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CAA drops lawsuit against rent control

Original post made on May 7, 2017

The California Apartment Association has announced it is dropping its legal challenges to rent control measures in Mountain View and Richmond.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, May 7, 2017, 9:07 AM

Comments (32)

Posted by Scott
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 7, 2017 at 11:31 am

Because the city and intervenors did not promptly move for summary judgment the plaintiff (CAA) was free to dismiss the case "without prejudice" to refilibg (in state or federal court). Thanks to the MV City Attorney's stipulation to a TRO in December, MV landlords made $10-20 million by delaying rent control.


Posted by Sooz
a resident of another community
on May 7, 2017 at 1:44 pm

Voters in the City of Alameda voted down rent control by a 2/3 Rd majority.
Alameda has a rent review board and rental guidelines. Owners cannot raise rents more than 5% in a 12 month period. Tenants may challenge any rent increase.


Posted by Alameda Renters Coalition (ARC)
a resident of another community
on May 7, 2017 at 5:26 pm

In the city of Alameda, there is no cap on rent increase, so landlords can raise rents more than 5%. Rent increases above 5% for some residential units are subject to review by the Rent Review Advisory Committee (RRAC). Their decision may not be legally binding, depending on the circumstances. See Web Link. We believe that rent increases should be tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on humanitarian grounds. Join the Alameda Renters Coalition (ARC) and its current campaign for stronger tenant protections, including just cause and rent control: Web Link.


Posted by campaign dollars
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 8, 2017 at 6:50 am

Aggressively challenge by supporting anti-rent control council candidates - and future ballot measures. Just watch where the money starts to flow and when it starts to flow and WHO IT FLOWS TO!


Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of North Whisman
on May 8, 2017 at 7:51 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

The next hurdle: Forcing landlords to have a " claw back " of money illegally stolen by them, when the original decision was made to uphold the passage of the rent control measure voted by the citizens of Mountain View.
Scott has it right. That money MUST be sent back to the renters. I'll bet the PLUS INTEREST will be ignored...
Talking about " claw backs ", can the money made by the City Attorney be clawed back too? She didn't do her job, so why should she be paid for not doing her job?


Posted by Andrew
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 8, 2017 at 9:06 pm

@Scott and all, you can still petition for the rent you/we over-paid for the past 4-5 months, depending on your landlords' ignorance of the law or compliance.


Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 8, 2017 at 9:28 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

To the CAA and their advocates:

I hate to observe what I observed, but I observed it.

You can hear me now and BELIEVE me NOW.

I was at the first CSFRA board meeting. I WILL get the board to ORDER the City Attorney to prosecute anbyone who does not both roll back and refund the money that was UNLAWFULLY collected.

I feel for those who were conned into buying the properties in Mountain View at too high a price. But to penalize renters was a very bad idea. There are SO MANY other ways to deal with it, but most investors don't seem to know their options. But THAT is THEIR responsibility.

LONG LIVE AND PROSPER CSFRA, IT IS ONLY LOGICAL.


Posted by Roger Wickshem
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 9, 2017 at 12:31 am

I just took 24 units permanently off the market (convert to condos). The current shortage of apartments WILL NOT be helped by anti-Landlord measures.

The sense is that people think "unlike Doctors, Dentists, etc. that charge high fees and can simply leave the area if we try to stop them, we *CAN* cap landlords' fees very low since their buildings are stuck here, landlords can't just pick up and leave."

T or F: The number of units that Landlords took off the market since the 1979 Rent Control started in California IS SMALL.

ps: PRICE CONTROLS CAUSE SHORTAGES.

ps2: the most expensive rents in the entire USA are in San Francisco, San Jose, and NYC. SF and SJ have been rent controlled for THIRTY-EIGHT (38) YEARS. So how could SF & SJ rents be so high?

PRICE CONTROLS CAUSE SHORTAGES.

You take away my property rights? NO RENTEE! My apartment investments go to a state where the STATE'S CONSTITUTION makes rent control ILLEGAL. With good reason!

PRICE CONTROLS CAUSE SHORTAGES.

YOU GUYS THINK RENTS ARE HIGH *NOW* !!

When Costa-Hawkins is repealed (see California AB 1506 at Web Link) -- not even HIGH-END apartments will be built in California any more.


PRICE CONTROLS CAUSE SHORTAGES. You guys think hurting the people who CONTROL THE CURRENT and FUTURE SUPPLY of the lower-priced apartments -- WILL CREATE MORE LOWER PRICED APARTMENTS in the future to solve the current shortage?

My goodness.

This is from 6 years ago. Zero 'affordable' (ie. not the high-end luxury) apartments have been built since this article:
Web Link


Posted by Deaf ears
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 9, 2017 at 8:03 am

@Roger, very salient points but you are speaking to deaf ears. All they see is money in their pockets, they are unable to look at the long term, broad outcome. They have been brainwashed into thinking rent control is their savior.

It's sad, really really sad.


Posted by @the greed
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 9, 2017 at 8:41 am

If it wasn't for greedy land-lords that raised rent beyond what their tennants could afford (how does this make sense to be legal when you wouldn't even be considered to rent the apt in the first place w/o having a specific threshold of income, and yet are being forced into contracts of expensive expectations), then maybe there wouldn't be such a huge amount of people in the city so fed up with these practices.

Rent control or not, the CAA et al brought this upon themselves. You say this will cause you to leave to other states w/o rent control. I say "Good riddance!"


Posted by Landlord Tears
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 9, 2017 at 8:42 am

Roger Wickshem,

Please keep the tears coming. I'm certain if I add up the number of units sad landlords claim to have removed from the market here on the Voice, I'd get a number far larger than the total number of housing units in Mountain View. Care to share some proof that this happened? Or are you just all talk?

None of the landlords here get it. It's the same way that people were blindsided by Trump: when people are facing skyrocketing rents and evictions, all the complaining about economics and what's efficient, they just need to stop the bleeding. You didn't seem to mind at the time, since you were greedily lining your pockets. In fact, you should take "Deaf ears" comment to heart: "All [you] see is money in [your] pockets, [you] are unable to look at the long term, broad outcome."

Try contributing to your community and working with the people to solve the housing crisis, rather than just getting rich off the backs of people who work for a living.


Posted by Deaf ears
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 9, 2017 at 9:53 am

@the greed,,you are not being forced into anything. You are making a CHOICE. It's your choice to stay in a place you cannot afford. Why you make such a choice is beyond me. I know that there is no way I will be able to afford to stay here long term and I will be making the CHOICE to leave and go somewhere I can afford.

I don't expect others to pay for me. I have too much pride. It's sad that you have been brainwashed with this ideology this idea that you can live wherever you want. It's sad that the very people who claim to help you are actually undermining your sense of independence and self-worth. You can't see it but believe me, it's there.


Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 9, 2017 at 10:01 am

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Posted by Deaf ears
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 9, 2017 at 10:33 am

Not sure what your obsession is with names, this is an anonymous board LOL. But my intent and sentiment remains.

As to pride being a sin, well, I don't ascribe to that ideology, it's another way to keep people down, keep them 'manageable'. Pride inspires me to be my best. I'm proud to do well. And I'm also "proud" to have the knowledge and understanding to recognize when I need to make a hard choice, but a smart choice. Like when it's time for me to leave because I can't afford it anymore. Instead of insisting everyone else is bad and aren't fair, ill make the tough choice to do what's better for me.

I'm proud that I can do that. I'm proud to make smart choices. I don't always make them but when I do you can be assured I have pride.


Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 9, 2017 at 10:48 am

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


The rest of us here are trying to build a community where we can all live and work together to make this town better for everyone. It's heartbreaking to see someone lacking any moral core, but not all that surprising in our society.


Posted by Deaf ears
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 9, 2017 at 10:54 am

Don't kid yourself Randy, you're trying to build a community where you get cheap rent. And someone has to pay for that. Just not you eh?


Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 9, 2017 at 11:37 am

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

mvresident2003, it's cute that you think everyone else acts out of selfishness like yourself. It's hard to blame you for that, as it's a pervasive viewpoint in our rapidly degenerating society, but someone who pretends to follow Christ has a duty to be better. I hope one day you find what it means to be a member of a community, and not just in one for your own gain.


Posted by SAMA
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 9, 2017 at 1:10 pm

The Business Man, thank you for the update. Please keep posting on your progress with CSFRA board or tenant interveners attorneys -- much appreciated.


Posted by drekin1
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 9, 2017 at 7:48 pm

drekin1 is a registered user.

My landlord continues to non-comply with the law despite this. I don't believe eviction notices were sent out yet. We called the law foundation and they told us to just pay as they are drafting a demand letter. Apparently Zell complexes in mountain view are not complying, they might be aiming to start a case on the constitutionality of the rent rollback.


Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 10, 2017 at 2:09 am

YIMBY is a registered user.

@Deaf Ears

The last time everyone complained about housing prices being too expensive, rather than just go "Well, I guess I can't afford to live here anymore", Prop 13 was introduced. Rent Control is the other side of that same coin. If we're going to cap property taxes in the name of keeping people from being taxed out of their homes, then there's no reason why we shouldn't also cap rents.

Is this going to be bad in the long-term and reduce supply? Absolutely, but Prop 13 was already accomplishing that and putting the cost burden entirely on renters. Rent Control will at least even that out a bit until such time that we can repeal Prop 13 and Rent Control entirely and start unimpededly building the housing supply that we need.


Posted by George Drysdale
a resident of another community
on May 10, 2017 at 10:22 am

George Drysdale is a registered user.

By now the Mountain View Voice should have received my blog to be concerning the end of rent control. RENT CONTROL IN MOUNTAIN VIEW: BOMB DAMAGE ASSESSMENT (BDA). Prop 13 and rent control are two separate issues. Congratulations must go to the courageous San Zell for his stand against the unbelievable destructiveness of rent control. Also to the Mt.View city council (except one) which tried to nullify rent control. My blog will deal with the whole problem of price fixed rents. I believe this should make the Palo Alto and Mountain View online world famous.

George Drysdale a social studies teacher (always) and land economist.


Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 10, 2017 at 2:04 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

First, I am trying to make it short, please read this comment because it really applies here?

The rules of the apartment rental “game” have been rigged by the lobbyists like the CAA in the State, County, and City governments for decades. They have had an unfair bargaining position, and during this time they have always been the “everyone must follow the rules” or the “Law and Order” group.

However, they have never had absolute power because the state of California has a strong voter initiative process. The lobbyists have always been weak in this area as long as the public perceives the reality that they are being treated unfairly.

However, there is a major “paradigm” or “cultural” shift starting. Voter initiatives are working to balance the game. And even the legislature is potentially shifting, or to use the term, pendulum swinging. When the CSFRA was passed, the “rules” of the game were changed in Mountain View.

Now the “Law and Order” or “Everyone must follow the rules” crowd is adopting and outright cheating strategy. They now state that I will not follow the rules until you “MAKE” me. Isn’t this an interesting situation, when the rules do not suit them, they want to ignore them.

Granted, the next election will have an initiative to repeal the CSFRA, but until then, you “game” players must follow the rules.

I am observing that those who are responsible to provide an example as an educator, is now advocating violating the public city charter. It is your right to have an opinion, but if it promotes violation of the laws or the city charter, I think this crosses a threshold that should not be crossed. Especially if your income is provided by the public you seem to advocating against.


Posted by The Truth
a resident of North Whisman
on May 10, 2017 at 6:19 pm

The Truth is a registered user.

Business Man,

You must have failed basic U.S. History in high school.

One of the many wonderful things about America is a citizen, or even a non citizen is free to protest anything at anytime without fear of retaliation absent of due process.

Heck, the tenants coalition was staffed and supported monetarily by an organization funded with the mission to provide jobs to those unauthorized to work legally in the USA. They were free to protest when they had no right to vote or even work, or even be in this country.

Due process will deal with everyone eventually, this means Zell as well as the members of the tenants coalition of uncertain immigration status.

Now what I am looking forward to, is your boastful post suggesting you are the puppetmaster of the rent control committee and will have them give an order to the city attorney. A little emboldened now aren't we? As I recall from prior posts you are an underemployed tech worker who withdrew himself after applying to the rent committee who has lots of anger toward your landlord.

Not a recipe for fair and clear thinking, I hate to be the one to tell you that neither the committee nor the city Council will take you seriously. Sure they will be polite, but we all know what they are really thinking about your threats and accusations.

Good luck wielding your influence or at least trying to.

The real problem here is the City Charter and Council being overridden so easily by a simple majority (angry mob of renters) who did not win by much, one would think a vote of at least two thirds at minimum should be required to modify the charter, my recollection is the abomination known as measure V garnered 52%.

Credit to Stanford Law Clinic for seizing on this loophole, I can only guess it will be closed eventually,


Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 10, 2017 at 7:04 pm

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

Glad you're back, The Truth. It's been fun watching your evolution over time, first so confident, now just grasping at straws and endorsing lawlessness. Warms my heart.

Has the CAA wasted enough of your money yet? They keep losing so badly, first Richmond, then Mountain View, now San Jose. Landlords aren't too great at critical thinking, though, so I bet you'll keep throwing good money after bad to re-up those dues. More frivolous lawsuits they pull out of, more wasted money fighting ballot initiatives that win. God bless democracy in action!


Posted by Interested
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on May 10, 2017 at 7:17 pm

Interested is a registered user.

Mountain View houses more renters than homeowners - thus Measure V - and the arrogant demands of many of the Pro-V group was disappointing. I think you might have "won the battle but lost the war". You cannot appropriate someone else's investment and expect them to tolerate that very long. That is not was real democracy is all about.

I don't own an apartment building, but I do own a house for which I worked very hard - saving my money for years, living within my means, having the number of children I could afford, etc. I bought in Mountain View and love it here. I DON'T want to see the town overtaken by hundreds upon hundreds of Stack and Pack apartment buildings - increasing the population in Mountain View and clogging our roads and public spaces. This seems to be the next demand of this group of renters. And please don't throw the tired blame towards an "I've got mine" mentality. This is an "I've worked HARD for mine" mentality. I see where "the public" is categorized as "renters" by "The Business Man". I have news for you, we homeowners are "the public" as well, and we have rights too.

I am astounded by the people who think they can have what they want, just because they want it. That is simply not how life works. (If that were true, I'd be living in Atherton and eat free from Whole Foods.) If "The Business Man" really knew anything about business, he'd understand that in a free society, you work for what you want, live where you can afford, and respect the rights others have earned as well. You do not demand things and force others to pay your way. That never works in a democracy and won't work now. Brace yourself.

Yes, the Renters' Coalition was able to cram through this money grab because they outnumber homeowners, but they are in for an unfortunate surprise. I expect many apartment buildings will be converted to condos, and I don't blame the owners who do this. Most apartment building owners in Mountain View are individuals who depend on the income. They've had some lean years, and will have them again - they are the ones making the investment and taking all the risks. They won't subsidize the renters forever - they'll sell and get out. Then there will be less rental housing available and the cost to rent will continue to increase.

There is good reason why rent control is PROHIBITED in the vast majority of the United States. If you need it spelled out more than this, you plainly don't WANT to understand. Renters have just shot themselves in the proverbial foot.


Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 10, 2017 at 8:24 pm

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

Interested, I'm sure YIMBY will be here soon to educate you properly, but it's quite ridiculous for you to be complaining about Measure V when you're a beneficiary of a far greater subsidy, Proposition 13. What's the market value of your house and what's your effective property tax rate?

It's fantastically funny that you're also complaining about people dictating what others can do with their property, when the bulk of your post is you dictating what others do with their property. If you actually believed in property rights as strongly as you claim to, you'd realize you should have zero recourse to stop having "the town overtaken by hundreds upon hundreds of Stack and Pack apartment buildings - increasing the population in Mountain View." Just because you bought a house doesn't give you any right to dictate how high and large an apartment building Prometheus builds, after all.


Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 10, 2017 at 8:27 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

The Truth,

I find it fascinating that instead of discussing the topic, you have a “kill the messenger” strategy. I admit I have my faults, but it seems you cannot address the real problems. Also, trying to blame it on “Heck, the tenants coalition was staffed and supported monetarily by an organization funded with the mission to provide jobs to those unauthorized to work legally in the USA” is just plain attempting to distract people from the real problems caused by the lack of intelligence demonstrated by the apartment industry.

Please listen to “The Truth”?

When Costa-Hawkins was passed in 1995, it was argued that the imposition of rent control would cause either a lack of available affordable housing, or a lack of investors willing to develop new residential inventory to improve the supply of affordable housing. The concept was if you let the free market work, the investors would build more residential projects to increase the supply.

As we all know the market prices are dictated by the intercept of the plotted demand line and the supplier anticipated return lines. Demand is determined as to how much the market is willing to spend based on the number of available units. This line increases in price when there is less available supply. The supply line is the amount of anticipated or required income expected based on the supply levels at various amounts.

Costa Hawkins was passed based on the promise of increased supply making housing more affordable. But what happened in the last 20 years? If you read this government report (Web Link) it demonstrates that the amount of supply increased less than 2% since Costa Hawkins became the law. The industry simply did not build any significant increase in housing. But the number of need employees statistically is still radically outpacing the supply, hiring grew from 14.4 mil CES to 16.7 mil, an increase of 20% if you look at this government report (Web Link).

If you want to say that the free market is efficiently improving the housing situation, this information seems to prove we are falling behind in supply as much as 18%. And you wonder why there is an affordable housing crisis? The simple TRUTH is that if the industry had kept up with the population, it would have a 20% growth in revenues just because of the population growth. But instead the industry uses the shortage of housing to boost there revenues.

The cause of the crisis is not workers in the state of California, it is the apartment industries lack of ability to build new housing. This situation should not have occurred since there was freedom to make as much profit as possible under Costa Hawkins.

The verdict in my humble opinion is that Costa Hawkins is a failure. It must be repealed. Also the State, County, and Cities of California must build it’s own residential resources as a “public” owned property. By doing so, we can be assured that the supply problem will be dealt with. But we are starting extremely behind.


Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 10, 2017 at 10:20 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

Ah yes, let's repeal Costa Hawkins and inspire more investors and builders to leave the Bay area. Let's just ignore all the STATISTICAL data, FACTUAL information and HISTORY of the damages and negative effects of rent control.

It's fascinating to watch rent control proponents argue their morality for taking someone else money. And do it with such smug, self-entitled satisfaction. Frightening actually.


Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 10, 2017 at 10:41 pm

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

mvresident2003, there's just as much consensus that Proposition 13 has been devastating for California, but for some strange reason you're a big fan of that. You're happy because it lines your pockets. Maybe one day you'll learn to give back to your community and leave it better than you found it, but clearly that day is not today.


Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 10, 2017 at 11:08 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

Gee Randy. Let's compare the amount of taxes homeowners pay into this community compared to what you pay.

And then by all means, tell me about "giving back".


Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 10, 2017 at 11:42 pm

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

Ooh, I touched a nerve, so you have to try to dodge. Someone get the snowflake a safe space.

We've been over this before, I'm a property owner, Proposition 13 has been devastating for California. Nice try, though.


Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 11, 2017 at 12:08 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

mvresident2003 said:

“Ah yes, let's repeal Costa Hawkins and inspire more investors and builders to leave the Bay area. Let's just ignore all the STATISTICAL data, FACTUAL information and HISTORY of the damages and negative effects of rent control.

It's fascinating to watch rent control proponents argue their morality for taking someone else money. And do it with such smug, self-entitled satisfaction. Frightening actually.”

However, you love to ignore the statement I made which was:

“Also the State, County, and Cities of California must build it’s own residential resources as a “public” owned property. By doing so, we can be assured that the supply problem will be dealt with. But we are starting extremely behind.”

The simple fact is that private investors have no interest in providing affordable housing of any kind. They wish to only cater to the wealthiest of the population. My argument is that they will still be free to do so under universal rent control. But the private investor WANTS the government to take care of the affordable housing crisis. Their history clearly shows that. However if the state succeeds in fixing the crisis with public housing projects, this would undermine the profits of the private industry. So the private apartment industry wants both of these situations, to complain that the government should fix the problem, but then prevent the government from doing so because it would make the private apartment industry much less profitable.

The apartment industry simply had 20 years to prove the market works. But they have chosen only to cater to the top 10% of the population if you factor that only 10% of the needed new housing was in fact built. Remember the employment population grew by 20%, but only 2% of new housing was built. This is only 10 % of the actual needs. This housing was strictly luxury where only the top 10% could afford it.

Again I pointed out this as well:

“The simple TRUTH is that if the industry had kept up with the population, it would have a 20% growth in revenues just because of the population growth.”

Until the apartment industry can prove that it has been effective in providing the resources needed for California, the claims that are made are just opinions. In fact if you notice in every public comment regarding the CAA, they always state that they “believe” in their arguments. However belief is what one has when they cannot establish evidence to prove their argument.

The CAA is entitled to express their “belief”, because it is an opinion, which is protected under the 1st amendment. However, the CAA is not entitled to manipulate the beliefs of the citizens. The citizens are entitled to determine their own beliefs, and the citizens are entitled to form public policies. The private apartment industry simply had ample chance to establish their benevolence, but the results proves that the only objective is to their own interests.


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