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Resident suing to take rent control measure off ballot

Original post made on Aug 31, 2016

A Mountain View resident is suing the city to remove a City Council-backed rent control measure from the November ballot.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, August 30, 2016, 5:28 PM

Comments (56)

Posted by Brian David
a resident of North Whisman
on Aug 31, 2016 at 2:24 pm

And why did our city attorney not put medical cannabis dispensing collectives on the ballot? Shame on you Janie.... Why don't you go represent your own home town...we don't need your type of politics here... Let the residents of there own city represent. It should be a requirement that you be a resident of the city you represent...

Posted by Homeowner in favor of Measure V
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 31, 2016 at 3:12 pm

Measure W was hastily thrown together.

Measure V was put together carefully with rental law attorney's assistance to make it fair to all members of our community.

Measure V is VITAL to our community. Measure W is a weak measure that was haphazardly thrown together, and placed on the ballot at the last minute.

I have no way to know what the 4 council members were thinking about when they did this: however, it does not pass the smell test.

What ever happens with Measure W, VOTE YES on MEASURE V.

Posted by MV Woman
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Aug 31, 2016 at 3:44 pm

Measure V is an arrogant, failed attempt to confiscate private property for the use of others. It will do NOTHING to help renters in Mountain View, no matter how often the backers use their false propaganda to bombard the public. The vast majority of building owners in Mountain View are fair and honest, and many of them have their buildings as their only income. Measure V would lock in irrational limits that, quite often, would not let the owner even recoup expenses (taxes, landscaping, repairs, maintenance, utility increases) and could well force them to sell to get out before the losses are too great. Guess what? The new owners would hike the prices, or would turn them into condos that are out of reach for renters. Worst case - they sell to a developer who puts up new and extremely expensive apartments/condos, that leaves us with even LESS affordable rentals in Mountain View.
Only FIVE STATES in the U.S. allow rent control - and that should tell you something. It NEVER works to benefit those who thought it would save them. I am astounded at how naive people are who favor this - you would definitely be voting against your own best interests. You cannot legislate lower prices for you - just as you cannot demand any company or store to sell to you for less. Life doesn't work that way. And please don't use the false argument that this measure was put together by an attorney - so it must be good. (Nobody is going to believe THAT one!) Attorneys are hired to argue your case in your favor - and there are always at least two sides to that argument. You cannot possibly believe "If an attorney says so - it must be true"!
Your best bet is to work hard and live within your means - and live where you can afford. I'm truly sorry if Mountain View is out of range, but you cannot demand others support you because it's simply what you want. The "Tenant's Measure" is a false and empty promise that will destroy what reasonable housing is still in Mountain View. Don't be fooled. If it should pass, it would take another expensive and difficult vote to overturn it - and by then any reasonable housing in Mountain View could be gone. NO on both measures, but at the very least - NO ON MEASURE V.

Posted by Learn Economics
a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2016 at 4:19 pm

It would seem to me that if you made it very unattractive to rent your property in Mtn View, that would just make more landlords exit the market and reduce supply even further...

Posted by To MV Woman
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 31, 2016 at 6:11 pm

Hi there --

I am puzzled by your comments.

I don't see anything in the text of the ballot measure talking about property transfers.

--- no guaranteed rate of return in life ---

Maybe you are talking about the limits on rent increases? If so, in a free market *there is no guaranteed rate of return*. Every business has to account for new laws and regulations as part of the cost of doing business. Meat packers for example have to worry about food safety regulations.

I get that you want a guaranteed rate of return - So would I!

-- astronomical rent increases --

I am sure you are an excellent landlord. It is unfortunate that the other landlords are choosing to raise the rents 80% in the last 7 years. If the other landlords had kept the rent increases reasonable - they would not have forced out teachers, nurses and other people that we need for Mountain View to continue to be great.

Now I am going to assume that you are a great landlord and you may not raise rents every year. The good news is that Measure V allows you to bank rent increases without penalty.

-- landlords taking rental units off the market --

If a landlord wants to convert an apartment building, the city has procedures in place for that. After all the property remains the landlords, clearly Measure V does not "confiscate property"

-- things are going to get 'worse' --

I am pretty sure that you keep your apartments up to code.

Unfortunately, 70% of apartments inspected last year had code violations. Apartments are already being neglected. Landlords know that renters are afraid to complain. Measure V will force the landlords to keep the apartments up to code without subjecting renters to retaliation.

-- good news for landlords --

I don't know if you saw this but, Measure V does allow for rent increases to cover major repairs and capital improvements. So you will have no problem if you have a big repair bill.

-- all the other expenses --

Owners already get tax deductions for many of the listed expenses. Renters get no such benefits.

Taxes are part of everyone's life. I don't get any more salary just because California raises their income tax rate. I don't see why landlords should get special treatment. Besides - Prop 13, means that landlords in many cases are paying very little.


Which leaves me puzzled about what you saw that got you upset?

Posted by MV Woman
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Aug 31, 2016 at 6:24 pm

I am not a landlord - nor have I ever been - I own and live in my single family home here in Mountain View. However, I've been a renter and I've seen the disaster that rent control (or the pseudonym "rent stabilization") brings. I have friends who rent in this city, and the majority of them have good landlords. But I see this for what it is - a plain and simple land grab. Yes - you list all the regulations that supposedly will assist landlords to be treated fairly - but they are all theoretical and most will fail in real life. The hurdles that landlords will have to jump are outrageous - and they are at the mercy of a rather vaguely defined panel of residents.

Both V and W are poorly crafted and naive. Live under this horrific situation and see what happens. Rents will first shoot up dramatically (driving many out of town) and then a large number of buildings will sell to developers for high-priced condos. Again - there are excellent reasons that rent control (or "stabilization") is actually ILLEGAL in the majority of our states.

You obviously have a horse in his race. I don't. However, I have seen the outcome of this type of regulation and it leads to nothing but failure all around. Vote NO on both or pay the eventual cost that homeowners and renters alike, will surely regret.

Posted by To MV Woman
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 31, 2016 at 7:41 pm

> I have friends who rent in this city, and the majority of them have good landlords.

Shouldn't ALL your friends have landlords that are good enough to follow the law? Shouldn't all the apartments being rented are free of pests and code and violation?

> a plain and simple land grab

You say it is a "land grab". For something to be a "land grab", the city would have to take ownership of the property.

> most will fail in real life ...

Right now , we know that the CURRENT situation is a disaster. I hear that you feel that change is going to be a disaster.

> rather vaguely defined panel of residents.

Here is the panel requirements. It doesn't seem too vague to me.

"There shall be in the City of Mountain View an appointed Rental Housing Committee comprised of Mountain View residents as set forth in this Section. The Committee shall consist of five (5) Committee members appointed by the City Council, and an alternate Committee member. The alternate Committee member shall be permitted to attend all Committee meetings and to speak, but not be authorized to vote unless a regular member of the Committee is absent at that meeting or is recused from voting on an agenda item. There shall be no more than two (2) members of the Committee that own or manage any rental property, or that are realtors or developers. Anyone nominated to this Committee must be in compliance with this Article and all other local, state and federal laws regulating the provision of housing. Annually, the Committee shall elect one of its members to serve as chairperson."

> Rents will first shoot up dramatically (driving many out of town)

Rents HAVE already shot up. 80% in the last 7 years! How can a measure that limits rent increases to a more reasonable rate, cause rents to go higher than they have already?

Please explain.

Posted by @To MV Mom
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 31, 2016 at 9:29 pm

"Rents HAVE already shot up. 80% in the last 7 years!"

Yeah, that's because 2009 was the very bottom on the financial crisis. I know people supporting rent control like to use that comparison, but why don't you compare apples to apples? We are at the peak of the typical Silicon Valleys boom and bust cycle. You should compare rents now, to the peak of the last boom. I'm guessing that would be around 2006/2007. I'm sure rents are higher now than in 2007, but I doubt they are 80% higher. Can anyone cite that comparison? You appear to be manipulating opinion when you compare unusually low rents at the bottom on the worst financial crisis in recent history to unusually high ones now.

"How can a measure that limits rent increases to a more reasonable rate, cause rents to go higher than they have already?"

Because once Mountain View has rent control, but the surrounding cities don't, guess where everyone renting in those other cities is going to want to live? Yup. They will also want to grab a rent-controlled apartment in MV while they can, and demand for rent-controlled units will skyrocket. Rent control is faulty logic. Units that stay occupied will benefit from low rents, but once they change hands, look out. If you are currently looking to rent in MV or might want to move to a bigger house at some point, rent control will be your worst enemy.

Posted by MV Woman
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Aug 31, 2016 at 9:40 pm

I'm not in a contest with you, whomever you are. You are all for this fiasco of rent control and see a pollyanna version of the future for yourself. Good for you. I'll be fine - I'm not renting nor am I a landlord - but some of my friends will be driven from this city when huge investors buy out the small landlords. And that WILL happen because it always has.
Just before rent control in enacted, landlords have traditionally hiked rents DRAMATICALLY, so their increases from then on are based on a much higher base and give them higher actual dollar increases. It's obvious you have no idea of what happens in the real world of rent control. I just hope most voters in this city will not be fooled by the hype that they're going to get a great deal. They're not. This is a CHARTER amendment - which is a massive error from the get-go. When it destroys rentals in this town, it will take too long to overturn and the damage will already be done.
You'll obviously believe what you want, no matter what history has proven - and unfortunately you simply have no idea what will be on it's way. I'm done trying to remove your blinders.

Posted by To MV Woman
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 31, 2016 at 10:04 pm

" Just before rent control in enacted, landlords have traditionally hiked rents DRAMATICALLY, so their increases from then on are based on a much higher base and give them higher actual dollar increases. "

The rent hikes already happened. This is why Measure V sets the base rent as the rent that was in effect on October 19, 2015.

"Base Rent. The Base Rent is the reference point from which the lawful Rent shall be determined and adjusted in accordance with this Article.
(1) Tenancies commencing on or before October 19, 2015. The Base Rent for tenancies that commenced on or before October 19, 2015 shall be the Rent in effect on October 19, 2015.
(2) Tenancies commencing after October 19, 2015. The Base Rent for tenancies that commenced after October 19, 2015 shall be the initial rental rate charged upon initial occupancy, provided that amount is not a violation of this Article or any provision of state law. The term “initial rental rate” means only the amount of Rent actually paid by the Tenant for the initial term of the tenancy."

I appreciate your opinion. I am trying to find the *facts* that you base your opinion on. I have offered up the facts that I base my opinion on:

* 80% rent increases since 2009
* 70% code violations (i.e. landlords neglecting their property)

Please inform me of the facts that I don't know about.

Please offer up facts to support your position.

Posted by to "@To MV Mom"
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 31, 2016 at 10:13 pm

Only rent has gone up 80% in the last 7 years, not food, not gas, not the price of a car. The recession affected all sectors.

The 80% number came from surveys of reported rents - I get that you don't want to believe this is possible. But yes, it is true and possible.

Your statement about everyone wanting to live in Mountain View if there is rent control is at odds with the statement that that would some how make the rents go up. If the rent increases are limited to a reasonable rate of increase - how would the rents go up?

It seems like landlords should love rent control because they would be able to charge more rent under rent control.

Now I am really confused!

Posted by Kyle
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 31, 2016 at 10:37 pm

I'll vote yes on Measure V. Landlords benefit from Prop 13 exemptions while raking in from rental inflation. The evictions/rent hikes are impoverishing the community and our schools. Repeal prop 13 for commercial property and they can charge what they want.

Posted by Michael O'Brien to MV Woman
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Aug 31, 2016 at 11:36 pm

MV Woman- You know if you post a great deal of comments anonymously how could anyone believe you were not being paid. I would say if you do not believe in the political process of democracy and feel the need to spread disinformation to cause even more confusion, then you are free to live elsewhere as well. People that are paying higher rents are people like me who can afford them, people that negotiate their salaries. It is obvious that when the market fails those of us who work here serving our needs, then corrections need to made - by the people! The people have spoken with Measure V. Measure W is a blatant political tactic to confuse people and keep the status quo but don't believe me, read the legislation. You get one vote just like every citizen in this great city. It will be much less great and it will change forever if we do not ensure protection for our hardest working and modestly paid neighbors. If they have to go, I'm leaving too, because that means this place really isn't what I thought it was and why I made it my home.
Michael O'Brien
Resident and Engineer

Posted by well...
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2016 at 12:39 am

There is actual evidence that when landlords foresee rent control coming into place, they will hike up prices preemptively because they know they will be prevented from doing so in the future. It makes sense. If you're a landlord and you were going to rent at $3k with the possibility of increasing that in the future, now that you know your increases are limited, you will try to push that up $3.5k or as far as you can. And likewise, when a tenant moves out and you're looking for a new one, again you are more incentivized to push as far as you can because you know you will be limited in the future. So, even though this ordinance will reset rates to 2015, it won't prevent landlords from asking as much as humanly possible of new tenants. And you can certainly see the appeal of an owner leaving a property empty until they find someone willing to pay a super high rent rather than renting to someone immediately who can't pay that much. Because over the years, that difference adds up and is greater than the money lost from keeping the unit empty. All of which just makes things more expensive for the renter.

I think rent control does not actually make things more affordable. If you look at SF, it's one of the least affordable places on earth and yet it has the strongest rent control laws in the country. The reality is that people need to move- they get married, get divorced, have kids, have parents move in, change jobs, etc. And if and when you move, you will suddenly be faced with a an ungodly rent hike. You will be paying back all that money you saved on that first apartment to the second apartment. You're still screwed, it's just a matter of when.

Posted by More supply!
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2016 at 6:11 am

The opponents of rent control keep saying that if this initiative passes, then it will reduce supply. Three reasons are stated:

1. It will not be economically attractive to own an apartment building, therefore existing landlords will exit the rental market.

FALLACY: If the landlord exits the market, then it would involve a re-development.. By state law, a tear down and re-development would eliminate rent control for that property. The new development would be higher density than the old, which INCREASES supply.

2. Property developers will not want to build new housing in a rent controlled city.

FALLACY: The opponents will have you believe this, but anything built after1994 is not subject to rent control. This ordinanxe would therefore NOT discourage new building.

3. Fewer vacancies would be available to new residents, since fewer would move out.

FALLACY: The opponents to rent control either don't get it, or don't want YOU to get it. The fact that SOME landlords can no longer raise rent by THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS that results in evictions. That's the point!!!! We want people that cannot afford to own in MV to at least have a chance to stay here long term.

They claim that these measures would lower supply. That's good! The so-called free market experts on this site should tell you that decreased supply would result in increased demand. Increased demand would encourage MORE housing development! Unless these self proclaimed economists only apply the principles of supply and demand to suit their own political opinions?

Say it isn't so!

Posted by Mind is now made up
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2016 at 6:55 am

Voting NO on both.

Posted by concerned citizen
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2016 at 8:08 am

You cannot control a market without a cost to the market. Think about it. If Mountain View told Safeway that they cannot raise their prices over the cost of living and Exempted Costco since it was built after 1995, can raise their prices...DO YOU REALLY THINK SAFEWAY IS GOING TO STAY IN BUSINESS IN MOUNTAIN VIEW??? YOU GOT IT!!!
This will be what happens in Mountain View to the rental supply. Yes, investors expect a rate of return or they pull out. Who wouldn't?
Would you invest millions of your dollars and take the risk property owners take to receive bank savings rates? If so, put up and I'll come live in your building.
Every issue has 2 sides and you can't take one without the other.

Posted by No on both
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 1, 2016 at 8:30 am

"The new development would be higher density than the old, which INCREASES supply."

Well, not always: Web Link

Posted by Concerned citizen
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2016 at 8:41 am

And there ya go... Affordable housing for renters transitioned into MILLION DOLLAR HOMES!
The wave of the future and now Santa Clara County will receive Hundreds of thousands more per year in new property taxes!!! Yae.. we all win.
Thank you for making my point... The county wins at the expense of the investor and tenant.

Posted by To the economic "professors"
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 1, 2016 at 10:41 am

Your "economic" hypothetical theories are .... interesting.

One of the big drivers of housing property values are quality schools.

The current reality is that the school district lost 40 teachers in 2014, 55 teachers in 2015. Web Link

Last year, school started without all the permanent teachers needed. The situation is so bad that the current school superintendent signed the ballot argument in favor of Measure V.

To the armchair "economic" professors, I want quality schools.

Right now, the rents are destroying our schools.

Posted by VOTE NO
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 1, 2016 at 10:47 am

No one has mentioned here how this applies to units built prior to 1995. And do you know why?

Because once the horrific and negative effects of rent control started to be felt, once cities with rent control started realizing that investors and developers were avoiding them like the plague, the State stepped in and enacted Costa-Hawkins. No investor wants to come in to an area where they cannot make a profit....for those of you who don't seem to understand simple economics here let's put it this way; would you work for free? Of course not. Investors expect profits. Try saying the word....PROFIT. It's not a bad word, really. It's actually a good thing, it's what makes our economy thrive and what has allowed each and every one of you the ability to earn $, to work, and to buy all the smart phones, Nike tennis shoes and other things you enjoy.

It's ironic that none of you supporting rent control can see the long term negative effects. It's sad you've been sold a false hope and even sadder that you're all clawing at it with such misguided enthusiasm. You just cannot and will not look at the reality of investment and risk.

You just want to be the beneficiary of it. Shameful.

Posted by "VOTE NO" just gave the best reason to vote YES
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 1, 2016 at 11:16 am

They say we should think only about the poor investors because they want PROFIT.

The PROFIT comes at the expense of our schools.

In their own words, "PROFIT's what makes our economy thrive"

So quality schools don't matter, business owners in downtown who are unable to find workers don't matter. Teachers quitting don't matter.

"The teachers who are quitting aren't necessarily dissatisfied with the district, but the salaries are just not enough to compensate for the high cost of local rent or the long commutes from more affordable communities." (Web Link

None of this matters to the no, no, no people.

When the interests of the FEW outweight the interest of the 99% of us - then something needs to be done.

VOTE YES ON V because quality schools can only happen with quality EXPERIENCED teachers who can afford to live here.

VOTE YES ON V because unlike the PROFIT-focused no,no,no-ers, we VALUE a world isn't just about how much PROFIT landlords get to make off the rest of us.

VOTING YES ON V is VITAL for a VIBRANT community.

Posted by to Rex Manor
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2016 at 1:47 pm

Your constant posts make me think you are one of the original backers of this hideous Measure V - am I correct? You threaten that everyone will be priced out of the rental market, that rents have gone up 80%, that apartments are falling apart without proper upkeep, and now you're argument is that our schools will be destroyed. You also seem to think apartment owners are in the business as a charity and you scream that profit is somehow wrong. You cannot think anyone would get into a business to LOSE, do you? Do YOU work for free? When someone proves you wrong, you just leap to a new argument to try to manipulate people to vote for your measure. It's not working, because history has PROVEN rent control brings misery to any community where it is tried.

One poster pointed out that rent control is illegal in most states because of the disaster it brings to any community. You refuse to confront that fact because you know your argument would be false and fruitless. No matter how much you push your propaganda, it's not working. People won't be hoodwinked into destroying Mountain View for those of you who think you're going to get a free lunch. Or maybe you're a developer and you WANT Mountain View to enact this ignorant measure so you can get buildings more cheaply and convert them for your own profit?

You'll undoubtedly continue to post here, pushing your agenda, but your arguments are failing. Rent control would devastate those who actually believe the hype that it would help them. We would lose a large amount of rentals, as they would be either torn down or converted to expensive condos. Then we can guarantee those who want cheaper rents would have to leave Mountain View. Add to this the ridiculous idea to make this a Charter Amendment, and the arrogance reaches new heights. NO on your destructive measure V and no on W as well.

Posted by 99% is an estimate
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2016 at 1:52 pm

The 99% will be hurt by rent control. That's been the case for other cities who have tried it and now wish they could go back to undo it (they cannot).
The intelligent people are thinking 10 years down the road, not just until next month. I'll also be voting no.
Let them all waste their monies suing each other. I'll be glad when the issue is finally put to rest via the ballot box.

Posted by In favor of COMMUNITY over EXCESSIVE PROFIT
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 1, 2016 at 2:46 pm

We live in a community. The vast majority of our community rents.

Measure V is about protecting the teachers, nurses, and people who work at business along the Castro.

The businesses along Castro are struggling to pay their workers enough to keep up with the rents their workers are forced to pay. Ava's Downtown Market can't afford to pay the workers 80% more than they were paid in 2009.

The price of PROFITEERING by the landlords is businesses along Castro shutting down.

I personally enjoy a downtown that is vibrant. A downtown with nothing but startups is not a downtown any more - it is just a glorified office park.

The price of PROFITEERING by the landlords is the school district having to hire more inexperienced teachers. Because more experienced teachers actually will want to pay off student loans, start a family -- not struggle to make the latest 20% rent increase.

The above commentators are united in their absolute focus on the landlords' PROFIT.

Notice they are focusing on how many millions landlords get to make and they have no consideration for the impact that this behavior has on the rest of the MV community.

Measure V allows for a reasonable rate of return. Measure V allows landlords to recover the cost of maintaining their property.

Measure V ONLY happened because of landlords' BAD behavior.

Measure V ONLY happened because the City Council ignored the pleas of the tenants.

Oh and for the record: I am a homeowner and not a landlord. BUT I do have kids in school.

My kids regularly tell me 2-3 times a month that another friend of theirs was forced to move away.

The last few years, the majority of their teachers are brand new.

I am voting for Measure V because I want Mountain View kids to get a quality education.

Posted by Rent Control is going to be great
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 1, 2016 at 2:49 pm

At last! We have a way to upgrade Mountain View, and get rid of all the poor sections of town! Both of these measures will make great steps in those directions.
They both do not apply to the big developers of new expensive apartments for the high tech workers. Those sectors will continue to be Very profitable and continue growth
displacement of low priced underdeveloped properties. These measures will finally.t get rid of those small cheap apartments pandering to illegal immigrant cash worker crowd, that need to go find affordable housing in a less desirable area than Mountain View. Tech workers have sacraficed for years to get them selves educated, and out compete, and out earn average incomes. If winners and losers get the same results, what is going to motivate people to work?

Google is vacuuming up the big data of the world and there by vacuuming up money from the whole world. This puts them in a unique position to pay for the best minds in the world. It is best for Google if all their workers are at one location. They are not going to move. They own an Airport and a city in the best climate and business climate in the world. No place could be better for Google.

Low wage positions will be filled by commuters commuting further and further to earn relatively high incomes for what they do.

These measures will speed up Mountain View's accent to an Elite City.
The legal battles that will fall out can only help get rid of these small shack owners.
Ironic that both measures are being sold as helping maintain diversity.
Vote yes on both measures!

Posted by YES on V
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 1, 2016 at 2:49 pm

The last comment was obviously made someone who hasn't studied how popular rent control is in California. It's withstood attacks at the ballot box on the state level because the benefits are obvious in all of the desirable California cities that have it. Try being a politician against rent control in San Francisco. It is career suicide.

Only the heartless want to deny stable and predictable rents to families, seniors and service workers.

Posted by Decided NO on both
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2016 at 2:52 pm

So sick of all the politicos. As soon as I see the word "Rent" on my ballot, the NO vote gets cast.

Posted by No on W
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2016 at 3:04 pm

Dirty tricks are dirty tricks. The city council shouldn't be acting like that. It smacks of favoritism and lack of democracy.

I hope the city gets told it has to modify its charter first, before it can put ballot majors to vote regarding added ordinances. This will be interesting. To undo a dirty trick with a legal objection.

Posted by Mountain View Homeowner
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 1, 2016 at 3:09 pm

I read all of the comments with great interest. I am a homeowner, not a renter, so my comments are made based on what is going on in my tiny circle of the neighborhood. I live next door to a multi-plex housing unit, there are 6 units in this plex. My neighbors have been living there for 20 years. Just recently I was talking to my neighbor, and she told me that her rent was raised 40%. That is huge! My mortgage doesn't go up every year, yet her rent goes up every year. The units are certainly not top-notch, in fact the roof leaks, and everything inside them is super old. Yet, there was nothing she could do, except pay the higher price, or move out. Her landlord does not need the extra income, he is loaded, but he realized that he could get more, and decided to take advantage of this. This is the kind of rent increase that measure V is designed to protect. So please, learn more about these measures. A competing measure is also going to be on the ballot, measure W. There will be a discussion about this measure on Thursday, 9/29 at the senior center in Mountain View. I hope you will all attend.

Posted by well...
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2016 at 3:39 pm

"More supply" writes that " If the landlord exits the market, then it would involve a re-development." This is not true. What we've seen in SF is that apartments are converted to condos and simply sold. So you actually are more likely to lose rental units from the market. Ellis Act also makes it legal for owners to re-occupy their properties and force tenants out that way.

The other thing that happens with rent control is that you see small landlords exit the market. If you only own a handful of units, the inflexibility of rent control and especially the fear of being forced to pay renters a "severance" to get them to move out is high. You can read about this here: Web Link Landlords are paying tens of thousands of dollars just to get their units back. I think people often don't realize that not only does rent control control the price of rent, but it also means you essentially can never terminate your lease with your renter. It's that much harder to kick out a bad tenant because they'll say you're kicking them out to make a profit, even if they are really bad tenants. So if you're not a huge landlord, those are now bigger risks. So small landlords sell to larger landlords. And instead of your landlord living down the street, you're now being managed by some conglomerate. I don't think that's good either because those guys have all the big lawyers and it's those guys who are in the business of doing Ellis Act evictions like they're going out of style.

Posted by Correct
a resident of Castro City
on Sep 1, 2016 at 4:21 pm

Well stated and true @Well.

Posted by New Parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 1, 2016 at 6:23 pm

I heard SF is a rent control city, and I heard people who want to move to SF will have to pay much more rent for a the type of rental unit in MV.

If I am not mistaken, rent control does not guarantee lower rent to the public. I think only a small group of people benefit from the measure to be passed. The expense will be paid by the general public and property owners.

As human, we tend to do things that is favorable to us. The benefit to the community and the city take second priority (sad but truth). If I were a renter, I would probably vote YES to the measure because I don't live the consequence even I make bad decision. There is other places that I can move to if the place I live turn into a dump.

Property owners in MV is not totally screwed. You can let the place rot, and rebuild. You can command much higher rent because there is a short supply in the area.

The renter who would like to be a property owner of the city will be the big time sucker.

Posted by Screwed
a resident of Gemello
on Sep 1, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Gary- If you succeed in getting the city ordinance removed from the ballot you'll probably succeed in giving those leary of a rigid charter amendment nothing to go for instead and our city will remain much more prosperous without scaring away housing investors with ill conceived rent control. Having no rent control would save the most affordable housing from being torn down and would keep new housing investors interested in Mountain View instead of investing elsewhere. Sure, newly constructed housing is not under rent control, but even those investors avoid cities than impose strict regulations in the area they want to invest in.
Get a clue: cheapest housing removed and less housing being built. Lose, lose.

Posted by Wage slave renter
a resident of Whisman Station
on Sep 1, 2016 at 10:59 pm

Rent Stabilization: A FAILED social experiment.

Measure V: Written by attorneys to benefit attorneys. What a surprise! Unlimited "Rental Housing Committee" budget, totally autonomous operation hiring full-time staff, attorneys, conducting rent surveys constantly, passing all costs on to landlords of older Class B/C apartments built before February 1995 . . .


Posted by @well
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 2, 2016 at 12:19 am

Thank you for your comments about SF's rent control program. It is vastly different than the one proposed in Measure G, so is not relevant to the discussion.

So fat, the only objections are coming from people who:

a. Didn't read the Measure V text.

b. Are politically opposed to any increase in government regulation (think John Inks). Exceptions are made for regulations that will negatively impact people in lower economic strata or people that look and/or act outside of the WASP "norm".

c. Think that all forms of rent control or rent stabilization programs have exactly the same negative consequences. Of course, no comprehension of the programs nor basis for such a conclusion is offered.

d. Continue to spout the propaganda that rent control only benefits "the lucky few" who get a unit. This is opposed to the current reality where the only ones that get housing are the lucky rich. Also, the community benefits from having a more stable, long term population. So, we are all "lucky" in that regard.

Posted by Social Butterfly
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 2, 2016 at 9:37 am

Lets get those greedy Landlords!!!

People, lets be real here and look at the reality of the situation.

Mountain View isn't anything like Pottersville from the movie "It's a wonderful life" where 1 guy is sucking the life out of everyone else.
Mountain View is a thriving vibrant cutting edge city of the 21st century. If you took the wealth of the Bay Area alone, you could buy almost any country with an Army, Navy and Air force with enough money left over for a night out for Friday night pizza.
You guys have the wealthiest corporations in the world in your back yard, generating billions of dollars a year. These Mega Corporations need housing for the most educated and innovative people on the planet to live in. That's right, they have come from all over the world to be here and be part of it.
This is their "Field of Dreams" and if you build it, they will come.

It's going to be interesting to see what happens to this housing market that will have no return on investment(ROI for all you want-to-be socialists) in this environment.

Yea that's right ROI is the driving force that makes people get outa bed every morning and go to work. This includes investors that buy real estate and expect profit like Google, Apple and all these places people work all the way down to the Taqueria on the corner.

When you take the driving force out of a market you not only stop growth but the market will down size into sub markets trying to create profit again."Life will find a way" as it did in Jurassic Park.
Its going to be a great to see how this one turns out if rent control or rent stabilization (as some want you to believe) is introduced into this environment on the greatest economic region on the planet.
I maybe a investor but I'm also a scientist at heart and movie lover.
Too all, let the voters speak. Hopefully they understand economics 101.

Posted by UT OH!
a resident of Castro City
on Sep 2, 2016 at 10:28 am

Sub Market?
Oh yea I remember what happened in San Francisco because of rent control.
airbnb came to town and sucked up those $70 per day units and got $300 per day on a great percentage of the housing stock. That guys right, "Life will find a way".

Posted by Polomom
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 6, 2016 at 2:40 pm

Polomom is a registered user.

@ UT OH! You are right, same happened in Berlin: Web Link

AirBnB rentals caused the Berlin rental housing inventory to shrink drastically, so AirBnB is no longer allowed in that city.
Landlords will find a way to profit from their units, especially since we do not charge an occupancy tax on AirBnB rentals in MV.

Posted by Mountain View Citizen
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 6, 2016 at 4:34 pm

Mountain View Citizen is a registered user.

Guaranteed Factual Information and Decoder Ring: If you'd like to get an impartial Measure V and W side-by-side comparison, clarity on what each measure will and will not do, and which types of rental properties are and are not affected by each Measure, please attend the The League of Women Voters-sponsored Information Session and hear from people who truly understand each Measure. The Information session will also describe the current state, ie., what if there was neither a V or W Measure. It's free. Sept., 29th, 6:30PM, Mountain View Senior Citizen Center.

Posted by Deciding economics
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 7, 2016 at 3:33 pm

Does this meeting also include economists representing the facts supporting NO rent control? Or is it just another biased slanted presentation for just one side?

Posted by Fair analysis = vote NO on both
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2016 at 2:23 pm

The League of Women Voters used to claim impartiality, but they stepped away from that in recent years. So we shall see...

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2016 at 8:59 am

All of the rent control cities have gained in property values at the same rate as their neighboring cities.

I guess that rent control DOESN'T ruin cities after all.

I'm voting yes!

Posted by Rent Control Lowers All Property Values
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2016 at 10:49 am


Your information is missing key facts to be accurate. Apple to apples my friend, not oranges.

Rent control lowers property values on private homes as well as on housing properties for rent. A growing area will still bring these values up over an unknown period of time, but for those wanting out of the insanity now, it's a trap: Forgo your costly appreciation in your property, that you built with great effort over time, and that is now dashed, or try to hold on until your profitability improves over the extended unknown period of time.

Rent control helps move out the older buildings and those who can only afford to live in them. It promotes the city's agenda for new building that generates greater tax base for the city and a new shiny city for the wealthy newcomers to enjoy. That is what counts. They are the only ones who appear to matter. Your vote promotes their agenda. Wake up.

Posted by Think again
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2016 at 3:31 pm

Most cities that have displaced long term residents through property value appreciation are NOT rent controlled. There is no causal link. Look to the economy and bank deregulation for the real answer.

All of the old buildings are getting re-developed anyway. Even the church in Castro is cashing in with a large development. There will always be a few cranky landlords that claim to offer low rent and low rent raises...but then are against any policy that would have other landlords follow their example! Obviously, they are not sincere. They are waiting for the right offer to sell for big money and have all their tenants kicked out on the street. These facts are not in dispute by reasonable people.

Posted by Cach a clue
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 11, 2016 at 5:23 pm

Those kind landlords who have done right care about the people they rent to and their property and have more than monetary investments in their rentals. They are caring people. None of the rent control proposals attempt to do anything to make others like them, nor can they. Both proposals punish those who still have low rents with lesser increases and reward those cognizant of their ROI (reflected in already high rents) with allowing them to raise their already higher rents with much higher rent increases.

Totally opposite of fair.

Not fair orr productive.

Posted by Dave
a resident of Jackson Park
on Sep 14, 2016 at 12:10 am

I'm all for lowering property values. They're way too high anyway.

Posted by Perplexed
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 14, 2016 at 4:55 pm

Frankly, I'm a bit torn on the issue.

On one hand, I'm opposed to rent control because I don't have the right to tell someone else what they can earn as a return on their investments or what they can earn as compensation for their labor. News don't have that right either.

On the other hand, either plan will eventually reduce the total number of rental properties in Mountain View and I'm all for that. I'd love to see far fewer rental properties in Mountain View and a MUCH higher percentage of owner occupied property.

Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 16, 2016 at 8:18 am

If one can limit and roll back rents by ballot, why not a ballot measure that rolls back and restricts the price of houses so that they cannot rise so high? Shouldn't we be promoting home ownership instead of renting? Housing prices in some Mountain View neighborhoods have doubled in the last 8 years around here, and many have been forced to look to other places further away like Fremont. The ballot measure should have restricted house price increases.

I am not good at history (California schools) but didn't price controls work well under President Ford with his WIP buttons?

Posted by towman
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 4, 2016 at 8:42 pm

this message is to kyle property taxes are figured into your rent. if property owners are paying more taxes you will be paying more rent. prop 13 says that from the day i bought my property the property tax cant increase more than 1% per year and it covers new homeowners as well as existing ones. the problem isnt that we dont pay enough taxes the trouble is the city has to control its spending and cut back

Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 4, 2016 at 9:14 pm

Great you all are debating Measure V because Measure W (if it ever became law) would not control rents or evictions at all. Measure W was placed on the ballot to draw votes away from the initiative (Measure V). Apparently, no one is campaigning for its actual passage. The question is whether Measure V will receive over half the votes cast and become part of the City Charter. And the related question is whether the perpetrators of Measure W seeking re-election (Clark and McAlister) will finish in the top 4 and back for a second term.

Posted by No to both
a resident of Whisman Station
on Oct 4, 2016 at 9:46 pm

No Gary, it's actually great that we're debating BOTH and realizing that neither one will be better for the City of Mountain View. For all the reason that have been discussed already.


Posted by Gary Y
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2016 at 8:04 pm

Measure V is killing me (a renter in Mountain View) and my landlord.
My landlord is very, very nice and I live in the same apartment for more than 10 years.
Here are problems with Measure V.
The rent control is only applicable to apartment buildings, which was build and start renting before 1995. My landlord has two apartment buildings, both in Mountain View and were build before 1995. But he bought those buildings well after 2000. So he has some residents, including me, who has been there before he bought those apartments with relatively low rent. And he has been raising rent but in reasonable manner (more than 5% at a time as the starting rent was low). Now with 2-5% rent increase limit, he has to keep already low rent at low level for a long time.
So what does he do? After careful consideration and talked to many people, he had to make hard decision and serve 60-day notice to let go of those loyal tenants whose rents are below market price before V passes. If V does not pass, everything goes back to normal for him and me. If V passes, I will need to move.
He was very, very apologetic and I feel sorry for him. He said he wants to get out of renting business, but if V passes, his apartment property price will go down significantly; and therefore, he cannot sell. He is stuck.
I may be minority but I am voting no on V.
This one really suck.

Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 13, 2016 at 8:37 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

Gary Y, I'm sorry, I truly am. And unfortunately get ready to hear more stories like yours, this whole utopian idea of wonderfully affordable rents is so mis-guided and will only serve to make things even worse for so many in similar situations.

I've said it before and it bears saying again.
If you're a homeowner thinking oh, this is only fair, these people who have lived here for years are getting pushed out, they deserve a break, help with rent. I have one thing to say. Reach down, look deep and say honestly, truthfully....are you willing to give up the $ you've built in equity? If you sold your house today, are you willing to step up and give a portion to renters? Because if you're not, then you have no right expecting landlords to do the same and you have no right to vote for either V or W. Think about it. Reach deep here into your honest conscience. Because if you vote yes to either then you should be just as willing to give equally of your own benefit.

It is sad that a very misguided idealism is giving many people false hope.
It is sad that someone/group is promoting an agenda that takes from investors, those who have made personal risk.
It is sad that there is an attitude of "I want, therefore I should have" with NO basic sense or understanding of economics, long-term effects.
It is sad that those fighting for rent control don't realize the very thing you're fighting for is going to decimate and wipe out those very few units that may still be affordable and just create more super-expensive units.


Posted by @mvresident2003
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 13, 2016 at 9:58 pm

Well said mvresident2003

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of another community

on Feb 6, 2017 at 4:36 pm

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