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New rent control committee gets an earful

Original post made on May 11, 2017

At its first meeting, Mountain View's new Rental Housing Committee dipped its toes into a torrent of controversy surrounding the city's push to control local apartment rents. The three-hour meeting on Monday, May 8, remained largely polite and procedural, but it set the stage for plenty of difficult decisions to come.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 11, 2017, 1:30 PM

Comments (65)

21 people like this
Posted by Jerry
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 11, 2017 at 2:38 pm

The Rent Control issue is getting all the limelight, but we can't forget that a parallel effort is needed to address the imbalance in the Mountain View market. That will require more action from the City Council as well as major local businesses. We can't expand office space disproportionately to housing space; the distorted cost of housing will eventually undermine our community, which needs a diversity of incomes, jobs, and housing.


6 people like this
Posted by hsnpoor
a resident of another community
on May 11, 2017 at 2:55 pm

I'm no attorney, but I take issue with the advice given to the tenants by the Law Foundation of Silly Con Valley. My understanding is that paying a disputed bill is tantamount to agreeing that the billed amount is correct and acceptable by the payer. Perhaps this situation is different, but I would rather err on the side of precaution. If the landlord refuses to accept the legally tendered rent payments, that's their right and privilege. I would be sure to submit the payments to the right place on a timely basis and if they refuse to accept the money, I would bank the money in some sort of interest-bearing account and hope that the landlord would hold their breath as they waited for the tables to turn their way in this matter, which it very well could (and they could very well be dead by then). However, in the meantime, they should operate in accordance with the current laws and be severely reprimanded for failing to do so. By "severely reprimanded", I mean financially punished in a manner that would hurt more than complying with the current law.


9 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of North Whisman
on May 11, 2017 at 2:56 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

Hey you landlords, now being turned into slumlords, you can also sell off your holdings. Invest in other things and take the loss as a bad business decision.
there is always risk when investing in ANYTHING and you have just run into that risk.
The " claw-back " of rent money back to when the Measure V was passed is another form of risk; even the CAA knew that when they quietly tip-toed away from the lawsuit and now you may have paid your dues for nothing...

When greed distorts your vision, you become blind to a possible loss of your investment. All that will happen if you engage in willful disobedience, is that the judge will wait until the money collected outweighs the value of the apartment that equals or exceeds the adjusted value of the building(s) and seizes them for non-compliance of the law. Then turns them over to a new " tenant's co-op or HOA" . You get NOTHING when being " willfully disobedient ".


51 people like this
Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 11, 2017 at 3:16 pm

Taking other peoples property is never the right thing, I for instance would like to get a new car, food, clothes etc at 2015 prices with me on a board that would limit price increases. Oh it would be great to get a refund of all the overpayments just like this rent control nonsense. Apartment owners need to band together and file a serious law suit with the goal to show that this law is not constitutional.


23 people like this
Posted by Landlord Tears
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 11, 2017 at 3:25 pm

Rodger, I've got some bad news for you. That organization exists, and it's called the California Apartment Association. They, after spending lots of money and taking plenty of membership dues from apartment owners, dropped their lawsuit against the city. But sure, spend more money on another frivolous lawsuit. While you're at it, incur treble damages by refusing the rollback. Seems like a rational response.


54 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 11, 2017 at 3:38 pm

I, for one, am very much looking forward to watching the effects of the law of unintended consequences. My suspicion is that rental stock will diminish over time as the class of landlord who is most impacted by measure V sells out to developers.


6 people like this
Posted by Old Mountain Viewan
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 11, 2017 at 3:49 pm

I just love how landlords are so aghast. Cry me a river that a 300 rental apartment unit is crying over that it's greedy land lord is worried about property his property being put at a lower value....whaaa cry!!!! There are some VERY few land lords that are not like that, they are fair. But shame on you greedy ones. It's usually the ones with the most properties that are the most greediest and some are slum lords. But the rent control does not apply to any of the monstrous new high rise complexes that are being built every where!! they can charge what ever the hell they want!!


36 people like this
Posted by Rational
a resident of North Whisman
on May 11, 2017 at 4:05 pm

@Steve - Yes that is what's going to happen. Check any other city that has rent-control. Landlords don't invest in the property and it goes waste. No upgrades, minimal maintenance to make sure it will pass health and safety checks.

Check out the property prices in the last 30 years. In Mountain View, it has averaged 7-8% per year since the last 30 years. There is no way landlords can make that return with a 5% cap on the rent increase.

The renters will get what they want. Cheap prices for cheap housing. Will there be another vote ? This time to force the landlords to upgrade the property for free ?


13 people like this
Posted by Civil Disobedience?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 11, 2017 at 4:29 pm

Why is owner Jeff Zell of Zell Associates not subject to criminal penalty for public refusal to respect the law? There is no stay in effect.


25 people like this
Posted by CourtneyB
a resident of North Whisman
on May 11, 2017 at 5:04 pm

If a landlord owns a rental property and is currently renting to tenants, the price of the property if the landlord was buying it new today is moot. The mortgage doesn't increase every year. What is germane is the cost of upkeep of the property, and landlords should be free to raise rents sufficiently to fund the maintaining their property in good condition while sustaining good return for their investment. In normal times, this is how it usually works. When I was a renter, I expected a certain modest yearly percentage increase for the increasing cost of services. But for some landlords in Mountain View, and I'm sure elsewhere in the Valley as well, the frequency and magnitude of their rent increases far outweighs what is required. Doubling and tripling the rent over a short time horizon, evicting people with insufficient notice, failing to maintain property in hopes that tenants will vacate...these are indications that greed, and not stewardship, has taken over. Mr. Zell is, unfortunately and, I suspect, unwittingly, bearing out the stereotype of the greedy landlord. When he refuses to obey the law as a form of "civil disobedience," he compels his tenants to bear the distress and pain of being forced to comply with his unlawful behavior at their cost or find themselves without a place to live. Can't think of a better description of a greedy landlord.


5 people like this
Posted by hsnpoor
a resident of another community
on May 11, 2017 at 5:47 pm

@CourtneyB
I couldn't agree with you more! GREED, on the part of the landlords, is the root cause of this discord; pure and simple. When someone who owns 300 rental units wants to cry poor, I'm not only unimpressed, I'm down right disgusted. No one would or should begrudge turning a profit on your investment, but landlords in this area have gone far beyond profit and have gotten quite comfortable in gouging the rental marketplace. And, now they have the unmitigated gall to act like someone has done them wrong. PLEASE!! Can I get you a little cheese to go with that whine?


Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Slater
on May 11, 2017 at 6:31 pm

What Mountain View is heading for are many Silicon Living Units for the Masses.


12 people like this
Posted by Fed Up
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 11, 2017 at 8:02 pm

Yeah - San Francisco and Berkeley have had rent control for decades and nobody wants to live there.

My income has been flat for three years but my rent has gone up 10% every year; if that continued there would be a time that 100% of my income would go to rent.

No one seems to mind when transfer of wealth goes from the poor to the wealthy, but ask the rich to be just a little less rich and their cries become deafening.

Must be rough to own overpriced property.


3 people like this
Posted by Babar
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 11, 2017 at 8:10 pm

Re hsnpoor's fear---All the tenants have to do is to write "paid under protest" on their checks to avoid any possibility of being accused of approving the higher rent. I'm surprised the lawyers who have babbled prodigiously on this page didn't tell you that. On the other hand, unless you bought your apartment complex yesterday (in which case you're not getting screwed by the ordinance anyway) you own an asset whose financial returns way way way outgrew any maintenance cost increases. That you can't sufficiently profit from selling your building at market peak is just tough. Stop whining.


18 people like this
Posted by The Truth
a resident of North Whisman
on May 11, 2017 at 8:38 pm

The Truth is a registered user.

The word on the street in my 'hood is multiple multi-family parcels are on the verge of being sold to a prominent developer, who will then displace all renters (they will receive compensation) then build million dollar homes in its place.

The tragedy here is the displaced renters will be leaving affordable rentals and even with their parting gifts, won't be able to find equivalent accommodations in the nearby area. Landlords that were happy to be in the rental housing business are throwing in the towel.

Demand for home ownership and the draconian, punitive measure V is driving this outcome.

The short sighted members of the tenants coalition probably did not realize how real and likely involuntary dis-placement is as a result of their attempt at the unlawful taking of other's property.

The landlords know they can still sell at a premium, do a 1031 exchange of their gross proceeds into real estate in a more desirable non rent controlled market.

The city and county grows its tax base, selling landlords receive a big payday, remaining landlords enjoy higher rent with decreased competition, higher income people are able to buy homes, everyone wins except the middle class tenants, great job MVTC, you are accelerating your own departures from Mountain View, maybe you can find a new home in East Palo Alto or Richmond.


5 people like this
Posted by Renter
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 11, 2017 at 8:56 pm

I am curious to see what the effect will be on aprtment rows of California and Latham streets. Will buildings be sold to developers and the neighborhood gentrified, or will they turn into real slums?


4 people like this
Posted by Renter
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 11, 2017 at 9:05 pm

@the truth
Let's face it, most of the middle class doesn't live in cheap apartments. Who will be displaced are mostly low income families. Which is sad, but since their level of education and English proficiency is not very high, it currently lowers the scores of the neighborhood schools.
I also think it is too late for helping middle class, who has been displaced a long time ago, or lives in homes not affected by rent control.


14 people like this
Posted by Landlord Tears
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 11, 2017 at 9:12 pm

I love the prognosticators here who know exactly what will happen. If they're so good at predicting the future, why were they caught with their pants down when Measure V passed? Seems like more delicious tears from landlords trying to act all big again. Keep it coming!


16 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 11, 2017 at 9:36 pm

I can't related to the comments that landlords are bad guys because of the crazy demand on property and limited supply has pushed up prices to super high levels.

Like another guy said, why stop here? Let's roll gas, new cars and food back to 1995 too!

If a landlord throws in the towel and says this is nonsense and sells to a developer who knocks down the rental unit to build expensive new homes how does this help the community?

Not a well thought out idea -- but that's the way it goes with the tyranny of the majority.... stick it to the land owners.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 11, 2017 at 10:53 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

I argue that:

“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.

By the way if 2 or more people conspire to violate a constitutional right of a citizen, it is a federal crime that can require imprisonment under 18 U.S. Code § 241 - Conspiracy against rights

If TWO OR MORE PERSONS CONSPIRE TO INJURE, OPPRESS, THREATEN, OR INTIMIDATE ANY PERSON IN ANY STATE, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District IN THE FREE EXERCISE OR ENJOYMENT OF ANY RIGHT OR PRIVILEGE SECURED TO HIM BY THE CONSTITUTION OR LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES, or because of his having so exercised the same; or

If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—

THEY SHALL BE FINED UNDER THIS TITLE OR IMPRISONED NOT MORE THAN TEN YEARS, OR BOTH; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 696; Pub. L. 90–284, title I, § 103(a), Apr. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 75; Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, § 7018(a), (b)(1), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4396; Pub. L. 103–322, title VI, § 60006(a), title XXXII, §§ 320103(a), 320201(a), title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1970, 2109, 2113, 2147; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, §§ 604(b)(14)(A), 607(a), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3507, 3511.)

Also

42 U.S. Code § 1985 - Conspiracy to interfere with civil rights

(3)DEPRIVING PERSONS OF RIGHTS OR PRIVILEGES

If two or more persons in any State or Territory conspire or go in disguise on the highway or ON THE PREMISES OF ANOTHER, FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEPRIVING, EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, ANY PERSON OR CLASS OF PERSONS OF THE EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAWS, OR OF EQUAL PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES UNDER THE LAWS; or for the purpose of preventing or hindering the constituted authorities of any State or Territory from giving or securing to all persons within such State or Territory the equal protection of the laws; or if two or more persons conspire to prevent by force, intimidation, or threat, any citizen who is lawfully entitled to vote, from giving his support or advocacy in a legal manner, toward or in favor of the election of any lawfully qualified person as an elector for President or Vice President, or as a Member of Congress of the United States; or to injure any citizen in person or property on account of such support or advocacy; in any case of conspiracy set forth in this section, if one or more persons engaged therein do, or cause to be done, any act in furtherance of the object of such conspiracy, whereby another is injured in his person or property, or deprived of having and exercising any right or privilege of a citizen of the United States, the party so injured or deprived may have an action for the recovery of damages occasioned by such injury or deprivation, against any one or more of the conspirators.

So since Zell associates is a multi-employee organization (i.e. >1) they are qualified as a conspiracy of 2 or more, and since the Charter is a Constitutional right guaranteed to the citizens of Mountain View, this action is VERY dangerous course of action.

I am going to contact Fenwick and West to see if we can privately prosecute Zell for federal crimes in federal court. I am certain that this group will be very effective because of their vast experience in legal practice.


5 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 12:15 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

I did some research regarding Zell Associates, they have a dark legal history, in fact t re still a defendant in a legal case that is still active it called:

2010-1-CV-185897 | J. Pratt, et al vs Sunrise Apartments, et al

If you go to the Santa Clara County Court Website and search under Zell Associates you will find this case.

What is amazing is the case is 7 years old and is still active. This seems a bit crazy

I also discovered that this group settled federal laws suits in the past. However, I cannot get the details because they are confidential. But you can see the case information on the Federal Court Website.

I cannot concretely claim that Zell Associates are a bad organization. However, they appear to not be accredited by the Better Business Bureau.

That is a situation that is most concerning. In order to be accredited by the BBB you need to satisfy the following Standards of BBB Accreditation. They require:

Build Trust: Establish and maintain a positive track record in the marketplace.

Advertise Honestly: Adhere to established standards of advertising and selling.

Tell the Truth: Honestly represent products and services, including clear and adequate disclosures of all material terms.

Be Transparent: Openly identify the nature, location, and ownership of the business, and clearly disclose all policies, guarantees and procedures that bear on a customer's decision to buy.

Honor Promises: Abide by all written agreements and verbal representations.

Be Responsive: Address marketplace disputes quickly, professionally, and in good faith.

Safeguard Privacy: Protect any data collected against mishandling and fraud, collect personal information only as needed, and respect the preferences of customers regarding the use of their information.

Embody Integrity: Approach all business dealings, marketplace transactions and commitments with integrity.

It would appear that Zell Associates cannot independently certify that their business practices follow these standards. There known associations are with:

California Association of Realtors www.car.org; National Association of Realtors www.realtor.org; California Apartment Association www.caanet.org; National Apartment House Association www.naahq.org; Tri-County Apartment Association (Former Board Member) www.tcaa.org; Institute of Real Estate Management www.irem.org; CALIFORNIA HOUSING COUNCIL WWW.CAHOUSINGCOUNCIL.COM; MOUNTAIN VIEW HOUSING COUNCIL WWW.CI.MTNVIEW.CA.US; Rental Housing Owners Association www.rhosource.com; Toastmasters International (3626) reports.toastmasters.org; PropertyManagementProfile www.propertymanagementprofile.com; National Association of Residential Property Managers www.narpm.org

If you noticed they listed MOUNTAIN VIEW HOUSING COUNCIL WWW.CI.MTNVIEW.CA.US

But if you try to connect to that website, it only connects you to the City of Mountain View home page. I cannot find that this organization is in fact in existence within the City of Mountain View. Instead you can find it here at (Web Link)

It is NOT A CITY OF MOUNTAIN VIEW DEPARTMENT, IT IS A CORPORATE 501(c) GROUP AND HAS NO ASSOCIATEIN WITH THE CITY GOVERNMENT EXCEPT AS A LOBBYING GROUP.

If you noticed they also listed the CALIFORNIA HOUSING COUNCIL WWW.CAHOUSINGCOUNCIL.COM, but if you try to connect to that website you get:

This site can’t be reached

www.cahousingcouncil.com’s server DNS address could not be found.

Search Google for ca housing council

There is NO SUCH THING AS THE CALIFORNIA HOUSING COUNCIL under Google.

It appears this is not a honest or ethical organization in any way.


4 people like this
Posted by Class action needed
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 12, 2017 at 9:23 am

The Law Foundation should also combine or separately file under CCP 382 et seq. (class action under state law) for rent not returned going back to December when Measure V took effect and to April 4 when the TRO was terminated.


8 people like this
Posted by false equivalencies
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 12, 2017 at 10:00 am

I'm curious about those people who want to get cars and food and clothing at 2015 (or in one case 1995 - wow, who's paying 1995 rent??) prices? Those prices have not gone up nearly as much as rent, and neither have our salaries. And moving to another county when your job is here is not so easy. Why did rent go up by $100/month one year, and they need to quadruple that increase the next year. And they are getting way more from newer tenants, so I don't understand how just because property values go up, suddenly the cost of running and maintaining an apt. suddenly also goes up by an equivalent amount.


28 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 10:17 am

Those same people making farcical arguments about paying 1995 prices for cars and groceries probably pay 1995 property taxes on their home and don't see the hypocrisy.


6 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 12:55 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Curious questions:

The property owners keep complaining that they need to raise rents to cover property prices, but why did they pay the high price in the first place? It was NOT a Tenant.

Who forced the property owners to buy the properties at unreasonable prices? It was NOT a Tenant

Who forced the property owners to enter such a risky business? It was NOT a tenant.

Who is responsible for their own actions, who cannot force the public to pay the price for their lack of wisdom? It was NOT a Tenant.

Property prices only increase during purchase, the owners reap property appreciation as long as they own the property. So why do the property owners complain that their investments appreciate, thus necessitating they get MORE rent on property they already bought at a lower price? It was NOT a Tenant.

The simple “TRUTH” is that the property owners are using WMD’s (WEAPONS of MASS DISTRACTION).

My final question:

The property owners first depended on the CAA to fight their battle regarding Measure V. The CAA could not establish independent of their “belief” that Measure V was unconstitutional. This reminds me of when the Tobacco Industry testified in Congress by saying they “beloved” nicotine was not addictive, when over 20 years of research proved that scientifically that was false. Thus the CAA eventually had to concede it had NO CASE to challenge Measure V.

Then the property owners hailed their new CHAMPION which was the Zell Associates. But then only a quick amount of googling demonstrated that the Zell Associates are NOT A REPUTABLE business. They have no evidence to substantiate their ethical behavior, and in fact refuse to let any independent assessment regarding their practices. This results in another significant failure to establish any merit to their cause.

What is it going to take for the reality to sink in, the public demands are the ultimate market force, and in the Porters model of markets establish that refusal to accommodate that force will threaten the market?

Answer: THE TENANT IS EMPOWERED TO DICTATE THE MARKET IN A FREE MARKET, NOT THE SUPPLIER. THE OLDER RULES PRIOR TO MEASURE V ALLOWED “SUPPLY SIDE” ECONOMICS TO OVERRULE THE “DEMAND SIDE”. BUT THAT HAS PROVEN TO NOT SUCEED IN THE LONG RUN. THE RULES WHERE CHANGED TO PROVIDE THE NATURAL MARKET DEMAND TO DICTATE THE TERMS OF BUSINESS. AND ANY REAL BUSINESS WOULD REALIZE THIS IS AN IRRESISTABLE FORCE.


12 people like this
Posted by Get Over Yourselves
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 1:08 pm

V won by a mere 2,052 votes of 28,734 cast. Many people that voted for it, did so out of sympathy and will soon become aware of their grave error. It will swing back the other way.

Threatening and belittling landlords won't go very far to sustain support and sympathy.

The power never is, was or will be in the hands of the tenants. Even with V, landlords have many attractive options.


14 people like this
Posted by Landlord Tears
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 12, 2017 at 1:53 pm

"Get Over Yourselves," you sound just like the people who can't come to terms with Trump having won. All evidence shows that, yes, power does rest in the hands of the people. Look how ineffective the CAA's massive corrupt campaign against Mountain View has been. Plus, the only people threatening have been landlords like Zell who, having lost so badly, now are outright breaking the law. Sad, but please provide more tears.


2 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 1:54 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Get Over Yourselves said:

“V won by a mere 2,052 votes of 28,734 cast. Many people that voted for it, did so out of sympathy and will soon become aware of their grave error. It will swing back the other way.”

Granted you accurately stated the results, but your claim of error is simply not yet proven. In fact the courts have already said that the apartment industry has no evidence to prove your opinion. But you are correct, the Citizens of Mountain View MUST BE EVER DILIGENT TO PROTECT THEIR WON CHARTER RIGHTS FROM NOW ON.

“Threatening and belittling landlords won't go very far to sustain support and sympathy.”

Who are the ones threatening and belittling whom? The fact is that the landlords have a history belittling the tenants for decades. The landlords threaten tenants whenever they decided to act politically in order to seek remedy. The landlords’ actions require proper consequences. If a landlord did not act to exploit their position in the first place Measure V would not have happened. Violations of the laws require that just consequences be met out. The simple “TRUTH” is that only a minority of landlords support their tenants. So seeking “support and sympathy” from the apartment industry is like trying to get juice from squeezing a rock, all you get is bloody hands.

“The power never is, was or will be in the hands of the tenants. Even with V, landlords have many attractive options.”

I just had a conversation with the City Attorney, Zell Associates will comply with the Measure. This in fact should be good evidence that this opinion is not supported by the actions of the industry at this time. The simple “TRUTH” is that your claim simply does not agree with reality.


19 people like this
Posted by Darin
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 3:27 pm

Darin is a registered user.

@Landlord Tears

I am not a landlord, I am not a tenant, and I am not a prognosticator. But I can observe what's going on in my neighborhood. Older, smaller rentals are being torn down to make room for larger, more expensive townhomes and rowhouses.

Owners can do more with their property than just rent it to tenants. If renting it to tenants becomes less desirable, then other alternatives will become more desirable in comparison. That's just the way things work.


11 people like this
Posted by Landlord Tears
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 12, 2017 at 10:00 pm

Oh my goodness, Darin, you're right. I can't remember any construction or rental conversions in Mountain View prior to Measure V passing. What have we done!


2 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 10:32 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Posted by Darin

“I am not a landlord, I am not a tenant, and I am not a prognosticator. But I can observe what's going on in my neighborhood. Older, smaller rentals are being torn down to make room for larger, more expensive townhomes and rowhouses.

Owners can do more with their property than just rent it to tenants. If renting it to tenants becomes less desirable, then other alternatives will become more desirable in comparison. That's just the way things work.”

Let’s look at the cost of building alone, for a condo it is estimated at:

What does it cost to build a single, high-end condominium? There are a huge number of variables in such a question. For one thing, condos come as older buildings which have been rehabilitated, as two-story homes, and in buildings holding only one or two units each. For the purpose of this discussion we will look at a standard condominium containing two single-family dwellings of two stories each. This is the style frequently identified as a Townhouse as well. According to real estate statistics, the size of the average condo as described above is 1200 square feet which assumes a "footprint" of approximately 20'x30' per unit. The building of single condominium complex would never be a "DIY" project and usually requires a knowledgeable contractor, an architect, a team of subcontractors, and cooperative owner to get the job done in a calendar year.

For the building of a condominium complex of two units, the typical costs include:

With "lux"-range materials, a normal foundation with full basement, efficient doors and windows, all appliances, and "turnkey" finishing would run at an average of $102,000 to $240,000 per unit to complete. This does not include acquisition of the land, however.

The above figures place this construction at an $85 and $200 per square foot cost, though national average stands at $125 for most contractors. This pricing structure assumes that carpenters, masons and excavators charge an average of $70 per hour, electricians between $65 to $85 per hour, painters between $20 and $35 per hour and plumbers between $45 and $65 per hour.

This sort of building, however, would not come in at a simple cost of $85 per square foot due simply to the excessive amount of construction required on the interior. A two-story unit of wooden construction with two condominiums would run roughly $484,500 in total costs. This excludes land acquisition and site improvements like parking, gardens and play areas. Materials would cost around $238,000, labor would cost roughly $238,200, machine costs would stand at roughly $8,300 and the contractor would take in over $67,000 for the project. ( Web Link)

To build a row house it will cost:

Many people searching for their dream home are coming to the conclusion that to have exactly what they need and want, they may have to build it themselves. Others may have purchased or inherited property without preexisting structures and want to make that their new homestead. Among the first questions prospective homeowners ask themselves is, how much will it cost to build a house? The answer is often more complicated than they initially believe, in part because of all that goes into home-building and the different choices they can make along the way. However, homeowners report the average cost to build a new house comes in at $292,463, which would put a 2,000 square foot home costing about $150 per square foot. This will obviously vary greatly with all the costly variables involved, so the cost could range between $170,509 and $447,677.( Web Link)

Labor costs will be increased typically by 44%based on (Web Link), so labor should be estimated at $238,200 44% or $343,000 instead.

The cost to build a 12 unit apartment building:

What does it cost to build an apartment building? There are a huge number of variables in such a question. For one thing, apartments come as low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise. For the purpose of this discussion we will look at the mid-rise buildings with five or more units in each. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the size of the average apartment is 861 square feet which assumes a "footprint" of approximately 24'x35'.

The building of single mid-rise complex would never be a "DIY" project and usually requires a knowledgeable contractor, an architect, a team of subcontractors, and cooperative owner to get the job done in a calendar year.

For the building of an apartment building with twelve units, the typical costs include:

With mid-range materials, a normal foundation with full basement, efficient doors and windows, all appliances, and "turnkey" finishing would run at an average of $64,575 to $86,100 per unit to complete. This does not include acquisition of the land, however.

The above figures place this construction at an $85 and $200 per square foot cost, though national average stands at $125 for most contractors. This pricing structure assumes that carpenters, masons and excavators charge an average of $70 per hour, electricians between $65 to $85 per hour, painters between $20 and $35 per hour and plumbers between $45 and $65 per hour.

This building, however, would not come in at a simple cost of $85 per square foot due simply to the excessive amount of construction required on the interior. A three-story unit of masonry construction with twelve apartments would run roughly $9.4 million in total costs. This excludes land acquisition and site improvements like parking, gardens and play areas. Materials would cost around $4.65 million, labor would cost roughly $4.51 million, machine costs would stand at roughly $232,000 and the contractor would take in over $1.3 million for the project.

With mid-range materials, a normal foundation with full basement, efficient doors and windows, all appliances, and "turnkey" finishing would run at an average of $64,575 to $86,100 per unit to complete. This does not include acquisition of the land, however.( Web Link)

Again you have to add 44% for local contractor rates so the contractor will cost $4.51 million + 44% or $6.49 Mill.

So this is what it costs to rebuild. But you also need to take into account it can take as much as 2 years to get building approval. And that does not take into account the cost of design and redesign based of the changes required to get approval.

So is it true that the buildings will be built, YES. Will it be increasingly risky to do so, YES because it is very COSTLY. But those who see the long term benefit WILL DO SO. But SPECULATORS who thought they could make a quick buck WILL NOT SUCCEED.

The real vocal critics in Mountain View are the SPECULATORS becasue they FEEL they got SCAMMED into buying properties at TOO HIGH A PRICE.

THEY ARE RIGHT, AND IT WAS THEIR OWN CHOICE TO DO SO.



4 people like this
Posted by hsnpoor
a resident of another community
on May 13, 2017 at 8:06 am

I'm not sure who died down here and left all these prognosticators and prophets of doom who seem to know exactly what's going to happen next, but as long as we seem to be doing a lot of uninformed forecasting, I think I'll add mine to the mix. All of the theories about how rent control will actually reduce the amout of available housing may or may not be correct. What I know to be true for sure, though, is you can only kick the downtrodden so much before they rise up and bite off your foot to preserve what little they have and, historically speaking, they know how to hit back in places that really hurt. I just wonder if now is the time to really think about how to do what's right for all concerned, rather than taking polarizing stances and making predictions so you can say "I told you so" down the road?


2 people like this
Posted by Hsnpoor
a resident of another community
on May 13, 2017 at 8:19 am

I wanted to "like" Yimby's post, but there was no + sign to do so. What's that all about MVV?


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 13, 2017 at 6:31 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

I hope I am NOT A PROGNOSTICATOR of DOOM.

I am simply providing free research to those who are patient with me.

I have a STRONG OPTIMISM that the CSRFA will result in positive change in this city.

There is a lot of old apartments here. They need some serious updating. The fact is that this could make for a great opportunity.

Remember, if the CPI rates go below 2%, the landlords will get a surplus because they must get at least a 2% increase, as long as they are keeping their properties in good shape.

I STRONGLY ARGUE THAT GOOD BUSINESSPEOPLE WILL MAKE GREAT LEMONADE OUT OF MOUNTAIN VIEW'S LEMONS. THIS COULD MAKE FOR A RENAISSANCE FOR MOUNTAIN VIEWS LONG TERM FUTURE.


2 people like this
Posted by drekin1
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 14, 2017 at 12:51 am

drekin1 is a registered user.

While Zell relented, they are playing shenanigans. They are asking tenants to pay the pre-rollback rent immediately (for May, as they returned checks initially) while they "calculate" the roll back rent in their corporate office. They say they will issue a refund later. Ridiculous.


4 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 14, 2017 at 3:14 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

drekin1 is a registered user.
While Zell relented, they are playing shenanigans. They are asking tenants to pay the pre-rollback rent immediately (for May, as they returned checks initially) while they "calculate" the roll back rent in their corporate office. They say they will issue a refund later. Ridiculous.

Let’s address the situation. First, Zell returned the checks, they are legally entitled to this month’s rent WITH THE APPLICABLE RENT ROLLBACKS THAT EACH UNIT MAY BE ENTITLED.

Second, due to the surprised CAA dismissal of their case, Zell has been placed in a VERY BAD SITUATION. I suspect what should be occurring in their office is getting an emergency line of credit so they can pay the refunds their units are entitled to from January to April. This is anticipated because most firms like this are not planning for such a situation, even though a good run organization would have done something like arranged an insurance policy or a rainy day fund.

Remember, an alternative can be to have landlords’ provide a rent holiday as an alternative. Granted it will not be cash in hand instantly, but for example in my case since there was an overcharge of $900/month for 4 months and my lawful rent is now $1300 a month. I would be willing to say have 3 months rent holiday starting in June, so that they can get some time to breathe. I would expect a full 3 months because my refund is $3600, and 3 months rent would come to $3900. But the inconvenience of overpaying my rent for 4 months warrants that a $300. In addition to the refund would be appropriate.

Would you think that this is an appropriate alternative?

We should at least be understanding that many property owners in Mountain View were deceived into thinking that the CAA knew what they were doing. Many property owners may not really understand that they were told what they wanted to hear from the CAA, because if the CAA admitted it had no grounds, many CAA members would realize that their fees to be members of it were bad investments.

I would not be surprised that the CAA membership will suffer a significant drop. But that is to be expected given the lack of success they have had regarding Richmond and Mountain View, and the likelihood of more rent control policies in the Cities and State that will be born as a result of it.


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 14, 2017 at 3:50 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

Just as a side note, the CAA is a very strange organization.

They claim the following:

“About CAA

The California Apartment Association is the nation’s largest statewide trade group representing owners, investors, developers, managers and suppliers of rental homes and apartment communities. Our staff — based in Sacramento and with strategic hubs throughout California — INCLUDES EXPERTS IN RENTAL HOUSING LAW, LEGAL ANALYSTS, state and local lobbyists, member-service representatives and media-outreach specialists. For more than 75 years, CAA has served rental home and apartment owners and managers through tireless work in public affairs, education and customer service.”

It would appear regarding Mountain View and Richmond, this organization has failed to prove expertise in rental housing law and legal analysis. This is a serious problem that they need to fix.

“We represent THE ETHICAL MEMBERS OF THE RENTAL HOUSING INDUSTRY IN ALL ASPECTS OF GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS WITHIN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, and we provide information, products and services which contribute to the success of their businesses.”

Now, ethical business action is very subjective. But remember the Zell group is not a registered member of the Better Business Bureau. This organization does have a good reputation of having excellent standards and criteria necessary to establish good standing as a member.

“For more than 75 years, we have served apartment owners and managers in California. We are proud to be the definitive voice of the multifamily housing industry in California.”

This may be true, but the effectiveness in handling the Richmond and Mountain View situations does not appear to be very effective.

“What we believe

CAA recognizes its ethical duties to the communities we serve and insists on upholding the utmost integrity in the multifamily housing field. Our Code of Ethics guides our dealings with all people, and we encourage all rental-housing professionals to abide it.”

What are their code of ethics?

It is:

“Ethics
We, the members of the California Apartment Association, recognize our ethical duties to the communities of which we are a part. Being ever mindful of the increasing role of the rental housing industry in providing homes, we have united ourselves for the purpose of improving the services and conditions of the rental housing industry.

This code is our guide in dealing with all people, and we encourage all members of the rental housing industry to abide by these ethical principles.

Therefore we adopt this Code of Ethics as our guide in dealing with all people and encourage all members of the rental housing industry to abide by these ethical principles.

WE COMPLY WITH ALL APPLICABLE LAW AND REGULATIONS.

We comply with the CAA Code of Equal Housing Opportunity.

We comply with the CAA Resident Bill of Rights.

We recognize the value of written contracts and endorse their use.

WE COMMIT TO HONESTY, INTEGRITY AND FAIR DEALING IN OUR CAPACITY AS RENTAL HOUSING PROFESSIONALS.

As rental housing professionals, we act to better the communities of which we are a part.

We maintain an equitable and cooperative relationship among the members of this association.

We promote the conservation of natural resources and preservation of the environment.

We believe in and encourage ongoing education for all participants in the rental housing industry.

We agree not to print, display, or circulate any statement or advertisement that indicates any preference, limitations, or discrimination in the rental or sale of housing.”

WELL, it appears that the CAA has violated it’s own code of conduct because it did 2 things in violation of it. The first was to not comply with laws and regulations and attempt to attack them instead by claiming the law was unconstitutional. However, the fact that the CAA has dismissed the case indicates that course of action was ill-conceived. The second was claiming they are upholding integrity and fair dealing in there capacity as rental housing professionals. Trying to subvert the political process via litigation is clearly NOT upholding integrity, nor demonstrating fair dealing at least with regards to the PUBLIC. They can be doing so only for the benefit of its membership though.

“What we achieve

Whether in city halls — or under the dome of the state Capitol — WE HAVE A PROVEN TRACK RECORD OF DEFEATING ONEROUS PROPOSALS THAT THREATEN THE RENTAL HOUSING INDUSTRY. We remind policymakers of our vital role our members serve in providing homes to the state’s workforce, providing lawmakers with key insights as they frame key decisions. We provide members with up-to-date information on new and pending legislation, keeping our members abreast of California’s complex web of laws and regulations.

We help you navigate legal issues, master risk management and put best business practices in place. We help you better serve your customers and grow your business.”

The CAA failed to do so in the case of Richmond and Mountain View. Yes, the repeal of Ellis and Costa Hawkins is delayed at this time, but in fact that more cities are considering implementation of rent controls modelled from the CSFRA, and that politically they only achieved a 50% success in the last election, that would be a failing grade if you were taking any kind of exam. Again, it really looks like this organization needs to achieve some significant improvement.

“Who we reach

We have 13,000 members, representing more than 50,000 owners and industry professionals. California’s most successful property management companies, developers, real estate investment trusts AND THOUSANDS OF INDEPENDENT APARTMENT OWNERS DEPEND ON CAA TO DEFEND THEIR INVESTMENTS. “

Well, it appears that the CAA significantly failed for those whose properties are in Richmond and Mountain View. And if the trend of their success is only 50%, for every 2 Cities in California, they will not succeed in one of them. How many cities are there?

California is divided into 58 counties and contains 482 municipalities.[4] One, San Francisco, is a consolidated city–county. California law makes no distinction between "city" and "town", and municipalities may use either term in their official names.[5] According to the 2010 Census, 30,908,614 of California's 37,253,956 residents lived in urban areas, accounting for 82.97% of the population. The first municipality to incorporate was Sacramento on February 27, 1850, while the most recent was Jurupa Valley on July 1, 2011. Eight cities were incorporated before the state's September 9, 1850, admission to the Union.[6] The largest municipality by population and land area is Los Angeles with 3,792,621 residents and 468.67 square miles (1,213.8 km2). The smallest by population is Vernon with 112 people, while the smallest by land area is Amador City at 0.31 square miles (0.80 km2).[1]( Web Link)

Thus if this trend continues 241 cities will potentially adopt rent controls like the CSFRA. Of course some cities already have it, like Richmond and Mountain View who just joined the club.

It would appear that the CAA needs to do a lot of work to improve their effectiveness.


22 people like this
Posted by local owner
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 15, 2017 at 10:06 am

While an owner of a larger building is cited in this story, the truth is that the smaller-scale owners who kept their rents low before 2016 were some of the hardest hit by prop. V. Increases are now stuck at 2%, but the cost of doing business is not stuck at that level. As the Businessman points out, construction costs have soared in recent years, whether for new construction or renovation. It can cost 10s-100s thousands of dollars to update old buildings, and the cost of water, garbage, sewer and building permits is rising more than 2%.
I know that some of you who believe that landlords are all greedy meanies won't feel sorry for us when we go into debt trying to keep old buildings livable and up to code. But maybe keep in mind that is hitting the ones who didn't jack up rents the hardest.


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Posted by Landlord Tears
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 15, 2017 at 11:18 am

[Post removed due to violation of terms of use]


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Posted by Landlord Tears
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 15, 2017 at 11:59 am

[Post removed due to violation of terms of use]


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 15, 2017 at 2:02 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Another tidbit of free info:

The CSFRA has a means to petition for rent adjustments above the baseline defined in the CSFRA. This process was DESIGNED to deal with CASE BY CASE issues to provide amicable negotiations. Please do not forget about it? On top of that property owners still also can seek relief in the courts. Also on top of that, even though the reduction of unit turnover has been a criticized aspect of the CSFRA, that also is a benefit because it can cost up to $5,000. per unit of sunk costs (you cannot expect to be reimbursed for them) for a unit turnover. Realize that is also a $5,000. cost reduction in expected annual costs.

Please read this as well?

The CAA has in recent history proven its ability to achieve its objectives at 50%. Half of the opposition of rent control succeeded. Lets rephrase it by saying they are RELIABLE only at 50%. That means they are only as good as flipping a coin, because you will win typically 50% of the time( except for landing on its edge). This result makes me ask more questions. Please read this?

C. Reliability and Validity

In order for assessments to be sound, they must be free of bias and distortion. Reliability and validity are two concepts that are important for defining and measuring bias and distortion.

Reliability refers to the extent to which assessments are consistent. Just as we enjoy having reliable cars (cars that start every time we need them), we strive to have reliable, consistent instruments to measure student achievement. Another way to think of reliability is to imagine a kitchen scale. If you weigh five pounds of potatoes in the morning, and the scale is reliable, the same scale should register five pounds for the potatoes an hour later (unless, of course, you peeled and cooked them). Likewise, instruments such as classroom tests and national standardized exams should be reliable – it should not make any difference whether a student takes the assessment in the morning or afternoon; one day or the next.

Another measure of reliability is the internal consistency of the items. For example, if you create a quiz to measure students’ ability to solve quadratic equations, you should be able to assume that if a student gets an item correct, he or she will also get other, similar items correct. The following table outlines three common reliability measures.

The values for reliability coefficients range from 0 to 1.0. A coefficient of 0 means no reliability and 1.0 means perfect reliability. Since all tests have some error, reliability coefficients never reach 1.0. Generally, if the reliability of a standardized test is above .80, it is said to have very good reliability; if it is below .50, it would not be considered a very reliable test.( Web Link)

Why does someone give their money to a group that isn’t any more reliable than a coin toss? This doesn’t seem to make any sense to me. Especially when this group is a FOR PROFIT organization. I would give them some space if they were not making a profit because their resources can be assumed to be restricted. But they have the ability to employ the BEST OF THE BEST regarding business and legal analysis. So that should mean they are able to achieve at least 95% reliability. Why do I use that standard?

95% is a typical optimum reliability standard in most fields. In my field of business in both Management Information Systems and Human Resources Management, this is the GOLD standard. In MIS, when choosing a IT infrastructure and process, one tries to achieve 95% reliability because the business is so dependent on timely information to make the best decisions. In HRM the law typically requires that a staffing or hiring process can feasibly achieve 95% ability to determine that the decision made predicted the performance results expected. But in reality HRM typically will not hold a strict line. The basis of the legal satisfaction of good practice is that you can prove that your process does NOT adversely impact those that can be reasonably expected to succeed in the function you’re trying to staff.

Why such a high “reliability” standard. Because legally, the assumption has been proven in history that the “validity” of a chosen act is based on the “squaring” of the reliability coefficient or score. “VALIDITY” is the most important criteria in business, VALIDITY is the establishment of proof that a given choice of action was the best one versus all others. It is defined as:

Validity refers to the accuracy of an assessment -- whether or not it measures what it is supposed to measure. Even if a test is reliable, it may not provide a valid measure. Let’s imagine a bathroom scale that consistently tells you that you weigh 130 pounds. The reliability (consistency) of this scale is very good, but it is not accurate (valid) because you actually weigh 145 pounds (perhaps you re-set the scale in a weak moment)! Since teachers, parents, and school districts make decisions about students based on assessments (such as grades, promotions, and graduation), the validity inferred from the assessments is essential -- even more crucial than the reliability. Also, if a test is valid, it is almost always reliable.

There are three ways in which validity can be measured. In order to have confidence that a test is valid (and therefore the inferences we make based on the test scores are valid), all three kinds of validity evidence should be considered.

Type of Validity: Definition Example/Non-Example

Content The extent to which the content of the test matches the instructional objectives. A semester or quarter exam that only includes content covered during the last six weeks is not a valid measure of the course's overall objectives -- it has very low content validity.

(If you apply this standard to the CAA, the content validity would have resulted in a higher reliability score then 50%. This simply indicates that the CAA’s VALIDITY regarding their efforts in the Apartment industry is very poor.)

Criterion The extent to which scores on the test are in agreement with (concurrent validity) or predict (predictive validity) an external criterion. If the end-of-year math tests in 4th grade correlate highly with the statewide math tests, they would have high concurrent validity.

(If you apply this standard to the CAA, the criterion validity would have resulted in a higher reliability score then 50%. This simply indicates that the CAA’s VALIDITY regarding their efforts in the Apartment industry is very poor.)

Construct The extent to which an assessment corresponds to other variables, as predicted by some rationale or theory. If you can correctly hypothesize that ESOL students will perform differently on a reading test than English-speaking students (because of theory), the assessment may have construct validity.

(If you apply this standard to the CAA, the construct validity would have resulted in a higher reliability score then 50%. This simply indicates that the CAA’s VALIDITY regarding their efforts in the Apartment industry is very poor.) ( Web Link)

So if the VALIDITY of the CAA is dependent on the RELIABILITY of it squared. If you Square .50 for 50% you wind up with .25 or 25%. BUT EVEN IF YOU DON’T SQUARE THE RELIABILITY THE VALIDITY OF THE CAA could only achieve 50%. So the best outcome for the CAA is that 50% of the time, its opinions are not VALID? IF YOU THINK YOU GET YOUR MONEY’S WORTH BEING A MEMBER OF THE CAA, THIS APPEARS TO PROVE THAT YOU DON’T.

ONE MUST NOT BASE THEIR BUSINESS ACTIONS ON THE GAMBLE OF A COIN TOSS!

WHY IN THE WORLD IS THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA LANDLORDS LISTENING TO THESE PEOPLE?


3 people like this
Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 15, 2017 at 4:59 pm

USA is a registered user.

Yikes, why would anyone want to be on that board? You will get hit hard from both sides. It is a no-win situation.


6 people like this
Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 15, 2017 at 5:14 pm

USA is a registered user.

@CourtneyB -- When someone builds new housing or purchases an existing building usually the rent does not cover the loan costs for the first few years. The landlord knows that the rent will increase over time so that the total rent over the lifetime of the loan will cover it plus a reasonable profit. They know going in that they will be underwater for a few years.

Of course, right now the markets are roiling due to the extreme imbalance of supply and demand. It is impacting both renters and landlords. The rent control is only further complicating things by putting landlords underwater longer. They are rightfully upset. You would be unhappy too if someone extended your mortgage or student loan payments for a couple of years.

The real solution here is to fix the root cause by zoning for housing over offices.



2 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 15, 2017 at 9:53 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

USA,

I totally agree. Especially in Mountain View, the City Council felt it was more important for commercial and industrial development instead of residential for decades.

As a general rule, one must develop 1 unit of residence for every 1 job you expect to be employed in a specific city. Any other ratio and you are just arranging a major catastrophe down the road.

Long term planning is simply not a priority in our country. Every business and government only wants to be able to handle the issues during either the current year or current election cycle. This means we are on a riverboat with unskilled navigators or steers people. You are sure to eventually run aground and sink the boat.

And you wonder how we got to this place?


2 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 16, 2017 at 1:58 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

I went to the landlords meeting this morning.

The city is refusing to answer this question “ARE TENANTS ENTITLED TO OVERPAID RENT REFUND SINCE JANUARY?”

Their only response is that they have no definitive answer.

My observation is that they had 144 days to reach any judge or attorney that has an expertise in this question. My only thought is that because of the City TRO stipulation, any admission that the refund is entitled would be an admission of guilt to attack the rights of the tenants of Mountain View, or worse open themselves to TORT action based on encouraging landlords to violate the City Charter.

Another observation is that they will not DISCLOSE NEGATIVE INFORMATION IN RESPONSE TO THE EXPERTS. They would rather simply claim ignorance indefinitely rather than disclose the poor legal judgment of the City of Mountain View.

I have given my landlord fair notice that I will file a lawsuit for refund, but in the state of California if you sue you are entitled to treble damages (Triple Refund) if you read here:

“Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 7, California.

Levon MINELIAN, Plaintiff and Appellant,

v. Bonnie MANZELLA, Defendant and Respondent.

No. B043724. Nov. 8, 1989. Review Denied Feb. 15, 1990.

Landlord brought action for unlawful detainer of rent-controlled apartment. The Municipal Court, Santa Monica Judicial District, Joseph W. Chandler, J., determined that tenant owed no rent. Landlord appealed, and case was transferred from the Appellate Department of the Superior Court. The Court of Appeal, Fred Woods, J., held that: (1) landlord was not protected by statute prohibiting penalty or other sanction for unsubstantial failure to comply with ordinance, charter, or regulation, and (2) affirmative defense alleging payment of excess rent for rent-controlled apartment was not governed by any statute of limitations. Affirmed. W

In arguing that tenants will sit on their rights, appellant assumes that tenants know that they are paying excess rent. We can envision situations similar to the instant case [FN6] in which the tenant does not know that she has been paying unlawful rent until some event transpires which brings the error to the attention of the tenant.

FN6. It is unclear from the record how respondent discovered that she was paying an unlawful amount of rent, only that she filed an administrative complaint, the result of which was a determination that her unit was registered with the incorrect base rent.

In Santa Monica, a tenant who has paid excess rent has a choice of remedies, each of which has different benefits and burdens. ONE, THE TENANT CAN FILE A CIVIL SUIT FOR THE EXCESS RENT, INCLUDING POSSIBLE TREBLE DAMAGES, [FN7] AND FEES AND COSTS. (SMRCCA § 1809(A).) Two, the tenant can file an administrative complaint with the rent control board for damages and up to $500 for costs and expenses. (SMRCCA § 1809(b).) Third, the tenant can raise the Nourafchan defense of a landlord's noncompliance with provisions of the SMRCCA as an affirmative defense to an unlawful detainer action.

FN7. AS TREBLE DAMAGES ARE A PENALTY, THEY COULD ONLY BE RECOVERED FOR A ONE YEAR PERIOD. (G.H.I.I. V. MTS, INC. (1983) 147 CAL.APP.3D 256, 278-279, 195 CAL.RPTR. 211.)

Recently, in concluding that although the Santa Monica Rent Control Board could administratively determine an issue of excess rent collected without invoking an unconstitutional use of judicial power, the Supreme Court held that the board's order in this instance authorizing a tenant to withhold future rent violated the "principle of check" (the avoidance or minimizing of unchecked power) in that allowing the withholding of such future rent denied the landlord an opportunity for judicial review. (McHugh v. Santa Monica Rent Control Bd., supra, 49 Cal.3d 348, 353, 374-377, 261 Cal.Rptr. 318, 777 P.2d 91.)

Accordingly, permitting a tenant to raise the affirmative defense of excess rent paid in an unlawful detainer action, will provide the judicial review *469 favored by our Supreme Court) necessary to the determination of whether or not excess rent was paid. DISPOSITION The judgment of the municipal court is affirmed. Respondent to recover costs on appeal. LILLIE, P.J., and JOHNSON, J., concur. 215 Cal.App.3d 457, 263 Cal.Rptr. 597”

I am about to file my case, and given that the CAA lawsuit is gone, the TRO vanished along with it. Thus the enforcement provision was restored, I am 95% certain the court will not accept the TRO as a defense, and that the court cannot delay the rent rollback because the court is constrained to the Charter because the Charter defines the actions the court must take. I will strongly encourage anyone not getting a voluntary refund to pursue the refund in court, it is your right.


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Posted by Liz
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 17, 2017 at 9:42 am

As a renter who is entitled to the roll back are you saying that the only way to get it is to go to court. In the meantime, I get evicted for not paying my rent plus I have all the legal fees! We have tried to contact our property management and it's like screaming down a well nothing but silence. We paid our current May rent with a note that said we believed that we should be paying 2015 costs. Still silence. Our property folks are BT Properties, you can see their signs all over MV. All I hear and read seems like I should take them to court, but I like where I live and want to stay here


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 17, 2017 at 1:22 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Posted by Liz
a resident of Old Mountain View
3 hours ago

As a renter who is entitled to the roll back are you saying that the only way to get it is to go to court. In the meantime, I get evicted for not paying my rent plus I have all the legal fees! We have tried to contact our property management and it's like screaming down a well nothing but silence. We paid our current May rent with a note that said we believed that we should be paying 2015 costs. Still silence. Our property folks are BT Properties, you can see their signs all over MV. All I hear and read seems like I should take them to court, but I like where I live and want to stay here

My quickest information is this:

Contact the City and the following immediately:

Law Foundation of Silicon Valley: 408-280-2424,
Bay Area Legal Aid: 408-850-7066,
Asian Law Alliance: 408-287-9710,

They will take care of your landlord for you for free, as long as you get in touch in time, did you receive a 3 day notice for non-payment?

If you did, you had 3 days to answer. This has been discussed at tenants meetings and on the internet web pages ever since passage of the CSFRA. Failure to do so can put you out of your apartment.

Otherwise you will be taken care of.

And a quick note, during the landlords meeting, they were CLEARLY instructed THEY HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO ROLL BACK MAYS RENT AT THIS TIME.

I will do some more writing later.


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 17, 2017 at 1:59 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

A friend told me something and I AM LISTENING TO BY VERY GOOD FRIEND. People might be getting the impression I am a lawyer or an EXPERT.

I am NOT AN ATTORNEY. I am NOTCLAIMING TO BE AN EXPERT. BUT, I AM USING PUBLIC INFORMATION IN SUCH A WAY AS TO COME UP WITH A REASONABLE INTERPRETATION OF THE SITUATION

Just another tidbit of information:

My new landlord spent $5 Million dollars to buy my building. But at the same time is not willing to arrange a $5000 retainer to have an attorney. It would appear to be that this is a poor business decision is an understatement. The Attorney is to protect them from exploitation or prevent them from violating laws resulting in large monetary liability.

What this person is choosing to do is only listen to the City of Mountain View, as basis of his actions on them as his “attorney”. This does not make any sense at all. The first reason is that the City Government is responsible for the citizens of Mountain View, explicitly those registered to VOTE in Mountain View. In this arena, property owners ONLY in Mountain View cannot realistically think that the City of Mountain View are their attorney or defense against public policy. Second, the city does not even know what they are doing at this time, this is argued as unintentional or intentional ignorance on the part of the City.

However, ignorance of the law of any type is not a defense of violation of the law if you read the following:

Ignorantia juris non excusat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. (February 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Ignorantia juris non excusat[1] or ignorantia legis neminem excusat[2] (Latin for "ignorance of the law excuses not"[1] and "ignorance of law excuses no one"[2] respectively) is a legal principle holding that a person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating that law merely because one was unaware of its content. ( Web Link)

Thus any landlord attempting to claim that “IF THE CITY DOESN’T TELL ME I MUST DO IT, I AM FREE TO IGNORE OR VIOLATE THE LAW” THEY ARE SO WRONG. The City of Mountain View is not a court, and the courts WILL ENFORCE THE LETTER OF THE LAW IRREGARDLESS OF THE CITY.

Please read this:

Statutory interpretation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Statutory interpretation is the process by which courts interpret and apply legislation. Some amount of interpretation is often necessary when a case involves a statute. SOMETIMES THE WORDS OF A STATUTE HAVE A PLAIN AND STRAIGHTFORWARD MEANING. But in many cases, there is some ambiguity or vagueness in the words of the statute that must be resolved by the judge. To find the meanings of statutes, judges use various tools and methods of statutory interpretation, including traditional canons of statutory interpretation, legislative history, and purpose. In common law jurisdictions, the judiciary may apply rules of statutory interpretation both to legislation enacted by the legislature and to delegated legislation such as administrative agency regulations.( Web Link)

And:

Below are various quotes on this topic from US courts:

U.S. Supreme Court: "We begin with the familiar canon of statutory construction that the starting point for interpreting a statute is the language of the statute itself. ABSENT A CLEARLY EXPRESSED LEGISLATIVE INTENTION TO THE CONTRARY, THAT LANGUAGE MUST ORDINARILY BE REGARDED AS CONCLUSIVE.:" Consumer Product Safety Commission et al. v. GTE Sylvania, Inc. et al.,447 U.S. 102 (1980). "[I]n interpreting a statute a court should always turn to one cardinal canon before all others. . . .[C]ourts must presume that a legislature says in a statute what it means and means in a statute what it says there." Connecticut Nat'l Bank v. Germain, 112 S. Ct. 1146, 1149 (1992). Indeed, "when the words of a statute are unambiguous, then, this first canon is also the last: 'judicial inquiry is complete.'" 503 U.S. 249, 254.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals: In the dissent from en banc rehearing of Silveira v. Lockyer 312 F.3rd 1052 (2002), dissent at 328 F.3d 567 (2003) at 575, Judge Kleinfeld stated "IT IS 'A CARDINAL PRINCIPLE OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION THAT WE MUST GIVE EFFECT, IF POSSIBLE, TO EVERY CLAUSE AND WORD OF A STATUTE.' Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 404, 120 S.Ct. 1495, 146 L.Ed.2d 389 (2000)."

So, the courts will follow the letter of the law. The only exception is if the law is ambiguous. But since no challenge exists in court, and the CSFRA requires enforcement of the law 10 days after the December 13th City Council Certification of the Registrar of Voters of Santa Clara, the law is NOT AMBIGUOUS.

Thus the courts WILL MOST LIKELY NOT CONCLUIDE THAT THE CSFRA IS ONLY ENFORCEABLE AFTER THE TRO WAS LIFTED.

The City simply does not want to be the bearer of bad news, because politically they will be victims of the “SHOOT THE MESSENGER” doctrine which says:

Current application[edit]

A modern version of "shooting the messenger" can be perceived when someone blames the media for presenting bad news about a favored cause, person, organization, etc. "SHOOTING THE MESSENGER" MAY BE A TIME-HONORED EMOTIONAL RESPONSE TO UNWANTED NEWS, BUT IT IS NOT A VERY EFFECTIVE METHOD OF REMAINING WELL-INFORMED."[11]

Getting rid of the messenger may be a tactical move, but danger found in nondisclosure may result in either hostile responses or negative feedback from others. "PEOPLE LEARN VERY QUICKLY WHERE THIS IS THE CASE, AND WILL STUDIOUSLY AVOID GIVING ANY NEGATIVE FEEDBACK; THUS THE 'EMPEROR' CONTINUES WITH THE SELF-DELUSION....OBVIOUSLY THIS IS NOT A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS".[12] Barbara Ehrenreich in Bright-sided/Smile or Die argued that a culture of "thinking positive" so as to "purge 'negative people' from the ranks...[fed into] the bubble-itis"[13] of the 2000s.( Web Link)

Simply stated, it is time to adapt to the new rules of the Game until the rules can be revised. Other than that, your traveling a road to oblivion.


18 people like this
Posted by Old timer
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 17, 2017 at 3:18 pm

@business man,

If you could limit your word counts, your points can be more receptive.

By the way, your discussion about construction cost is way too optimistic. You will loose your shirt, if you to develop some BMR units (without subsidy).

One main reason for lack of housing is that cost construction has gone up, with added government imposed fees and regulations. And they must pay loan costs for the development which May take indefinite time for approval.

The developer must weight risk of economic and political cycles, and now rent control measure risks.

Too bad, rent control ha never been a long term policy that is effective.

One reason for recent revival of constructionist is due to Costa-Hawkins Bill. But this does not seem to help Berkeley.





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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 17, 2017 at 5:05 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

@business man,

“If you could limit your word counts, your points can be more receptive.”

I try SO HARD to keep it short. But if I do not indicate independent information to substantiate my comments, I KNOW I will be publically discredited by those who do not want me to present my information. It is a NO-WIN situation for me, I keep short, and my opposition will claim I don’t know what I am talking about, I provide proof, and it is too long.

“By the way, your discussion about construction cost is way too optimistic. You will loose your shirt, if you to develop some BMR units (without subsidy).”

BELIEVE IT OR NOT NO ARGUMENTS FROM ME! The State and Local Governments have resources to provide aggressive subsidies to increase affordable housing. Just look at the last elaction where Santa Clara got Measure A to provide at minimum for the county $950 Million for the development of affordable housing.

Now if you use this information:

The cost to build a 12 unit apartment building (Web Link):

This building, however, would not come in at a simple cost of $85 per square foot due simply to the excessive amount of construction required on the interior. A three-story unit of masonry construction with twelve apartments would run roughly $9.4 million in total costs. This excludes land acquisition and site improvements like parking, gardens and play areas. Materials would cost around $4.65 million, labor would cost roughly $4.51 million, machine costs would stand at roughly $232,000 and the contractor would take in over $1.3 million for the project.

But let’s say that the labor costs are higher like:

Again you have to add 44% for local contractor rates so the contractor will cost $4.51 million + 44% or $6.49 Mill.( Web Link)

Then it will cost $9.4 million + 2million local labor or $11.4 Million for 12 units. With $950 Million in funding from Measure A, the county could pay for as much as 83 units if it paid 100% of the cost. My expectation would be that the county should subsidize the housing at the very most at 5%, because Costa Hawkins allows for the unimpaired rent, thus maximizing profit. That would mean based only on Measure A this does fund for a new 1,660 units in Santa Clara for BMR housing.

Now there are approximately 76K living in Mountain View and there is 2 Million in Santa Clara. That would mean that Mountain View is 4% Santa Clara County, then Measure A would fund 1,660 times .04 or 66 units in Mountain View. That is way too small, the State and the County HAS TO GREATLY IMPROVE THIS.

Ironically, this was Measure A opposed by John Inks if you look here:( Web Link)

Opponents

The following individuals signed the official argument against the measure:[3]

John M. Inks, Mountain View City Councilmember

What I find hypocritical is those who are against rent controls are also against public subsidies. The only logical result would be chronic underdevelopment and no means for the market to attain optimum supply and optimum demand in economics 101. This results in a "bubble" in this market that will inevitably burst.

I AM ON THE RECORD FOR RADICAL INCREASE IN HOUSING SUBSIDIES SO THAT THE LONG TERM PROBLEMS IN THE APARTMENT MARKET CAN FINALLY BE RESOLVED.


Like this comment
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 17, 2017 at 10:44 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Ironically, this was Measure A opposed by John Inks if you look here:( Web Link)

There seems to be a problem with the link regarding Measure A, here is a repair:

Web Link)

I hope this will work, I did notice it has an https, that could casue a problem in the link.

Here is the text of the link Web Link

Or google: measure a santa clara county

And look at the 4th entry titled:

Santa Clara County, California, Affordable Housing Bonds, Measure A ...

ballotpedia.org/Santa_Clara_County,_California,_Affordable_Housing_Bonds,_Measure_A_(November_2016)

JOHN INKS ARGUED AGAINST MEASURE A WITH THE FOLLOWING:

When the County of Santa Clara puts a bond measures like Measure A before the voters, what are they saying?

Answer: everything they are spending your tax dollars on now, is more important than the projects for which this tax increase is being sought.

Budgets set priorities. The County of Santa Clara is saying that every dollar they spend today is going to something they consider a higher priority than to provide affordable housing.

My interpretation: JOHN INKS DOES NOT WANT THE VOTERS TO HAVE THE CHOICE TO MAKE A LONG TERM SOLUTION FOR HOUSING. HE WANTS POLITICIANS THAT ARE UNDER INFLUENCE OF INTERESTS (LIKE THE CALIFORNIA APARTMENT ASSOC. AND NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HOME BUILDERS) TO HAVE THE POWER TO OVERRRIDE THE CITIZENS’ RIGHTS. HE HATES THE VOTER BALLOT INTIATIVE PROCESS BECAUSE IT REMOOVES THE ADVANTAGE OF MONEY TO CONTROL THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS.

The main reason that we don't have affordable housing is the law of supply and demand, the basic economic principle we learned in high school.

When housing demand exceeds the supply, the price of housing goes up.

So, why hasn't the supply kept up with the demand?

Answer: too much government

My interpretation: COSTA HAWKINS AND ELLIS ACTS REMOVED ANY PROFIT LIMITS FOR APARTMENT DEVELOPMENT. GOVERNMENT DOES NOT INTERFERE WITH APARTMENT DEVELOPMENT IN FACT IT ENCOURAGES IT BY ALLOWING UNRESTRICTED PROFIT.

The supply is restricted because of government zoning laws that limits housing.

My interpretation: GOVERNMENT ZONING IS A NECCESSITY TO MAKE SURE COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL PROERTIES ARE SEPERATED FROM RESIDENTIAL BECAUSE ACCIDENTS OCCUR. IF AN APARTMENT IS NEXT DOOR TO A GAS STATION THAT BLOWS UP, THE APARTMENT WOULD BE COLLATERAL DAMAGE. THERE ARE MANY ACCIDENTS THAT CAUSE THIS KIND OF DAMAGE, YOU CAN YOUTUBE DOZENS OF THEM ALL OVER THE WORLD. BEFORE YOU ARGUE THAT KIND OF OPINION, YOU MUST HAVE PROOF OF THIS OPINION

The supply is restricted because of government building fees, now estimated to be about 25% of the cost of new housing according to the National Association of Home Builders.

My interpretation: IF YOU CAN CHARGE ANY AMOUNT OF RENT UNDER COSTA HAWKINS AND ELLIS ACTS, THE APARTMENTS CAN PASS THE COST TO THE TENATS AT LEAST AT THIS TIME. BEFORE YOU ARGUE THAT KIND OF OPINION, YOU MUST HAVE PROOF OF THIS OPINION

The supply is restricted because of government banking laws that restrict lending.

My interpretation: WHAT GOVERNMENT BANKING LAWS RESTRICT LENDING, EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT THE “SUB-PRIME” FINANCING DESTROYED THE EC ONOMY DURING 2007-2010. NO PERSON OF POOR CREDIT SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE APARTMENT BUSINESS IN ANY WAY. BEFORE YOU ARGUE THAT KIND OF OPINION, YOU MUST HAVE PROOF OF THIS OPINION

The supply is restricted because of government building codes that add unnecessary costs.

My interpretation: BUILDING CODES PREVENT LOSS OF LIFE AND PROPERTY BECAUSE THE LACK OF THEM WOULD RESULT IN POORLY BUILT OR UNSAFE PROPERTIES. BUT IF YOU LOOK AT THE NATION, CALIFORNIA HAS SOME OF THE LEAST BUILDING CODES IN THE NATION. BEFORE YOU ARGUE THAT KIND OF OPINION, YOU MUST HAVE PROOF OF THIS OPINION

The solution to affordable housing is clear; we need less government, not more.

My interpretation: THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT PREVENT AFFORDABLE HOUSING. BEFORE YOU ARGUE THAT KIND OF OPINION, YOU MUST HAVE PROOF OF THIS OPINION.

You got to hand it to big government advocates, they've created this housing crisis and now, they propose to solve their problem with more government and more debt.

My interpretation: JOHN INKS WANTS TO BLAME THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE FAILURE OF THE FREE MARKET UNDER ELLIS AND COSTA HAWKINS FOR THE INDUSTRIES FAILURE TO KEEP UP WITH MARKET OPPORTUNITY. THE GOVERNMENT GAVE THE APARTMENT INDUSTRY A 20 YEAR GIFT TO MAKE AS MUCH PROFIT THEY COULD MANIPULATE IN THE MARKET. BEFORE YOU ARGUE THAT KIND OF OPINION, YOU MUST HAVE PROOF OF THIS OPINION.

Remember bonds have to be paid back, with interest.

And interest on this $950,000,000 bond measure is?

Answer: who knows! Legally it could be as high at 12%.

My interpretation: NEVER BELIEVE ANYONE THAT STATES THE PHRASE “AS HIGH AT 12%”. SUCH A PERSON HAS NO ACCURATE INFORMATION AND IS JUST MAKING UP A NUMBER. PLEASE READ THIS (Web Link). FOR A AAA RATED MUNI BONDS NATIONALLY FOR 10 YEAR IS 2.05%, 20 YEAR IS 2.75%, AND 30 YEAR IS 2.90%. FOR A AA RATED MUNI BONDS NATIONALLY FOR 10 YEAR IS 2.25%, 20 YEAR IS 3.00%, AND 30 YEAR IS 3.15%. FOR A A RATED MUNI BONDS NATIONALLY FOR 10 YEAR IS 2.60%, 20 YEAR IS 3.3%, AND 30 YEAR IS 3.45%. WHERE DID THEY GET THE IDEA THAT 12% WAS CLOSE TO ANY REASONABLE REAL INTEREST RATE ON A MUNICIPLE BOND? BEFORE YOU ARGUE THAT KIND OF OPINION, YOU MUST HAVE PROOF OF THIS OPINION.



Like this comment
Posted by impatientrenter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 18, 2017 at 7:18 am

Landlords have been way too greedy all these years. The discussion can drag, but bottom line is that we wouldn't be talking about rent control if rents didn't reach insane highs...
Next, now that the measure is applicable, aren't renters supposed to retroactively get some money back (back to 2015)?
Landlords, stop whining, your crocodile tears are not moving anyone who has a bit of common sense...


8 people like this
Posted by ADHD
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 18, 2017 at 10:18 am

Old timer:

"@business man,

If you could limit your word counts, your points can be more receptive."


Agreed. I used to read through all of The Business Man's posts, and then it simply became too tedious and I had to stop. Now I usually scroll right past them, which is unfortunate because I believe he makes some fair points. I'm simply no longer willing to take so much of my time repeatedly laboring through 800+ word comments.


“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.” Dr. Seuss




5 people like this
Posted by Not a business man
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 18, 2017 at 1:10 pm

I agree with the previous comments about excessively long posts. However if you do skim them you find that the business man dos not really understand how housing markets work. The clear consensus of housing economists is that the high prices in California coastal areas are due to excessive regulations . There are far fewer land regulations in Midwestern states. For example the city of Houston does not have any zoning restrictions. Some people like to live near where they work and some don't. Richard Epstein , recently wrote a piece in a Hoover journal outlining perfectly the issue of political constraints to restrict supply. While regulations restrict supply and result in higher prices, they don't do near the damage of rent controls which fix prices and don't allow the market to clear.


12 people like this
Posted by Logic
a resident of Castro City
on May 18, 2017 at 1:39 pm

@Not a business man,

Yeah, that logic checks out. The housing crisis in Mountain View is caused by rent control, which has been in effect for roughly a month. It's amazing that Measure V had the power to peer through time and do such damage before it was even enacted!

Repeal Prop 13 and build as much housing as required until every worker in Mountain View can share in the California dream.


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 18, 2017 at 2:53 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In my last post which started:

A friend told me something and I AM LISTENING TO BY VERY GOOD FRIEND. People might be getting the impression I am a lawyer or an EXPERT.

There was 1063 words total.

But 667 words were copy and pasted for reference and substance, otherwise critics would claim I am making my information up.

So my writing came to 396 words, if you use the 800 words as a maximum, I didn’t even reach 50%

For the post discussing John Inks opposition to Measure A my statistics were:

810 words total

269 were posted from the webpage, I was just providing free demonstration of the record

So I can argue my post was only 541 words.

The Current posting statistics excluding the above summaries are:

There are 350 words in this post excluding this and following summary:

136 are from the older post, thus 214 are mine

The posting

Not a business man stated:

I agree with the previous comments about excessively long posts. However if you do skim them you find that the business man dos not really understand how housing markets work. The clear consensus of housing economists is that the high prices in California coastal areas are due to excessive regulations . There are far fewer land regulations in Midwestern states. For example the city of Houston does not have any zoning restrictions. Some people like to live near where they work and some don't. Richard Epstein , recently wrote a piece in a outlining perfectly the issue of political constraints to restrict supply. While regulations restrict supply and result in higher prices, they don't do near the damage of rent controls which fix prices and don't allow the market to clear.

Richard Epstein is a promoter of very questionable business concepts. He believes that there should be no laws regarding “conflict of Interest” as described here: Web Link and Web Link

Richard Epstein’s ethics are very strange as well. He promotes that there should be no laws governing discrimination prevention in the article written here Web Link.

Richard Epstein’s hostility toward rent control is not based on the economic concepts if you read this:”
Web Link

He clearly is not looking at the issue scientifically, he is using his reputation to argue a political point of view. Specifically that he claims that the courts decisions in the case of Harmon v. Markus/Harmon v. Kimmel were unfair and unconstitutional. However 1 year after his opinion he published the SCOTUS simply agreed with the court decision Web Link.

Given these facts, Richard Epstein only has one golden rule, “HE WHO HAS THE GOLD RULES”.

The simple truth is however, the SCOTUS nor other Courts where you must PROVE your argument requiring bearing the burden of proof standard. His beliefs do not seem to establish proof. Otherwise, the majority of the courts would not support any kind of Rent Controls.

If we were subject to his code of conduct, the U.S. would revert back to British feudalism, where the property owners dictate the terms of living regarding anyone living on their property. This IS THE OBJECTIVE of the opposition of the citizens of Mountain View. They just won’t put it into those words.


4 people like this
Posted by ADHD
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 18, 2017 at 4:08 pm

@The Business Man

It doesn't make a difference how much of the content in your comments is "your words" vs cut and pasted content, because one still has to read through the entire digest of your post. It is easy to simplify by summarizing the cut and pasted content into a concise sentence or two and posting source link(s) for reference. People who would like to delve deeper into the minutia of the referenced material can hit the reference link(s).

I am only trying to be helpful, as clearly I am not the only reader who has become fatigued from the exceedingly long and tedious posts. I am interested in your opinions.




2 people like this
Posted by Home builder
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 18, 2017 at 4:48 pm

Business Man, you are not factoring in the cost for land. And your construction estimates are way off. We built a house here 12 years ago, the construction costs then were about $450 per square foot.


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 18, 2017 at 5:04 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Home Builder.

My assumption is that this is a property already owned with a very old building on it. And it is an apartment building not a house or rowhouse or condo.

This is the logical course of action for any landlord in Mountain View that CSFRA applies to because the buildings were open prior to 1995.

Costa Hawkins prevents it from applying to houses, duplexes, and apartments lesser than 4 units in size.

CSFRA simply does not apply to a house being rented unfortunately. I am in favor of repealing Costa Hawkins because this is unfair to new apartment renters, duplexes, single occupancy houses and smaller apartments.

But if you're going to buy land and start fresh, you are completely right, I did not take that cost into account.



1 person likes this
Posted by Old timer
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 18, 2017 at 6:18 pm

Well, back to the topic this article about rent control committee.
I sincerely hope we are not going to see the same situation as this in Berkeley and Santa Monica:

Web Link

If the link is broken, please search with Google on "grand-jury-criticizes-berkeley-rent-stabilization-board".

It wold be nice if we put the committee and the associated rent monitor board under
the same CPI cap as the rents.


Like this comment
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 18, 2017 at 7:50 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

“Posted by Old timer

Well, back to the topic this article about rent control committee.

I sincerely hope we are not going to see the same situation as this in Berkeley and Santa Monica:

Web Link

If the link is broken, please search with Google on "grand-jury-criticizes-berkeley-rent-stabilization-board".

It would be nice if we put the committee and the associated rent monitor board under the same CPI cap as the rents.”

Good information, but it seems to be implying that some kind of criminal trial concluded with a guilty verdict. That did not take place. If you read the link here, it will describe the Civil Grand Jury of Alameda County. (Web Link)

Specifically my observation is that they were asked to only perform the following:

The civil grand jury is also authorized to:

1) Inspect and audit books, records and financial expenditures to ensure the public that public funds are properly accounted for and spent. 2) Inspect books and records of special districts in Alameda County. 3) Examine books and records of non-profit agencies that have substantial contacts with county or local agencies. 4) Inquire into and inspect conditions of local jails and detention facilities.and 5) Investigate charges of willful misconduct by public officials or employees.

From what I read, the only thing done was step 1. NO complaint or prosecution took place as a result. Only recommendations were documented, they were:


RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendation 12-10: The Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board must reduce the high rental unit registration fees.

Recommendation 12-11: The Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board must allow landlords to pass through a larger proportion of the registration fee to tenants.

Recommendation 12-12: The Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board must ask the city of Berkeley Human Resources Department for a thorough position-control audit to evaluate the number of staff, the classifications and workload.

Recommendation 12-13: The Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board must ask the city Human Resources department to provide more comprehensive salary comparisons regularly and use them in setting salaries and benefits, including those of the executive director and the board members.

Recommendation 12-14: The Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board must conduct annual performance reviews of the executive director to provide more effective oversight.
There is a rebuttal report by the BRSB published here if you care to read it (Web Link)

And just to point out, our board is not paid. They are volunteers. And this report was written By Frances Dinkelspiel on June 26, 2012, 9:27 a.m.

THIS IS A VERY OLD REPORT. There seems to be no current complaints that I can see at this time.

This information seems to be implying things that did not happen.


Like this comment
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of North Whisman
on May 18, 2017 at 8:04 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

One thing that helped Silicon Valley to thrive and prosper: The role of Quality Assurance,A course on STATISTICAL ANALYSIS By Deming: Web Link When I worked in the many manufacturers of ICs. This noted that you Must keep a failure rate of less than 5% or you must investigate why that failure rate is more than 5% by stopping the process NOW and investigating WHY the process was failing. This Deming process is largely why the Japanese auto industry built better cars than the " Big Three " in the 70s and 80s. The Deming Statistical Analysis process can be applied to ANY system that requires integrity and can use this system to maintain the integrity in the numbers quoted about a given system. I was trained by the Semiconductor Industry in this method.
After learning this system, I could apply it to ANY system that involves integrity in numerical data.
That application showed tha I cloud not and NEVER COULD buy housing in the SFBA and Silicon Valley; I had much less ability than 95% of a chance to do so 40 YEARS AGO! I was the person " living in my parent's home " young man at the time. Yes, I liked the " perks " of living in Mountain View but I could never buy a house her.No more bargains, like my parents had ( back in the 1970s My parents bought this " fixer upper " for $25k, now it's worth a $1 million ). So I got a job at Cray Research, where I took a little pay cut but I LIVED LIKE A KING in Chippewa Falls, WI. Since I was born there, I knew how to prepare for the winter, so it was not a hardship.
That is something many California people seem not to understand: The money you are paying in RENT will enable you to BUY A HOUSE ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE CENTRAL UNITED STATES! Your security deposity will pay for the down payment on the loan to buy the house!
I now live in the mountains close to Denver. My parents still live in that $1 million house in Mountain View. That is why I keep track of MV issues like this one.
Businesses still have to have employees happy and not worry about housing problems. So Google is building a new campus in Boulder, Colorado. Plenty of room to expand, plenty of room to build LOCAL HOUSING at the above rates. A person can still pay much less if they are willing to commute 45 miles like I did ( mountain living and a fun commute in my Jaguar XJ12 on a twisty back-way commute or take I-70 for a boring ride.)
If you insist on the Condo route, I know of 1 person who bought a condo BUILT LIKE THE ABOVE DESCRIPTION, BRAND NEW ) for $178,000 in highlands Ranch 15 years ago. From Highlands Ranch, YOU CAN TAKE YOUR BICYCLE TO THE LOCAL RTD LIGHT RAIL STATION to commute to work!
This was also another reason I left; I WAS WILLING TO PAY THE BART TAX, PROVIDED i ACTUALLY GOT A BART STOP IN MOUNTAIN VIEW! None of this CALTRAIN ( Expletive deleted ).

All of the things that SHOULD have been built were taken care of somewhere else. Yes, we voters took care of an RTD situation that was turning into a VTA. Yes, a building moratorium was placed in our town; more parks, less condos. I have a 2500 sqft house on .52 acres of land. 3 Jaguars, 1 Taurus SW for those 300 mile contract jobs like the one in Telluride ( the boss paid the hotel bills ).

In short; life is good.


2 people like this
Posted by Not a business man
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 19, 2017 at 6:46 am

@logic.

Try reading my post before making an inference. As to measure V, give it some time to cause the predicted damage of previous rent control measures.


Like this comment
Posted by Not a business man
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 19, 2017 at 6:54 am

@the business man

Richard Epstein is a far superior thinker than you are. Your personal attacks fail to respond to the main points of his comments. His point regarding higher home prices in our area are supported by several economic research articles.


Like this comment
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 19, 2017 at 9:45 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

“Posted by Not a business man

@the business man

Richard Epstein is a far superior thinker than you are.”

That statement is your opinion, you have a right to it. But remember, opinions are not necessarily reality, only what one chooses to believe in.

“ Your personal attacks fail to respond to the main points of his comments.”

What personal attacks, I just demonstrated the public comments he has made. If you think that is personal, just realize anyone that publically promotes behavior that deviates from the norm has to expect anyone to have a right to discuss it. That is the price for trying to promote personal beliefs in such a way as to become public policy. I am certain he knows that.

“ His point regarding higher home prices in our area are supported by SEVERAL ECONOMIC RESEARCH ARTICLES.”

To use your own words, “several economic research articles”. The definition of “several” is :

Web Link

(of an amount or number) more than two and fewer than many; some:

If you take this definition accurately, this is also the definition of a minority opinion. Since it is 2< several <many. Now a minority opinion may actually be correct. But again a minority opinion is just an opinion. If you read the book or watch the film “Inside Job”, you will learn there is a significant problem with economic studies at this time because the majority of their work is funded by the industries they claim to investigate or assess.

In fact the argument can be made that the Conflict of Interests in the study of economics raises a lot of questions that have not yet been answered to the public.

Finally, who is personally attacking whom?

Demonstrating his history is NOT a personal attack, it is just doing personal investigation and reporting it with references.

It appears you took offense of it. But I did NOT offend him simply because I showed to the Citizens of Mountain View his political motives.


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Truckee cafe to expand to Menlo Park
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 2,715 views

Attraction to a Person Outside Your Relationship
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Top restaurants to check out

Mountain View Voice readers have officially decided. See which local restaurants and businesses can now claim the title — Best Of Mountain View 2017.

View Winners