeless to even obtain a library card to use a public library computer because they don't already have an address.

Leave the older buildings alone. Don't squeeze them out with rent controls, leading them to be replaced with new high priced stuff. Build the new housing in place of office where the new office was planned to go. We've got more than enough office already.

Important: Vote NO on both rent control measures. Read about one of the ways rent controls backfire, instead of helping, in today's MV Voice's Viewpoint guest opinion statement.


george drysdale
another community
on Aug 12, 2016 at 2:46 pm
george drysdale, another community
on Aug 12, 2016 at 2:46 pm

The problem is that Silicon Valley which now includes most of the Bay Area is such a smashing success story. The scientific capitol of the world being invaded by well educated people who make good incomes driving up the price of rentals (who can afford a house anymore). In one of the greatest land swindles in American history rent control on mobile home parks in San Jose has kept off the development market a vast source of land which should go into the development of many, many apartment houses increasing the supply of rentals. Rent control is literally like bombing a city. Older rentals can stand price fixed rents less because they are more expensive to be maintained any many will not withstand the inevitable earthquakes to come so they must be replaced by new structures. If you can't afford to live in the high rent district there are many other locations. George Drysdale


@george drysdale
another community
on Aug 12, 2016 at 7:32 pm
@george drysdale, another community
on Aug 12, 2016 at 7:32 pm

"f you can't afford to live in the high rent district there are many other locations."

And where would THAT be, Mr. Spambot? Los Banos?


True Resident
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 12, 2016 at 11:45 pm
True Resident, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 12, 2016 at 11:45 pm

Linda Curtis continues to tell us what a wonderful landlord she is and how MV ought to run its city. She posts that she is a resident of Cuesta Park, but as we all know, she actually lives in Los Altos!

I am so sick and tired of these wealthy out-of-town landlords telling us, the people who actually LIVE here, what to do. This is our city, not yours.

This reminds me how Los Alto residents stormed into our City Council chambers DEMANDING that we expand our play fields for organized sports like Little League. You see, these NIMBY's refuse to use their own park space for more fields, so expect us to.

Enough is enough. We need rent stabilization in order to keep these outsiders from robbing our neighbors blind.


Linda Curtis
Cuesta Park
on Aug 13, 2016 at 2:44 pm
Linda Curtis, Cuesta Park
on Aug 13, 2016 at 2:44 pm

Since when did I move to Los Altos? I've been here 40 years working hard. All hardwood floors waxed on my hands and knees, all painting, repairs, heavy yard work including trimming a gigantic deodara with a pole cutter while balancing on the edge of the second story part of the building.


Enough
Cuesta Park
on Aug 13, 2016 at 3:47 pm
Enough, Cuesta Park
on Aug 13, 2016 at 3:47 pm

Enough IS enough. We don't need poachers sucking off the labors, risks and investments of others.

Vote NO on any rent control


Stop rent profiteering
another community
on Aug 13, 2016 at 4:03 pm
Stop rent profiteering, another community
on Aug 13, 2016 at 4:03 pm

If the landlords are arguing that it matters to them, then that shows there is a need. Vote in the tenant coalition rent control, not the toady city council one. Give it a try. Nothing else has worked. The city hasn't done anything. It brought this on us by lack of action and poor land use planning. They should have know better than to allow extremely dense office development holding 30,000 new workers.

It's time for some rent control. After all, how bad can it be? None of the arguments against it make any sense. If it were that bad, it would just be changed.


MV Woman
Martens-Carmelita
on Aug 13, 2016 at 6:33 pm
MV Woman, Martens-Carmelita
on Aug 13, 2016 at 6:33 pm

@StopRentProfiteering: You've GOT TO BE KIDDING?? "Give it a try"? "How bad can it be"? "If it were that bad it would just be changed"? NO - this tenant version is draconian and the ONLY way to change the massive destruction it will bring would be waiting for ANOTHER OFFICIAL VOTE. That costs a lot of money and takes a lot of time waiting for the next election cycle - and your landlord could be forced financially to sell to a developer by then - putting you on the street. It's obvious you have no idea what you'd be voting for - and you'd be naive enough to vote against your own best interests.
And @TrueResident: you're sick of out of town landlords telling us what to do? I'm sick of people who have no actual financial investment in their rented apartment bringing forth propositions that damage those who have worked hard to earn enough money to buy and maintain the building where renters are tenants. I don't own any rentals, but I know people who do, and they are usually juggling bills for for those rentals every month - increases in garbage rates, maintaining the building, landscaping, etc. It's not easy - and to attempt to force them to suffer even more is actually confiscation of private property.
I'm very sorry if someone cannot live locally - there is no rational way to force lower rents and not damage those small business people who own the majority of those properties. You will force owners to sell to large developers who will build large expensive buildings and make even MORE people unable to afford them. You cannot legislate stores to sell to you more cheaply - you cannot legislate airlines to sell your a cheaper ticket - you cannot legislate Tesla to make a car you can afford. What makes you think your proposition is anywhere more near reality?
Please think about what you're asking for here. You actually believe you can get and keep a low rent at the expense of someone else's risk and labor and that's fair? Life doesn't work that way - and if you refuse to believe valid history, you're going to learn a VERY hard lesson.
THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH. Vote NO on both propositions.


New Parent
Rex Manor
on Aug 13, 2016 at 11:31 pm
New Parent, Rex Manor
on Aug 13, 2016 at 11:31 pm

When the rent is high, investors want to build more properties that is for sure profitable. The supply of the housing unit will increase. The problem is that it take time to get the plan approved by the city, and it takes a long time to build.

Rent control will not help much to increase the supply of the housing. Most renters will not be benefited after the rent control law is passed. People should do some research about the rent control before making the decision.

No rent control!


MV Woman
Martens-Carmelita
on Aug 14, 2016 at 2:03 am
MV Woman, Martens-Carmelita
on Aug 14, 2016 at 2:03 am

FORTY SIX OF OUR FIFTY STATES have NO RENT CONTROL and of those 46, THIRTY FIVE STATES OUTRIGHT PROHIBIT IT. That should tell you something about how negatively rent control is viewed in the vast majority of the United States.
It is insane (and actually ILLEGAL in most states) to confiscate another's property in this manner, for your personal profit. It leads to turmoil in housing and GUARANTEES an even greater shortage of affordable housing. Think hard before you decide to shoot yourself in the foot.

Here is the web link showing which states outlaw or allow rent control:
Web Link


MV Mama
Old Mountain View
on Aug 14, 2016 at 1:57 pm
MV Mama, Old Mountain View
on Aug 14, 2016 at 1:57 pm

I'm sick and tired of those being against rent control likened to Trump supporters, or right wingers, or even Republicans. I'm a card carrying democrat, and also against rent control. The economics of it just don't make sense.

Stop rent profiteering? Are you for real? What other reason would someone be a landlord? It certainly isn't to lose money, or to provide you with a place to live forever. It's an investment, and a way to earn an income.

I don't like seeing people being pushed out of town, but the reality is that no one owes you a place to rent at a price you can afford. It's supply and demand, and right now demand far outweighs supply.


mvresident2003
Registered user
Monta Loma
on Aug 15, 2016 at 8:00 am
mvresident2003, Monta Loma
Registered user
on Aug 15, 2016 at 8:00 am

Question for those of you supporting rent control: how do you think it is going to help you? I truly feel sorry for you. The MV Tenants Coalition is giving you very mid-leading hope and information. Here's the true and real story:

If Measure V (rent control) passes in MV, the majority of these small mom and pop landlords are not going to sit on reduced rents with escalating costs for utilities and maintenance. If it passes, I can guarantee many will just cash out on these properties, builders will come in and build those newer, more expensive units and what is the end result?

Those who've been sold a bill of goods by the Tenants Coalition, who are going and asking for lower rents, will be out, rents will be even higher than they are now. Seriously, think about it.

The Tenants Coalition and its promises of rent control is completely misleading.

Think about it. Read again what I wrote above. All that will happen if rent control passes is older units being sold off and smaller, more expensive units being built. True dat.


russell
Registered user
Monta Loma
on Aug 18, 2016 at 8:42 pm
russell, Monta Loma
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2016 at 8:42 pm

so interesting
that

the council members vehemently opposed to rent control clark, mc alister, kasperzak (not john inks) voted to place a rent control ordinance on the ballot to compete with the citizens initiative V -- so blatantly hypocritical -- perhaps influenced by campaign contributions as mr clark and mr mc alister are running again for cc -- thus is politics

and that the discussion revolves mostly around the landlords and profits and the housing stock and not about all the families displaced and what is their plight and how can we help them -- what does that say?

there surely must be ways to maintain a housing stock without having a 56% rent increases in the last 5 years --

and who who has visited these flats believes the profits have gone into improving the housing --


russell


Linda Curtis
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Aug 19, 2016 at 6:46 pm
Linda Curtis, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Aug 19, 2016 at 6:46 pm

@Russell-
John Inks was absent from the council meeting in which the decision was made to formulate a measure that contained a better mechanism of rent control. The council worked really hard on it to craft something that works better to help tenants, while also not shutting down much of a whole segment of the housing market. Those who do not know, or do not understand, the many details will just simple-mindedly villainize those council members who voted for it. They did nothing hypocritical at all, as they were understandably endeavoring to craft something helpful to renters and, at the same time, less damaging to growing housing in MV than the measure they knew was soon to be on the ballot! ("Villains" wouldn't have supported that.)

And it is obviously not for campaign money! Renters who are too broke to pay their rents are not going to DONATE to anyone's campaign! The really big money is all against rent control, duh... Those who assume negative intent reveal a whole lot about themselves, as well as the fact that councilmembers explained why they felt they had to do what they did, despite their negative assessment of the ability of rent control to help those who need it most. (Their housing will get torn down.)

And so council worked on it very hard. It is improved beyond the draconian charter amendment ballot measure, but it still falls short in a few regards.

What BOTH still have very wrong with them is that the annual amount of rent increase is based on a percentage. Thus, the greedy landlords who indeed were carried away raising rents get REWARDED for their greed. The MORE GREEDY THEY WERE, the MORE THEY GET REWARDED! That's because a percentage of a really high figure, which their rents are, is still high, and will mount up each and every year, making that already high rent amount continue to grow significantly.

But the humane, non-greedy landlords who kept their rents low will be FOREVER PUNISHED, as a percentage of the small amount they charge for rent is a very small number and cannot mount up enough, even over several years, to cover the huge expenses apartment buildings are hit with. Tenants do wreck their units in a myriad of ways, and roofs, wiring, plumbing, floors, etc., and sometimes even foundations, all need major repairs or COMPLETE REPLACEMENT. Termites anyone? With a low rent roll, a building owner cannot even borrow enough money to effect the big expenditures that befall them. They have to quit the business while their building still is holding together, as no one will want to invest in an under-market earner with layers of deferred maintenance. The good landlord will come away with a big loss, as his building's upkeep and earning power is what sets the price he can get for it, EVEN IF IT IS JUST TO BE TORN DOWN for something entirely different to be built there instead! Bye, bye forever tenants.

Punishment for only the good landlords teaches everyone to avoid the housing business. OUTCOME: Not only is the cheapest housing in town gone forever, but MV attracts less new housing. Building OFFICE SPACE is where better money is. MORE OUT OF BALANCE! Isn't that what we've tried to stop from happening???


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