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Tenants' group launches outreach campaign

Original post made on Apr 22, 2016

Tenants' advocates are launching a new outreach campaign this weekend as part of an effort to get a rent-stabilization measure on the November ballot.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 22, 2016, 1:51 PM

Comments (58)

Posted by Renter
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Apr 22, 2016 at 5:43 pm

I get the 5% maximum but why are they requiring a 2% minimum rent increase? What if my landlord doesn't want to increase my rent? What if there's a downturn and he wants to decrease my rent?


Posted by @Renter
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 22, 2016 at 5:53 pm

It's not a mandatory 2% minimum rent increase - landlords could always charge less than the CPI if they would like. Instead, this is a protection for landlords if CPI is less than 2% (like if we're in another recession). If CPI is 1%, then the landlord has the ability to raise the rent to 2% if they would like. They don't have to, though. They also have a banking protection, so if they do not raise the rent one year, then they can raise it more than CPI the following year.


Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 22, 2016 at 5:59 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

Ah yes, these are all measures to protect the landlord. Not.

This is a bad move, bad policy, bad economics. Good for those of you who don't want to pay for things, bad for those who invest, take risks and develop.


Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 22, 2016 at 6:25 pm

The landlord-endorsed City Council (majority) brought on the initiative by playing games evidently designed to look good - instead of doing any good.
The latest game is the landlord-tenant "mediation" ordinance set for final adoption at the April 26 City Council meeting. As written, the ordinance will permit and inspire preemptive evictions by landlords that do not want to be bothered by tenants demanding a mediator in response to a notice of a rent increase of over 7.2% per year. New tenants must pay whatever the landlord wants and the market will bear. The City Council has repeatedly failed to even place on the Council agenda a discussion of any possible amendment to the mediation ordinance that would - at least legally - forbid such preemptive evictions.


Posted by a MV resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2016 at 8:13 pm

a MV resident is a registered user.

San Jose just this week strengthened their long-standing rent control law by lowering the rent increase cap to 5%. In San Jose, residents objected that 5% annually is still too high; it was the moderate block led by Mayor Liccardo that passed it, while the liberal block voted against it for not going far enough. Web Link

How is it that in Mountain View, what is moderate in San Jose is considered too radical here? San Jose objected to 5% as being too high still, yet MV renters would breathe a sigh of relief if their rent was only going up by 5% (current 2016 inflation rate is 1%). MV renters are seeing closer to, or over, double-digit rent increases each year.

Most landlords are just making an honest living, with real empathy for their tenants, but something has to be done about the few that are exploiting fellow Mountain View residents. Exploitation happens when people aren't watching.

Capitalism does not equal an universal justification to take advantage of people. Capitalism at its best equals transactions where both parties are better off afterwards. Many things that people accept when it comes to the rental market would be considered fraud if it was happening in some other industry.

Hard problems require hard or innovative solutions. I am very hopeful that our city's government and residents are ready to do what is hard and innovative.


Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 23, 2016 at 3:28 pm

Without taking a position on whether voters should vote for or against the initiative (in the event it qualifies for the ballot), I do believe voters should sign the petition to get the initiative on the ballot. Toward that end, I suggest that proponents start getting more residents - including tenants - registered to vote and perhaps hand out a copy of the Voice editorial which explains why proponents have been left to pursue an initiative. Also, proponents should create and advertise a campaign website. In addition, proponents should let voters know that the identity of signers of the petition will not (lawfully) be disclosed.


Posted by Landlord
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 23, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Hi all. I guess I'm one of these "greedy" landlords I hear so much about. We have a house we rent. We haven't raised rent on our tenants in 2 years. In fact, even when we do raise rent we only do so once a year - even when tenant is month-to-month (their choice). We also have never raised rent more than 3%. We could raise the rent now, I suppose, but our tenants are very easy, helpful, nice people. They take good care of our place and pay rent a couple days early every month. We are still getting a competitive rent, so I don't feel the need to suck every last penny out of them. We too rented for many years before we were able to buy something. We try to treat our tenants the way we would have liked to be treated when we rented.

However, if rent control does pass in Mountain View, I will no longer be so relaxed. The whole idea of rent control is to take some decision-making power away from landlords. That may benefit people who have a particularly bad landlord, but it will only hurt people who have a reasonable landlord. What's the ratio of good to bad landlords in Mountain View? I don't know. But I can tell you for certain our tenants will have it worse under rent control.

I will increase their rent to the maximum amount allowed every year (or even more frequently if allowed under the law). I will push every boundary possible with that increase. This is the natural consequence of pushing people in a corner. I wouldn't do that if I had freedom to make fair, reasonable decisions as I do now. But under rent control I will effectively have no choice but to raise rent as much as I can, as often as I can. That will be the only way I can be sure we are getting enough income to properly maintain the place well into the future.

Maybe that's the plan and we're all ok with that? If not, maybe there are other ways to encourage bad landlords to behave better, without forcing good ones into a difficult position. Regardless of what happens, I'm at least happy this will be voted on, instead of the City Council just deciding for themselves. This is such a big deal, with the potential for such negative consequences for Mountain View, the people really need to decide for themselves what their fate will be.


Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 23, 2016 at 4:50 pm

@Landlord. The rent control-just cause eviction initiative and the regulations recently approved by the landlord-endorsed City Council majority apply to apartments (triplex minimum) approved for occupancy by renters before 1995. The rent for your extra single family house is not regulated and can never be regulated under existing state law.


Posted by a MV resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2016 at 7:55 pm

a MV resident is a registered user.

@Landlord, you are right that the solution must be one that separates good landlords from bad landlords, rather than negatively impacting all landlords. I hope our town does not lump all landlords as the same; likewise, I hope all landlords don't lump themselves together as having the same core values.

If most landlords were operating as humanely as you do, there wouldn't be an issue. Even if landlords were asking double what you ask for each year, we wouldn't have a problem.

The problem is the double-digit annual increases. How can any ethical landlord defend a 10-30% annual increase year after year, often on vulnerable Mountain View residents?

People speak of land as something sacred, and I agree that land is inextricably tied to freedom when it's land you own and live on, or land you decide to keep or sell. Yet when you rent, you become a business, and like all businesses, serving the public comes with some regulations. You can't imagine a taxi driver increasing the rates half way across town, and asking the passenger to take it or get out. There are more regulations on nearly all other industries we deal with on a daily basis.

Some landlords against regulations claim that any new regulations are anti-capitalism. Such comments miss the spirit of capitalism. Capitalism at its core is a system built to reward hard work and merit.

An economic system that is built on unquestioned land rights and legacy privilege is not capitalism, but feudalism. Feudalism may sound extreme, but it accurately captures the sense of exploitation some MV residents are feeling.

I don't know if I'll vote for a ballot initiative with a 5% threshold. I fear such a low cap will unfairly hurt good landlords who provided an essential community service. Yet, if landlords can't support any reform, then it pushes me to support the ballot initiative, despite its flaws.

I hope that doesn't happen. I hope @Landlord can stand up against the few in his/her industry that try to exploit people when no one is watching. Likewise, I hope residents in Mountain View can also see, it doesn't help in the long run to lock in prices that hurt a vital business that we need to grow and prosper.


Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 24, 2016 at 9:06 am

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

I keep hearing about these double digit rent increases year after year. Can anyone supply a legitimate 20-yr history of rental prices? I'd love to see that information, i have a feeling it isn't double digit and it isn't "year after year".

But even if it is, it still doesn't make rent control right. Along the lines of @Gary comments, you landlords need to band together, create a website, pass out brochures educating the public of the long-term effects rent control will have on MV. None of us want our town turned into slums or filled with properties that aren't maintained and run-down because there's been a recession and property owners can't cover their costs.


Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 24, 2016 at 9:29 am

Proponents should explain that the proposed rent regulation would not apply to single family homes, individually-owned condos, depluxes or any housing built since 1995. Otherwise, some persons (such as the "landlord" who posted above) may panick and oppose the measure - thinking incorrectly that it would limit the rent they may charge.


Posted by Common sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 24, 2016 at 10:02 am

"some persons (such as the "landlord" who posted above) may panick and oppose the measure - thinking incorrectly that it would limit the rent they may charge."

Contrary to the notion asserted above, a belief that rent-control will limit rents you may charge as a landlord is _not_ a prerequisite for opposing rent control! Some people oppose it merely from common sense, or a modicum of economic wisdom, or experiences with the downsides of real rent-control ordinances elsewhere (downsides never, ever, EVER forthrightly faced, or even seriously thought about, by rent-control advocates, because ideologies succeed partly by blinding their followers to their less palatable real-world effects).

I've never had anything to do with renting out property, but as a _tenant_ I've opposed rent control. In the name of helping some people in the short term, it hurts many more in the long run. It does nothing to relieve the factors behind skyrocketing rents (the high demand and limited supply) -- to the contrary, perversely, it exacerbates them. Once again, that will surprise no one with any sense of economics, but many people don't have such a sense, and will myopically perceive and defend just the elements of this reality that they like. Reality itself, sadly, is never as selective as human perception of it. (As further comments will probably continue, implicitly, to attest.)


Posted by So Dumb
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2016 at 10:49 am

Typical defense of the status quo.

Pointing out potential problems with ordinances, does not make the overall effect a positive one. Who cares that by slowing down rent increases, that it leaves landlords slightly less incentive to improve their properties to luxury living? People need a place to live! Did you know that a majority of residents in MV now rent?! Am I the only one who sees this as a problem? And..I'm a property owner here!

Profit-hungry right wingers have spread the Big Lie that rent control creates slums. What a stupid, stupid thing to say. What creates it is a disparity of wealth and manipulation of tax law. Property Tax revenue used to be mostly paid by commercial properties and thanks to another Big Lie, is now primarily paid by residential property owners. That is why our roads are a mess, our schools our underfunded, our parks stink and the list goes on. At some point, the regular citizenry needs to stand up to the affluent and say "No More!"

Will a rent control ordinance completely solve all problems in society? Of course not! To argue that as a reason not to have rent control is a typical "straw man" argument. The VERY STUPID argument that this will force the
so-called "good landlord" to jack up rents every year as much as possible is yet another fallacy. Most landlords in this area are raising the rents as much as possible every year to maximize profits anyway. If one or two landlords that wouldn't normally raise their rents now do so, it is just a drop in the bucket and is no justification NOT to pass a rent control ordinance.

Look at it another way. When I approach a 4 way stop, I am very careful. I am a very good driver. Now, if I am so confident in my driving that I barely slow down at the stop sign, should I lobby for a law that makes stopping optional? I mean, I am a safe driver and will stop if needed, but why force me to stop if I deem it unnecessary?

Wake up people!


Posted by So sick of this
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2016 at 8:07 am

I'm wondering when there is going to be rent control in Los Altos Hills and Atherton. I don't live in those cities because I can't afford them. Why should it be any different in Mountain View? If you can't afford to live here, MOVE!


Posted by Landlord
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 25, 2016 at 11:49 am

Thank you for the information. I did not realize there were restrictions on the kinds of property regulated. While I'm happy to hear we likely won't be subject to these laws, and can continue to operate as we do now, now I have to say, then what is the point? If only a small percentage of properties are covered by rent control, I can't imagine there will be much pressure to keep rents low city-wide.

So now the only people who will benefit are those currently living in apartments built before 1995? So basically just people currently renting crummy old apartments that probably are overdue for some maintenance to bring them up to a normal standard? I see many apartments buildings in Mountain View that look overdue for maintenance and renovation, in my opinion. They look like they haven't been touched in 50 years. And now we want to make it even harder for those owners to do that?

Landlords can be held liable for allowing people to live in units not properly maintained, and now we want to pass a law to make it difficult for large landlords to be able to give those units a much needed update?

It still makes no sense. Buildings deteriorate over time and need to be fixed up probably every 20 years, sooner if you've had some bad tenants (yes, those exist too!) Tenants should not assume they will be able to live in a particular unit for their entire life. That's just not reasonable. It is starting to feel like a certain group of people are asking for a handout.


Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 25, 2016 at 1:51 pm

@Landlord. The vast majority of the apartments in Mountain View were built before 1995 and house most of the renters. You are right that many apartments are run down - but not because of any rent control. There has been no rent control here. However, there has been rent control on old apartments in San Jose for 35 years. State law requires what's called "vacancy decontrol" which means that new tenants (following lawful turnover) can be charged any rent (the market will bear). Anyone who wishes to argue that rent control does not "work" should explain what they means and cite the experience of San Jose and Los Gatos. Go ahead.


Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 25, 2016 at 6:18 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

@so dumb, you are SO right! "People need a place to live", couldn't have uttered a truer statement!

But wait....isn't it also true that the rental units here ARE BEING LIVED IN? There are plenty of people willing and able to pay to live in them. Otherwise they would be sitting empty. And then the landlords would lover the rates until they were getting tenants.

Supply and demand my friend. Not supply YOU demand.


Posted by a MV resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2016 at 7:47 pm

a MV resident is a registered user.

The argument that renters are asking for "handouts" ignores the "handouts" that homeowners get.

I find rent control highly problematic, but I find the prejudice people have for the poor to be more problematic.

Homeowners get stability in property tax, despite the budget challenges that causes local public schools. The lack of properly funded schools has a disproportionate impact of poorer MV residents, and increasingly middle class MV residents.

Then there is mortgage subsidies and favorable local zoning that keeps down supply. Did homeowners "earn" such public policies that favor them? I am not against them, they provide stability and opportunity to many homeowners. Why should renters be held to a different standard?

Ensuring people can extract as much profit as possible shouldn't be the only value a city holds dear. Yet a belief in the free market makes America strong, but so does morality. There is something wrong if a few landlords operate their properties with the exploitative practices free of any public scrutiny.

The majority of decent landlords and residents should be able to find common ground to stamp out the rare few who want to fleece MV residents. I don't believe even those few landlords raising rent near or over double digits yearly are trying to do evil, but they are actively ignoring the pain they are causing.

It doesn't have to be rent control, there needs to be a solution that discourages a small few who wish to make a quick buck off someone who finds it very hard to move because of jobs, schooling, traffic, or other reasons. In those situations, asking residents to pay up or move ends up feeling like a shakedown, because the most vulnerable residents don't fight back, and simply pay more.

To argue that past generations paid their dues and this generation is seeking "handouts" glosses over the many benefits past generations received. Whether you look at the cost of college relative to the hourly wage or the cost of a home relative to an annual salary, circumstances have changed. It's even more ironic that some who benefit from the current housing climate are the quickest to place all the blame on renters.

I hope I'm not the only one who wants MV to be a place of diversity and opportunity for more than a few.


Posted by Cavellus
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 25, 2016 at 8:46 pm

Rent increases in Mountain View are the result of a profound failure on the part of successive City Councils to ensure that residential development kept pace with office development. When MegaCorp proposes a large expansion, the City Council only care about the things that affect them. More revenue for the City? More prestige for them! Perish the thought that they should have to sit in traffic for 5 extra minutes, but if some schlub's rent doubles, why should they care? As homeowners themselves, the City Council only see dollar signs as properties around them sell for amounts that resemble telephone numbers: “If that hovel on Villa sold for $1M, my house is worth at least $2M!”. If the City gave a hoot about renters, City approval of yet another MegaCorp's yet another expansion proposal (another squillion square feet for another battalion of office drones) would be contingent on having an “accommodation matnagement plan”, but who would that benefit? Nobody who matters.


Posted by Property owner
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 26, 2016 at 2:15 am

Even though I am not a renter, I am in favor of rent control. The only people that are against it are greedy landlords and Donald Trump supporters.

If we pass the ordinance and the aforementioned are upset, then PLEASE LEAVE! Go live in a red state and be around similarly "minded" people!


Posted by Landlord
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 26, 2016 at 8:14 am

@Gary

Actually, you are the one suggesting a change to the way Mountain View currently operates. You are the one who must (convincingly) show Mountain View residents that rent control does "work" and will not turn Mountain View into the other "shining" examples of rent-controlled cities in our area like Berkeley, San Francisco, East Palo Alto, Hayward, Oakland and San Jose. Los Gatos being a bit of an anomaly. Go ahead.

If many apartments in Mountain View are run down even without rent control, imagine what they'll look like with rent control.


Posted by Sue
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 27, 2016 at 9:22 am

WARNING TO ALL,

This proposal is exactly how San Francisco Rent Control Started. They tell you it is to limit rent increases, but once they get their foot in the door, they rapidly expand it to, Owners can not ask a resident to leave so son or family member can move in, or as has been famously been in the paper, rent board denied landlord to evict drug dealer, so tenants sued landlord.

"To overcess would be a new "Rental Housing Committee," a five-member panel appointed by the City Council that would be in charge of setting allowable rents or making new regulations. The initiative would also include "just-cause eviction" protections, with a set of criteria for when landlords can evict tenants, such as failure to pay, causing a nuisance or criminal activity"

Do not let them fool you into voting to set up a new board that will have the power to do what they want.
Rent control will forever change our city into some very undesirable areas, far worse than now. Back in the 1980's we had 2 gangs that lived in the high dense area of apartments in our city, the city did nothing to address it until we had our first drive by shooting, then they formed the gang unit within the police department. It took really 10 years before it got cleaned up. If we have these same apartments deteriote, no decent people will want to live there and they will be forced to rent to people who do not care, as long as it is cheap and that someone will rent to them.

Please think long and hard on this.

I will not support it.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Monta Loma

on Apr 27, 2016 at 10:15 am

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


Posted by Grace
a resident of Slater
on Apr 27, 2016 at 11:35 am

@Property owner

I am sure you also support our Sanctuary state and all the sanctuary cities. Will you also support property owners who will ask for those same protections and say we are a Sanctuary property and no rent control ordinances are valid here.

What really gets me is this very same group of people pushing this measure, are people from different countries who came here for a better life, and they have absolutely to regards for Mom and Pop people who are running a small business that has big expenses in running that business.

This same group of people are also calling for prop.13 to be repealed, and they are also calling for a new 8 billion Sur charge on property owners.

I do not support a new 5 panel board to make new regulations for our community. New rules belong solely to the city council, those who we vote on directly.

I will vote no on this measure.


Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 27, 2016 at 2:05 pm

There is no ballot measure - just a petition to get a proposed city charter amendment on the ballot (next November's election). The initiative has been propelled by a City Council majority screened and endorsed as candidates by landlord groups. Those councilmembers last night (April 26) adopted a landlord-tenant "mediation" ordinance without adding any language to protect tenants from preemptive evictions. There was no misunderstanding. Any landlord who wants to raise rents more than 7.2%/year will just evict existing tenants and get new ones who can be charged any rent the market will bear. These local politicians just wanted to look good instead of doing any good. The ordinance is worse-than-nothing. Far worse. Nothing new, but still disgusting. Will Mountain View residents vote for the charter amendment if it reaches the ballot? Not likely - unless landlords put these four councilmembers in charge of the campaign.


Posted by Grace
a resident of Slater
on Apr 27, 2016 at 2:40 pm

Just so I am clear, I will vote no on this measure, when it is on the ballot.

As a 40 year Mtn.View resident, I am very familiar with its history. The city council is taking a very reasonable approach to this issue. With the new city ordinance that past, there will be verifiable data to show if landlords are indeed evicting people to just raise rents. There will be no more allegations about evictions or numerous and excessive rent increases. Give it one year in time for this data to come in to the council, then go from there.

Also, I would like to see if any one in this group who is pushing for rent control, please publish a profit and loss statement for an average apartment building. Pick this year and supply data for the year 2004 as well.

It would also give credibility to this group if they where to buy an apartment and run it as they see fit. Then in one years time submit your model to the city and residents and see if that is a direction we want for our city.

I know people who moved out of San Jose because of the neighborhood environment. I also know many people will not move to East Palo Alto.
If we move to these policy's of taking away property rights now, it will only escalate into more people losing their rights.


Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 27, 2016 at 2:54 pm

Well no "Grace." There will little or no "data" concerning evictions because the City does not require landlords to report them. Even residential unlawful detainer cases (filed only when tenants refuse to leave) are confidential for 60-days or until there is a judgment against the tenant.


Posted by Bob
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 27, 2016 at 3:40 pm

My family and I would not be affected by a MV ordinance on rent control, but we have lived and seen the effects of same from within other states and communities in which we have lived. Most "normal" landlords are not "greedy", but do want to make a profit from their investments. This is only natural. the question is "how much profit". They do take all the risks, cover all the expenses, and liabilities, and for a fee, allow a tenant to reside in their property. The landlord has no control over vendors who charge exorbitant fees just to evaluate a maintenance problem, or to ring the doorbell. The cost of doing business in this area is not controlled or regulated. Assessments keep moving up, fees are added to the tax rolls by voter approved bonds, and other pressure on landlord's profits. But yet, a rent control regulation / stabilization would not address these other peripheral costs. As in New York, Santa Monica, Berkeley, or Santa Cruz, do landlords resist upgrading their property when they do not see a clear path to economic enhancements? i.e. if you send your money to summer camp, one would hope that it would return with more muscle than when you sent it away. I have experienced this lack of muscle enhancement in several places that we have lived in the past 30 years. Setting a minimum rate of increase just about guarantees that an increase will come every year, as the landlord is concerned he/she will not be able to "catch up" with any loss in value or rent as the years progress. I am afraid that we will see a flood of rent increases, or catch up issues if MV heads toward rent stabilization or rent control. As much as I understand the plight of the "not so wealthy", 90% of us are included, if would be unfair to shift the economic burden from one group of people to another; I would think that if society wants to level the playing field, it is the government's responsibility to offer rebates or incentives, and not the individual property owner who has to carry the weight; as an example section 8 housing. So I hope that the residents of MV do not have a knee jerk reaction to this proposed ordinance, but do give it serious thought for the future of the MV community. It could get a lot worse.


Posted by Grace
a resident of Slater
on Apr 27, 2016 at 5:05 pm

Hello Gary,
When the council adopted the new rental ordinances, it set up a mediation program that the council specifically stated that they wanted to collect data as to what issues are being brought before the mediation. Council member Clark said he wanted an update every 6 and 12 months. This program is just getting set up.

Gary, I remember quite some years ago that an attorney who did not live in Mountain View, and who owned something like 17 condos in Mountain View, filed a lawsuit claiming that it is unfair for a tenant to vote for tax increases when an owner of a property who does not live in the city cannot vote. Is this you Gary? Because if it is I understand why you would be pushing for this rent control because this or this proposed initiative does not cover condominiums for rent control.


Posted by @Sue
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 27, 2016 at 5:13 pm

I keep reading the complaint that rent control creates ghettoes. For example, Sue wrote:

"Back in the 1980's we had 2 gangs that lived in the high dense area of apartments in our city, the city did nothing to address it until we had our first drive by shooting, then they formed the gang unit within the police department. It took really 10 years before it got cleaned up."

But Sue... MV did NOT have a rent control ordinance in the 80's! Gangs and ghettoes exist in many cities that have NEVER had rent control. Just because some rent control cities have crime problems does not prove that rent control causes problems.

A community ought not to be treated as a corporation. A corporation has a duty to its investors to maximize profit. Do we really want a community that is completely motivated to increase the economic value of its landowners? I certainly don't. Making rent increases more predictable and slowing down price surges may not be the best thing for the landlords, but it benefits the community at large in so many ways....


Posted by Landlord
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 27, 2016 at 5:44 pm

@@Sue

"Making rent increases more predictable and slowing down price surges may not be the best thing for the landlords, but it benefits the community at large in so many ways...."

No, it doesn't benefit the boarder community. It benefits only tenants who currently rent a unit that will soon be under rent control. That's it. It doesn't help anyone else.

Also, these people are not necessarily low income. I've had a number of friends over the years working for tech companies in San Francisco earning over $300K a year between two married people, paying virtually nothing in their rent controlled apartment. Under normal conditions they would vacate the property, making a smaller unit available for someone else, but instead they stay much longer, saving all the money they don't need to pay in rent. Finally they move down to Mountain View or Los Altos, usually when their kids are about to start school, and they buy a house here for all cash (or nearly all cash) making the housing prices here even higher and easily outbidding anyone renting in a non-rent controlled area. This gives them an unfair advantage.

Rent control distorts markets all over the place, and only a handful of people benefit, not even necessarily the most needy in our community. I am convinced rent control needs to be an entire state effort or not at all. Being done city by city makes no sense. At least government sponsored affordable housing is able to target those really in need.


Posted by Market Forces
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 27, 2016 at 6:26 pm

I agree with most of the no on rent control arguments. The pro side is lacking in any serious argument as to why its a good idea for the government to take sides and restrict economic activity in favor of a few tenants. There are numerous economic studies showing the negative impact of rent control. Price controls never work (Nixon tried it, CA tried is with gasoline, etc).

MV has a higher proportion of renters then other cities in SCC. I still think a rent control ordinance wont pass when people see that it might help a few people at the expense of hurting a lot of people. The council was correct in not taking sides on the issue and letting market forces sort out the allocation of rental units.


Posted by Sue
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 27, 2016 at 6:32 pm

@pretend Sue and
@pretend Landlord

During the 1970's, Mountain View was a nice city but when the recession hit in the early 1980's there where large number of empty apartments in the city. Landlords had bills to pay and some of them rented to undesirable's. The city quickly became know as a place where you did not want to live in. Why, because neighborhoods became undesirable for most people to live in or near. These 30 some year old buildings became run down and created a light blighted area of our city. If you look at apartment buildings today you will see that many of them have been doing improvements to them. If you looked at these same buildings during the 2000 decade you would have seen nothing being done. Why? Because when the landlords do not have rental income to cover the bills, like during 2001 thru 2008, nothing is done. These last 8 years have seen improvements being done through out the city.
You take away income from these people, they will stop any improvements and they once again will be in a condition that only a very few people will be willing to rent them.

Landlord,
You have not addressed any issues that landlords face or their expenses. How do you propose to reimburse landlords who lost million's of dollars in the last recession? Will you personally reimburse them?

Landlords have to save money in the good times to pay the bills in the bad times or they go out of business. If you put a cap on rents going up will you also put a cap an amounts that rent can go down in a recession?

Will you also support that a tenant will still be required to pay rent on the apartment until a new tenant starts paying rent?

Why are you supporting a new 5 panel rent board?
You do not need that if you are just limiting rent increases to CPI?


Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 27, 2016 at 6:40 pm

Well "Grace," you have the wrong person. As to your claim on behalf of Councilmember Chris Clark that mediators (employed by Project Sentinnel) will report on mediations, you are wrong. Mediations are confidential - but the City can get some stats. Few tenants now engage in mediation and even fewer will be around to attempt to "mediate" a rent increase. Mediation is a discussion. Other cities have found that mediation works for some disputes - but not often when the subject is a rent increase. The point I made is that Chris Clark and his landlord-endorsed cohorts on the City Council disingenuously refused to even agendize the matter of protecting tenants from preemptive evictions in response to their gracious extension of mediation to some tenants. Evidently, you and Chris Clark have nothing to say on the subject. As to your claim that somehow evictions will become public knowledge, try again. It will not be through requests for mediation.


Posted by Grace
a resident of Slater
on Apr 27, 2016 at 7:27 pm

Hello Gary,

Perhaps I am mistaken.
Are you an attorney?
Are you the same person that spoke at the city council meeting when the rent control issue was before the council? If it was, I have the full name that was used during that time.

What statics can you show me that proves your claim that people do not use mediation?

What statics can you show me that proves your claim that people are being wrongly evicted to raise rents?

Council member McAlister said during a meeting that people keep claiming that, but they never could follow up with those people.

Your are completely wrong with regard to council not asking for data from meditation. I clearly wrote that "what issues are being brought before mediation" not the content.
Council member Clark asked for this, and he was the endorsed candidate from the Mountain View Voice news paper.

Why don't you buy an apartment building and set the model as to how it should be run, and get back to us in a year from now with the results.


Posted by Dave
a resident of Jackson Park
on Apr 27, 2016 at 7:55 pm

Make no mistake. Mountain View is a "company" town mostly owned by Google and a few other major high tech employers. Every year the Googles import thousands of H1B "guest workers" and recent college graduates to come work and live in Mountain View. They don't know the true rental market and what they should be paying where. So they end up paying over 1/2 their take home pay to live in a $3,000.00 a month one-bedroom recently built, owned and advertised by the Prometheus's (whom I suspect are planting pro-landlord posts on these threads). These "human imports" get no help from Google on the local rental market education, SO Prometheus, et al. can and will spike the rents to whatever ridiculous levels they can get away with, and the hipster geeks pay it because the opportunity of getting Google on their resume trumps whatever rents they must pay. You can probably bet that for every two imports, at least one established Mountain View resident is displaced.

Also, understand that the "average" rental prices for Mountain View are reported by the pro-corporate-landlord orgs like Zillow who have every incentive to report much higher average rents then the actual figures. So the corporate landlord proponents of "free market" rent raising are full of sh-t because this is NOT A FREE MARKET. The market is currently heavily skewed in favor of corporate "landlord" interests. Because of this, and the pro-corporate landlord city council, I'm all in favor of some kind of rent control targeted at the CORPORATE landlords, but exempting the non-corporate property owners who have at most a few rental units. In an ideal world where you have a true free market, rent control is a very bad idea, but not in this case where the market itself is being manipulated.


Posted by Dave
a resident of Jackson Park
on Apr 27, 2016 at 8:18 pm

To summarize my previous post:

The local rental market is NOT free. It is heavily manipulated by the Prometheus's et al in their favor included gross inflation of average reported rents in the city, and will continue for as long as the Google's continue their practice of firing experienced workers to be replaced by unskilled H1bs and recent grads. You can throw all those "free market economy" arguments against rent control out the window when it comes to the current state of things in Mountain View. THIS IS NOT A FREE MARKET and in this case a rent control ordinance to counteract the explicit rental market manipulation is fully warranted.

Now for all you corporate landlord trolls pretending to be actual residents, bring it on!


Posted by Mike
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 27, 2016 at 8:29 pm

@Dave,

I do not know if your claim is true about "planting pro landlord post" I do know that the moderators on this site use fake names, like Angel S, and I am sure there are several names in this thread that are from the moderators who are constantly pushing pro Latina agendas and rent control and property tax increases benefit this group the most.

If you post any thing that says vote out the member's who the Voice backs, you will be banned from this site.


Posted by Mike
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 27, 2016 at 9:03 pm

@Dave

Your anger at Prometheus and Google is misplaced.

For over 30 years some people have been pushing for rent control here. Long before Google or Prometheus has been around. Had rent control passed 30 years ago you probably would not live in Mountain View as it would have turned out just like East Palo Alto did.

Your are not addressing the main issue here, which is the high cost of the land and no available space to build new housing.

This is the natural process that happens everywhere, land gets used to it's highest and best use. How do do think we got where we are today when only 75 gears ago all the farmers that had orchards here had to go because people wanted to live here. Should we tear down all the apartment buildings here in Google Town and return it to the farmers?


Posted by Market Force
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 27, 2016 at 10:02 pm

"THIS IS NOT A FREE MARKET and in this case a rent control ordinance to counteract the explicit rental market manipulation is fully warranted."

The words of an economic illiterate. Explicit market manipulation is illegal. Buyers and sellers determine rental values. Limiting the supply to a single city is silly. Learn some economics and maybe you can make some better arguments. I know of no serious economist that would agree that the rental market is not a competitive market


Posted by simple questions
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 27, 2016 at 10:03 pm

Dave, your comments are not only misplaced but false and irresponsible. I am not a landlord "plant", I am a MV resident who understands basic economics. The market is not manipulated. If anything, those of you promoting rent control are the ones manipulating the market.

You make it sound like these evil corporations are forcing people to live somewhere they can't afford. So untrue.
People are free to live where they want. If they can't afford the rent here they are free to move somewhere more affordable.

Your argument holds no value.


Posted by Nope
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 27, 2016 at 11:05 pm

"Sue" once again missed the point. She now claims that the economic downturn caused the landlords to rent to "undesirables" (racist codeword, but that's another story). Oh! So it wasn't rent control, was it??? So stop claiming that all of MV will turn into a gang-ridden ghetto if we cap rent increases to 5-8%. That simply doesn't happen.

Love the fake economists in this conversation claiming to be experts, yet are simply spewing out right-wing political dogma. They are stuck in the "better-dead-than-red" 1950's. It's 2016.


Posted by Sue
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 28, 2016 at 10:38 am

@Nope

Hello Mr. Moderator,

I know that you do not care at all about putting mom & pop small businesses, out of business.
All you want to do is attack personally anyone who voices opposition to your view. By the way, can you post a copy of your economic degree?

What happens with rent control is, every time there is a recession and rents fall 45%, and high vacancy, landlords do not have enough cash flow to pay their bills. What happened in our city was the two gangs, Sureno's and Nortino's gangs moved into our city and was fighting over turf. Nothing racist here, just facts. It was a long time before the economy recovered and rents rose enough where the buildings could be sold and refurbished by a new owner or cleaned up by the existing owner, with much help from the police department.

What rent control does is recreate the same economic situation with the only difference being that the rents will be frozen at artificially low recession rent level, rents will never be able to rise enough after a recession for landlords to pay bills, let alone to be able to have extra money to do any improvements. You will have these buildings deteriorate again to the point where you will have 99% of the population choosing not to live there.

Answer this, what happened to East Palo Alto? Why did it turn into such an undesirable city? Here's a history lesson for you, there never used to be a East Palo Alto, it used to be all Palo Alto. All will agree that Palo Alto is a prosperous city, but when the residents voted to split up the city and create East Palo Alto, the city also accepted rent control and you have what you have today. For decades they had high vang violence thru out the city. What is East San Jose the way it is. Is it because of high rental properties and rent control?

What this petition is asking is to set up a new 5 panel board member to make new regulation. All you have to do is look at what has happened in San Francisco and San Jose and you will see that these boards have taken away all rights from property owners.

Just a few weeks ago there was a housing project before the council. It included a tear down of a residential property so that a larger residential housing could be built. The vote was 6 for and council member Siegel was against it, why? Because he said he did not want the older properties to be torn down as these are the most affordable housing in our community. What will happen with this new board is news rules that would prohibit anyone from being able to evict people for any reason. This is not speculation but facts, just look at the other rent control cities, and where did they start from and where they are today.

Property owners have far more invested in their communites than most people do.

There has been no one who has given a credible answer to this question.
If you are for taking away rights from a legal and lawful business and want rent control, why did you not move to East Palo Alto or San Jose?


Posted by @Sue
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 28, 2016 at 2:13 pm

Sue,sue,sue,sue... Nice rant! Let's go through it...

“I know that you do not care at all about putting mom & pop small businesses, out of business.”

“Mom&Pop” shops go out of business all the time, especially as property values increase. I’m fine if rent control could apply to true “Mom&Pop” shops in order to protect them. The problem is that the lobbyists for the large companies make sure that these type of protection laws apply to them as well. With economy of scale, the “Mom & Pop’s” have no chance. Many affluent people will rant on about the benefits of a “Free Market”, yet have to fly to a different continent to experience this thing called “Culture”, which is rapidly being bled out of our communities. (Think about the little family owned patisseries in France baking creative and delicious treats for their community.) We pay a dear cost here by refusing to recognize that an unrestricted capitalist community has it's drawbacks.

“All you want to do is attack personally anyone who voices opposition to your view. By the way, can you post a copy of your economic degree?”

My low-cost college degree? Huh? Oh, did you mean to write, “you degree in economics?” Even if I had a PhD in Economics from Wharton, you and your ilk would still not be moved by the point I’m making. Cognitive dissonance at it's best!

“What happens with rent control is, every time there is a recession and rents fall 45%, and high vacancy, landlords do not have enough cash flow to pay their bills. It was a long time before the economy recovered and rents rose enough where the buildings could be sold and refurbished by a new owner or cleaned up by the existing owner, with much help from the police department.”

Again, you are once again describing a Mountain View that did not exist. I was here when the gangs were operating and during periods of economic downturn…and guess what? The city DID NOT HAVE RENT CONTROL! By the way, the gang activity here was a JOKE compared to what was (and is still happening in other cities like San Jose). Don’t get me wrong, I was not happy they were here, but the City should have stepped up a long time ago to address the problem. Blaming a non-existent rent control ordinance is ludicrous.

“What rent control does is recreate the same economic situation with the only difference being that the rents will be frozen at artificially low recession rent level, rents will never be able to rise enough after a recession for landlords to pay bills, let alone to be able to have extra money to do any improvements. You will have these buildings deteriorate again to the point where you will have 99% of the population choosing not to live there.”

So, if what you said is true that rent control causes “99% of the population” will choose not to live there, then why have the population of cities with strong rent control like SF, Berkeley, NY continued to increase unabated? San Francisco is considered to be one of the most desirable cities to visit and to live in—WITH rent control!

“Answer this, what happened to East Palo Alto? Why did it turn into such an undesirable city? Here's a history lesson for you, there never used to be a East Palo Alto, it used to be all Palo Alto. "

I guess you don’t have a history degree, huh? Any degree? GED?
You wrote, “There never used to be a East Palo Alto, it used to be all Palo Alto. “

East Palo Alto HAS NEVER BEEN a part of Palo Alto. It was an unincorporated community of San Mateo County (Palo Alto is in Santa Clara County) until 1983.

“All will agree that Palo Alto is a prosperous city, but when the residents voted to split up the city and create East Palo Alto, the city also accepted rent control and you have what you have today. “

The only way “Palo Alto created East Palo Alto”, was by restricting home ownership by people of color. Here is a quote from a PA history website, “For instance, the majority of subdivisions established in the city between 1925 and 1950 included the following clause: “No person not wholly of the white Caucasian race shall use or occupy such property unless such person or persons are employed as servants of the occupants…”  That would explain the demographics of EPA!
I would call PA economically prosperous, but not socially (or soulfully) prosperous, especially in the 1st half of the 20th century.

It’s difficult to completely understand what you wrote here:
“For decades they had high vang [sic] violence thru out [sic] the city. What [sic] is East San Jose the way it is. Is it because of high rental properties and rent control? “
You seem to be a victim of a cart and the horse fallacy. Rent control causes economically troubled areas and areas of violence? When, actually, the issue is that economic troubles bring in the violence (people out of work, hungry and otherwise disenfranchised may develop anti-social behavior!) As the economy rebounds and rents increase, the most vulnerable are thrown out on the street and the community responds with rent control. Remember, rent control does not completely stop rent increases, it simply slows them down. It allows families some time to adapt and perhaps even survive!

“What this petition is asking is to set up a new 5 panel board member to make new regulation. All you have to do is look at what has happened in San Francisco and San Jose and you will see that these boards have taken away all rights from property owners. “

ALL rights from property owners? Really? They can’t charge rent? They can’t sell their building? They can’t improve it and apply for an additional rent increase to help cover it? I would suggest that landlords retain almost ALL of their rights. And still SF's desirability as a place to live continued to skyrocket. Hmmm....

And finally a response to your question:
“There has been no one who has given a credible answer to this question. If you are for taking away rights from a legal and lawful business and want rent control, why did you not move to East Palo Alto or San Jose? “

Because I don’t have to. I can stay here and help ensure that our residents include examples from all economic strata. I would pose the the same question to you. As California becomes more and more liberal and works to protect our most vulnerable residents, why don’t you move to West Virginia, Mississippi or rural Texas that share your same political philosophy? You are fighting a losing battle here. Most residents of Mountain View are RENTING and as they get organized, expect to see more and more tenant protection initiatives. That's democracy for you! Love it or leave it! :)


Posted by Neighbors Helping Neighbors
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2016 at 3:02 pm

RE: Help for renters & landlords

Dear Friends,
No matter what is decided via ballot measures or proposed/adopted programs/ordinances, there is immediate help for renters and landlords.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors is a local non profit who serves renters of all incomes to find suitable housing, basic needs and gives guidence for other life's challenges.

For anyone who needs help and guidance,
Peer Counseling Team
​Phone: 650-283-0270 (No Texting, please)
[email protected]
Striving to keep our middle to low income neighbors stable & thriving.

For renters,
HOUSING COORDINATOR 
[email protected] ​
Phone: 650-283-0270
Ask for "Relocation Packet". Best possible outcomes happen when you go prepared. Complete 'NHN Relocation Package'
include ​rental application, credit bureau, proof of income and make copies. When in doubt, or presented w/a barrier, ASK. We are here to help...

For landlords,
Home Sharing Program -
Housing Coordinator
Landlord Inquires – Room Rentals/other rentals.
[email protected] gmail.com


Posted by Sue
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 28, 2016 at 4:52 pm

@FakeSue

It says alot about you as a person that you do not post your real name. But your post shows an angry, hateful individual. Your first paragraph gives me a very good idea as to who you are. [Portion removed; don't speculate on the identity of other posters.]

You say you are fine with mom and pop shops going out of business, it happens all the time. Then any rational person would say the same for people who can not afford to live in a high cost area, they should live where they can afford it.

Market rent in Mtn.View for a 1 bedroom was $1500 in 2000, in 2003 the market rent collapsed to $850

Regarding the gang issue, yes it happened here in Mtn.View. when we had the first drive by shooting it made national news. There was one paper that put "GANG CENTRAL" on the front page along with a map that showed the different gang territory. I find it disgusting that any one would call the gang violence that happened a joke. I am sure the family of the individual who was shoot dead, would not call it a joke.

The cities that you cite as examples of where rent control works is funny to me. San Francisco as an example as fewer rent controlled units today than when the first law came into effect. Units are continuing to come off market by either them being torn down, or refigured into Tenants In Common, which is something that needs to come to our city so more people can buy their first home. You also mention Berkeley and Oakland, you are not any one who should be listened to if you think that those city's are doing good. They have been struggling for decades.

You can try to spin East Palo Alto separating from Palo Alto as something the voters never approved, but the facts are what they are and when rent control came to E.P.A it destroyed the city to this day.

Very few people want to purchase any rent controlled properties because of the bureaucracy that an owner has to deal with. If you get a new loan and have a mortgage to pay, the rent board wants to deny any mortgage rent pass thru. If you do work on the building and ask for a rent adjustment, the rent board say's it was not a needed repair and deny's any rent pass thru. If you have a family member you want to live in one of the units, the rent board say's landlord has ulterior motive and deny's the move in. So yes, landlords do lose their rights.

I hope that every one reads your post, especially your last paragraph. It shows what an intolerant person you are. "Kick everybody out of California who does not agree with, why, because you have the numbers on your side and you can."

That is not democracy, that is mob rule.

You want an unelected 5 panel rent to expand your confiscations of property that you see fit. You want to turn our city into something that Venezuela does with any privately run business.

What people like you are doing to the most vulnerable people in a high cost area is to tell them to stay here, instead of going to an area where they can live on their income, save money for retirement and be able to buy their own home.

There is no common ground here with you,this is what dictators do when trying to grab power and the hell with anybody that has their own opinion.


Posted by Whoa
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2016 at 5:05 pm

This "Sue" character doesn't understand that "@Sue" is not a fake name, but rather a standard way to address the posting to "Sue". For someone to live at Ground Zero of Silicon Valley and not understand that, speaks volumes as to the veracity of Sue's overall message.

East Palo Alto was NEVER a part of Palo Alto. How anyone could think otherwise demonstrstes ignorance of local history.

The 50's are over Sue. Segregation and/or exile of "undesirables" does not belong in our community.


Posted by Sue
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 28, 2016 at 5:42 pm

@Whoa

For your information, look at the 4 th post above this post. You will see that this was "posted by Sue" and at "old Mtn.View". This was copied by the "fakeSue" and not from @_____. You do not know what you are talking about.

People like you like to call people who disagree with them, "racist" to shut them up, discredite them and end debate.


Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 28, 2016 at 5:51 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

[Post removed; personal attacks on other posters violate terms of use. Please be civil.]


Posted by Sue
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 28, 2016 at 6:34 pm

@mvresident2003

It is even far worse than what you describe about these individual's.

They resent anyone's hard work, sacrifices they made so they could have a chance at a better life.
Many people, not corporations, but regular people took a chance to start a small business, many failed, many struggle, and some, with some luck and lots of long hours, no days off for vacations can eventually make it work.

Then you have this group, with a mob mentality, think because they outnumber other people that they can take away their rights, and can seize their property. If society breaks down into that common denominator, things will get very ugly here.


Posted by Sue
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 28, 2016 at 7:15 pm

@Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Thank you for posting your information, offering help for renters & landlords.

I am all for constructive dialogue to find common ground to help people in need, with out taking away rights from any group of people.

We all need to look at all options available, and be innovative in the answer, this is Silicon Valley after all.


Posted by Mike
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 28, 2016 at 8:52 pm

I just watched an interesting news story on TV.

San Francisco property crime is up 60% since 2010.

Of all the major 50 top city's in United States, San Francisco is number 1 in all property crime committed.

And some call this a desirable city? Really?


Posted by More proof
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2016 at 10:08 pm

Thanks for bringing up the increasing crime rate in SF! Strangely enough, there is a correlation between crime rates and income inequality.
Web Link

Even more interesting, there is evidence that the link is more specific to the flaunting of wealth vs actual net worth. This makes perfect sense. We have people that are being squeezed out of jobs and housing. Simultaneously, an army of newly rich tech workers have descended on SF receiving free, luxury bus rides to their workplace, BMW's, Tesla's and the like are seen everywhere.

Laptops, purses and electronics are left in vehicles in plain view.

These criminals should be caught and brought to justice, but as a community, we need to realize that income inequality taken to the extreme is going to rip our society apart. It has happened all through world history and we are headed quickly in that direction.

Rent control is not a cause of these problems. It provides temporary relief and keeps thousands off the street(in SF).


Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 28, 2016 at 10:52 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

@More proof, agreed, there is much to be said about income inequality. And much that needs to be done. And that is a topic for another discussion.

But the problem in SF isn't so much about that as it is about an extremely liberal policy of tolerance, the "Sanctuary City", a council full of well-meaning but devastating do-gooders.

I go to the City a lot. It is overrun with druggies, miscreants and abusers of any and all systems. It's disgusting, it's shameful, it's outrageous. People pissing in the streets. People sleeping....I mean passing out....on streets, curbs, parks. One of the most beautiful cities in the entire world (truly, easily one of the top 5 Cities) and it's overrun with ghetto, trashy people who have no respect for societal rules. Certainly there are a fair amount with mental issues who need help. And do NOT accuse my post of ignoring or not supporting that, I do and I give in many ways to help.
But the do-gooder, ultra-liberal approach of the City politicians are contributing to an overwhelmingly massive population of drugs and irresponsibility.

TOTAL SHAME.


Posted by henryinmv
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 29, 2016 at 12:53 pm

henryinmv is a registered user.

I MADE A BIG MISTAKE AND SIGNED THIS PETITION.


I went to the park last Sunday to listen to these people, they only talked about putting a cap on rent increases, nothing else.
Signed without reading, my mistake.

I came to this site a few days ago and I read about a new rent board to be created as part of this petition. I said to myself what is that?
So I went back and read the entire article and sure enough there is this,

"Overseeing this process would be a new "Rental Housing Committee," a five-member panel appointed by the City Council that would be in charge of setting allowable rents or making new regulations. The initiative would also include "just-cause eviction" protections, with a set of criteria for when landlords can evict tenants, such as failure to pay, causing a nuisance or criminal activity."

This would create a new board that no one resident in this city can vote for or against, with THE POWER TO MAKE LAW AND CHANGE LAWS.

Why can you people who wrote this petition, state what other laws you want now? This is no longer about just capping rents but something far more.

This board will have the power to change laws, make new laws and can go after anyone, property, they see fit.

I then researched what some here have said about other rent boards that are in the Bay Area, about denying landlords the right to evict criminals from their property, and sure enough there are articles of the San Francisco rent board denying landlords this right to evict them. So much so that it also states that most landlords do not even try anymore to evict these people.

I am against bringing these policy's to our city.

This petition needs to clearly spell out NOW, what ALL NEW LAWS they want so people can make an informed decision. I say absolutely NO to any new rent board to be created here.

I was misled into what I was signing and if anyone knows how to remove my name from this petition, please post it here.

Thank you.


Posted by a MV resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2016 at 2:57 am

a MV resident is a registered user.

Millennials are entitled? I'm not a millennial, but they make my day possible, be at as co-workers at work or in providing services and help throughout the day. They are not the most entitled generation. Entitled means you get things without work.

Millennials do not currently receive large government entitlements. Nor Millennials have entered an economy that entitles them prosperity or even job stability. By income, Millennials are the first generation that is poorer than the previous generation.

When people make that argument, they are focusing on the technological job growth that has helped a group of local younger and older techies prosper in a very public way, and older homeowners with them.

Most Millennial and older Americans do not work in tech, not even in Mountain View or San Francisco. Working class Americans don't have the privilege of being neatly defined by any generational grouping, let alone one that implies they are lazy or entitled. Sorry, most working class people of any age, are too busy to be seen dining daily on Castro.

It's easy to distract people by labeling this issue as "anti-capitalist" or against the "laws of economics," even putting aside that both are gross simplifications, their use distract us from the real issue. The real issue is that government is created to ensure people are not taken advantaged of, tenants and landlords alike.

And if you speak to a working class resident, regardless of age, and hear stories of their rent being hiked up 10-30% in a year, you can't help but feel, and know, that they have been exploited.

If these cases are far in between, that's great news! Lets all craft policies that just deal with these gross injustices, rather than lump the good and bad together or sweep all of this under the rug by pretending this issue is about "spoiled millennials."


Posted by henryinmv
a resident of North Whisman
on May 2, 2016 at 1:33 pm

henryinmv is a registered user.

UPDATE:

I called the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters office today.
To withdraw my signature from this petition, I have to go to the Mountain View City Clerk's office and go thru their procedure to withdraw my name.

What is so troubling to me is the fact that the proponents of this initiative are not even bringing up, or even willing to talk about this new UN-elected 5 panel rent board. If anyone brings up issues against this, they are called names, trying to distract from what this initiative says and what it will do.

There are legitimate issues that both sides have, but the people who put the initiative together should have clearly stated all the new laws they wanted now. It appears to me that they must want dramatic changes for them to put together this new UN-elected rent board and to not post what they want now.

Another very troubling item for me is what Angel S. posted on March 20th, 2016 in this thread,

Web Link

Posted by Angel S.
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 17, 2016 at 12:00 am
"As part of the Mountain View Tenants Coalition, I'm very happy with the outcome."

Further down the post, he tries to answer some questions,

5- Do you acknowledge that there was a case in San Francisco where a landlord had a drug dealer living in his building, rent board would not allow landlord to evict him, then other tenants sued landlord? It was in all the papers when it happened. The police can not evict tenants, you should know that.

"A- Yes, the landlord went about that eviction all wrong. On any contract or lease there's a clause that explains what you are and aren't allowed to do in the property. Illegal activity always terminates the contract. From that point on, it becomes tresspassing, or failure to vacate... in both cases, the police can intervene and "

6- What would you do when you have to refinance your loan, and the banks underwriters says you have to raise the rents $400 on everyone to qualify?
Would you do it? if you won't, you will loss your building.

"A- If the landlord is interested in keeping their building and the tenants want to keep their apartment, a partnership sounds tome like the best solution. Both tenants and landlords could make a case to city government , to subsidize those who are interested in helping the community achieve affordable housing goals. A fund could be set to help those landlords keep their building, while at the same time, diminishing the rent increase for those tenants. Win win."

7-I new the people who where the owners at 2235 California St. They lost $8 million dollars in 4 years, from 2000 thru 2004. Will you pay them back for the money they lost? if not, who will? The other person I new who lost his building in 2005, the bank went after everything he owned to cover the losses on the loan. Will you pay him back?

"A- Are tenants getting a share from landlords profits? How does that even make sense?
No, we shouldn't "pay them back". It sounds a lot like the bank bailouts... What we need to do is to rethink the industry. It should be much more than just "owning buildings" and "making money". Let's make it a community oriented industry.
If we do a good job we could end the eviction of families, and the losses of those who invest in such a necessary product."

These answers and thought process by someone who says he is apart of the "Mountain View Tenants Coalition" should be ringing the alarm bells. It shows that they have no practical solutions to address this issue and no understanding how business needs to work so they can stay in business.

We currently have laws that protect people from retaliation and discrimination. They want to take these issues out of the courts and have the new, UN-elected rent board to make these decisions. Some will say that it will be one sided like the San Francisco rent board.

There needs to be a fair process for both sides. Issues for landlords have to be addressed so they can pay their bills, qualify for re-financing loans, and be able to get thru recessions when they do not have income to pay bills.

Tenants need to know that there are existing laws that already protect them, perhaps a website where to post what landlords do regular and large rent increases, and perhaps the new mediation program being set up now can take information from tenants who claim to be treated illegally-they could make some calls to confirm if true, then also provide this information to the city council.

This petition has been written from the proponents point of view only. This is not a fair process for both sides.

Apartment buildings built after 1995 are not even allowed to have rent control placed on them, per state law.

Landlords are the minority in our city, that does not mean they should have rights taken away from them. No other business is treated that way. We do not treat any minority group that way.

I will oppose this initiative-measure because of all the unanswered questions, and the changes that it is asking for.

We vote on our city council members, we do not have any board in our city government that has the power to make and change law, and we should not start now. If residents disagree with the new laws that come out of this board, voters have no right to vote out board members.

It is my hope that everyone will copy this post and send it to all residents of our city, and ask that they forward it on. Everyone needs to know and understand whats in this.

They can decide for them self's what they want to do.


Posted by sfcanative
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 9, 2016 at 12:32 pm

sfcanative is a registered user.

If I were a homeowner, duplex owner or triplex owner in Mountain View I would be VERY concerned about the impact rent control would have on the value of my property given the nearby history in areas like Berkeley, EPA, etc. which clearly show small properties suffer greatly from the surrounding decline of multifamily housing where rent control is the law. If you're a homeowner in Mountain View, you will be very, very sorry if rent control is put into place. Blight and seedy neighborhoods will be the result, guaranteed.


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