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Rental committee considers $160 annual fee on all apartments

Original post made on Oct 9, 2017

The cost of Mountain View's experiment with rent control now has a price tag -- about $160 annually for each apartment in town.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, October 9, 2017, 1:39 PM

Comments (40)

65 people like this
Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 9, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Here we go again. Economists call this The Law of Unintended Consequences.

To quote Wikipedia: "More recently, the law of unintended consequences has come to be used as an adage or idiomatic warning that an intervention in a complex system tends to create unanticipated and often undesirable outcomes."


175 people like this
Posted by The Truth
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 9, 2017 at 3:08 pm

The Truth is a registered user.

Jeez, $2.5M sounds way too high with respect to the cost to setup and administer this. The City already had specific apartment building and unit ownership information from the annual multi-unit housing inspection fees and the actual inspections on top of the water/sewer/garbage utility billings and annual business license billings. Why they can't just use existing data to efficiently bill and create a real time database to manage is beyond my comprehension.

The obvious reason is the quality of worker, that working for the City attracts, they are not world beaters, that is for sure. But if you look at their salaries and benefits, maybe we should all go work for the City of MV. Must be nice to be paid well above your skill level and then raise taxes to pay consultants to do the job you are theoretically paid for.

If the landlords are not allowed to pass the cost of this bureaucracy back to the tenants, that is like building the wall and having Mexico pay for it. Unbelievable.


10 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2017 at 3:24 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

What I find happening here in Mountain View is Shakespearian comedy and tragedy.

Those postings made here that criticize the Mountain View Tenants Association do so because they have their own financial interests independent of the CAA and the landlords. They are likely also posting comments here to criticize the landlords at the same time in order to provoke more hostility.

The real enemy of the state of California and the City of Mountain View is laughing at us.

The California Association of Realtors (CAR) and the Mortgage Banks (MB’s) have been the puppet masters regarding getting the Landlords fighting against the tenants.

The CAR is solely responsible for the over inflated costs of properties. Why? Inflating the properties costs greatly increases their sales commissions. In effect the CAR is making money based on only opinions made by their contracted property appraisers. They are not landlords who make properties better or maintain them. They can make as much as 20% on a purchase simply by being the one that is licensed to work in the industry. Imagine a $5 Million dollar purchase, they walk away with $1 Million dollars. They are exploiters that stoke the fire between the landlords and tenants to prevent both from knowing they are being manipulated. And the both fall for it, just look at what you’re saying on this forum.

The MB’s are enablers for the CAR because they make more money when they can get buyers to pay the highest price for any property. The compounded incomes generated on mortgages are incredible. So, they are not policing the actual values of properties, they simply have no incentives to make sure the values are not over inflated. And those in this industry also stoke the fire between the landlords and tenants to prevent both from knowing they are being manipulated. And the both fall for it, just look at what you’re saying on this forum.

The real truth is the CAA is in fact a very small player in this very large exploitation of not only Mountain View but the entire state of California.

The humor is that the CAR and the MB’s laugh at us for being so gullible, and they get away with it. It is the best example of a Shakespearian comedy.

The tragedy is that the CAR and MB’s succeed in manipulating all of us, and they get away with it. It is the best example of a Shakespearian tragedy.


8 people like this
Posted by Anke
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 9, 2017 at 3:31 pm

"Mountain View's new rent control program is at its most labor-intensive stage. The city's five-member Rental Housing Committee is dealing with a series of complex and consequential decisions as it establishes the policy groundwork for citywide rent control. "

And by the time they're done setting up and all that money has been spent, there may not be much left for them to do, based on the (oddly uncommented) news about all the plans to turn rent controlled buildings into townhomes.

"Large push of projects replacing rent-controlled units expected"
Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by Steve Old Town
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 9, 2017 at 5:22 pm

Steve Old Town is a registered user.

Just ha ha ha because I'm tired of crying


3 people like this
Posted by Longview
a resident of another community
on Oct 9, 2017 at 5:22 pm

Longview is a registered user.

$160 annually is $13 a month. With apartment rents of $2000 to $3000 monthly, $13 a month is a bargain for stabilizing rents, and for providing a well staffed program to serve the needs of both landlords and tenants.


11 people like this
Posted by Bored M
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 9, 2017 at 5:23 pm

The news behind rent control keeps getting better and better, huh? I attached a link to a piece from the National Bureau of Economic Research series. MIT professors authored this work by studying Cambridge's dropping of rent controls and found a subsequent (meaningful) decrease in crime directly attributable to rent control.

Web Link

And anyone who has seen what happened to the Upper West Side of Manhattan can attest to the same results.


1 person likes this
Posted by Tina
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2017 at 5:57 pm

Bored M

That is a great article and it was just came out in Oct 2017! To bad it was not published before the vote last year.

GENTRIFICATION AND THE AMENITY VALUE OF CRIME REDUCTIONS:
EVIDENCE
FROM RENT DEREGULATION


181 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 9, 2017 at 8:03 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

There's was a LOT of information available before the vote. Information from our very own independent Comptroller for State of California. It ALL shows that rent control does NOT help those in need. Does NOT help low income families stay in their homes.

But none of this was reported. None of this was given fair press. Only the very liberal socialist agenda was presented in this one-sided media. And as is typical in this bubble, no one cared to research or consider anything adverse to the fairy tale they were being sold.

And now we're ALL paying for it. It's costing tax dollars, people are being displaced and no one wins except some anonymous ideology that garners more votes for a political establishment propped up by developers.

Sad.


12 people like this
Posted by Jared Martin
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2017 at 8:21 pm

"Does NOT help low income families stay in their homes."

I'm curious, mvresident2003, what does help low income families stay in their homes?


5 people like this
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Oct 9, 2017 at 11:55 pm

@ Jared Martin, there are only two ways to help low income families:

(1) Build efficient public transportation, like New York City, where low income people can easily commute from cheaper places to work in Manhattan.

(2) Abolish building height limits. Let developers build 30, 40-story high apartments. Dramatically increase supply of housing units by 5x, 10x, on the same size of lot.

Any other measures, such as rent control, are foolish wishful thinking.


6 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 10, 2017 at 12:20 am

Gary is a registered user.

$13 per month is NOTHING compared to the $200-$1,000 per month saved by tenants.


130 people like this
Posted by Not a Bargain
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 10, 2017 at 7:47 am

Landlords still have to pass this rent control fee on to renters, along with increases in utilities, and other expenses. What a farce for everyone. TOTAL waste of resources!


14 people like this
Posted by Jared Martin
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2017 at 9:02 am

m2grs, I quite agree with you on these points, maybe not that they're the only ways, but certainly that they will help. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people opposed to Measure V are also against increased density, including our friend mvresident2003.


64 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 10, 2017 at 11:11 am

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

You are correct, I am against density housing. We are over taxing our resources and facilities already, we do not need to add to it. I regards to helping families stay I feel strongly that if you're no longer able to afford something you make a smart choice and find a more suitable situation.

I truly don't understand this incessant need to encourage people to stay somewhere that is beyond their means. Because it's not just housing costs that are higher, it's everything else as well. Food, gas, utilities. Everything. Why encourage people to stay in an area that is just going to be continued stress?

Sometimes we have to make tough but smarter choices. Is it awful to leave your home, the place you've spent years? Perhaps although there are many who enjoy moving and experiencing new places. I happen not to be one, I absolutely love living here but I also know that I will have to leave upon retirement, and actually probably sooner. I don't want to but I'll make that tough choice, a smart choice.


15 people like this
Posted by Jared Martin
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2017 at 11:27 am

This absolutely baffling mvresident2003. Your answer to help low-income families stay in their homes is...low-income families should leave? I suppose I have to give you credit for being honest, even though it's an absolutely abhorrent viewpoint.


56 people like this
Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Oct 10, 2017 at 1:08 pm

I agree with MVresident2003.
We lack resources for people who already live and work here.
It is a quality of life issue for me. And the quality here is deteriorating.


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2017 at 4:52 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Not a Bargain you said :”Landlords still have to pass this rent control fee on to renters, along with increases in utilities, and other expenses. What a farce for everyone. TOTAL waste of resources!”

There is a problem with you plan if you read this:

“(j) Financing. The Committee shall finance its reasonable and necessary expenses, including without limitation engaging any staff as necessary to ensure implementation of this Article, by charging Landlords an annual Rental Housing Fee as set forth herein, in amounts deemed reasonable by the Committee in accordance with applicable law. The Committee is also empowered to request and receive funding when and if necessary from any available source including the City for its reasonable and necessary expenses.

(1) Rental Housing Fee. All Landlords shall pay a Rental Housing Fee on an annual basis. The first Committee convened after the effective date of this Article shall determine the amount of the Rental Housing Fee. The amount of the Rental Housing Fee may differ between Rental Units subject to the entirety of this Article and those that are Partially Exempt. The Committee may adjust the amount of the Rental Housing Fee at its discretion to ensure full funding of its reasonable and necessary expenses, in accordance with all applicable law.”( Web Link)

Along with this part with analysis:

“(2) Fair Rate of Return - Factors. In making any upward adjustment to the Rent based upon a Landlord's Petition to ensure a fair rate of return, the Hearing Officer or Committee shall consider relevant factors, including but not limited to, the following:

(A) Increases or decreases in property taxes; (THE CSFRA FEE IS NOT A TAX)

(B) Unavoidable increases or any decreases in maintenance and operating expenses; (THIS IS WHERE YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO PASS ON THE EXPENSE TO A TENANT, BUT THIS WOULD REQUIRE A PETITION, AND THAT NO VIOLATIONS ARE EXISTING ON THE PROPERTY REGARDING THE CSFRA)

(C) The cost of planned or completed capital improvements to the Rental Unit (as distinguished from ordinary repair, replacement, and maintenance), but only where such capital improvements are necessary to bring the Property into compliance or maintain compliance with applicable local codes affecting health and safety, and where such capital improvement costs are properly amortized over the life of the improvements; (DOES NOT APPLY TO CSFRA FEE)

(D) Increases or decreases in the number of tenants occupying the Rental Unit, living space, furniture, furnishings, equipment, or other Housing Services provided, or occupancy rules; (DOES NOT APPLY TO CSFRA FEE)

(E) Substantial deterioration of the Rental Unit other than as a result of normal wear and tear; (DOES NOT APPLY TO CSFRA FEE)

(F) Failure on the part of the Landlord to provide adequate Housing Services, or to comply substantially with applicable state rental housing laws, local housing codes, health and safety codes, or the Rental Housing Agreement; and (DOES NOT APPLY TO CSFRA FEE)

(G) The pattern of recent Rent increases or decreases in the Rental Unit during the occupancy of the current Tenant.(DOES NOT APPLY TO CSFRA FEE)

So it would appear all landlords will need to petition the RHC to recover the fees involved with the CSFRA, but in order to do so, ALL PROVISIONS OF THE CSFRA ARE REQUIRED TO BE IN COMPLIANCE, if a tenant can document any failure to comply, THE PETITION WILL BE REJECTED.


52 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 10, 2017 at 8:42 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

I don't understand what is so "baffling". I was pretty clear. I think it's wrong to continue this ideology that everything is fair and everyone deserves things. I think it's reprehensible to continue to encourage people to live in places that are beyond their means. But go ahead and do that...because it's obviously resulted in so many people being happy and content in their lives.


63 people like this
Posted by I agree!
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Oct 10, 2017 at 9:26 pm

MVResident2003 is being honest and sensible. If others want to pretend there is a world where we all get whatever we want.... dream on. (I'd like to live in Atherton, but I don't buy a van and park on their streets.) It's past time for people to grow up and live within their means. There are jobs in other cities that have much more reasonable prices for homes and apartments than Mountain View. It's impossible to house all who want to live somewhere, just because they want to live there. To promote this is just tormenting these van dwellers, when their energy is better spent finding a location that fits their budget. I am originally from Utah, and the job market there, for example, is excellent and rents are relatively cheap. We're adults and we have to be practical and honest with ourselves.

Also - building hundreds upon hundreds of housing units solves nothing. It changes the entire landscape of a city and clogs the roads - demeaning life for everyone. These multi-unit buildings (because of the negatives of rent control for building owners) will be sold as condos... reducing the rentals that were torn down for the new building. And yes - the landowners have the right to do this. Many are pushed to do this because of rent control.

There are good reasons why rent control is outlawed in the majority of United States. It never works to help anyone, and costs taxpayers a massive amount for no progress. We have seen the massive expenses already charged to the City coffers, and there will be much more - undoubtedly more than any fees from landlords can cover. These "unintended consequences" are always a result, unfortunately.

The vans on the streets are an eyesore, unhealthy, and often a base for criminal activity - though some are people just trying to get by. I feel for the people who have to look out at them every day - and I feel for the people living in these shabby vans. However - there is a solution, and that is (as many have said) live within your means and find a location that is within your budget. Mountain View cannot solve this - it is the responsibility of the citizen. They CAN solve it by taking control of their lives and finding what is practical and works.


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2017 at 10:46 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to I agree! You said: “There are good reasons why rent control is outlawed in the majority of United States. It never works to help anyone, and costs taxpayers a massive amount for no progress. We have seen the massive expenses already charged to the City coffers, and there will be much more - undoubtedly more than any fees from landlords can cover. These "unintended consequences" are always a result, unfortunately.”

You are making statements that are not accurate, there are 28 states with “preemptions” not illegality, in my research I have found that: (Web Link)

14 states have complete ban on Washington, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Illinois, Michigan, Alabama, Massachusetts, Arizona, and Tennessee.

Oregon does not control initial rate, but controls rent increases under the law.

5 states Utah, Mississippi, South Carolina, Wisconsin and Indiana has state reserved rights to rent control.

4 states have limited rent control New Mexico, Florida, Georgia, and Kentucky has some rent control based on public contracted services.

3 states have exceptions Minnesota, Connecticut, and North Carolina has exceptions, allowing limited rent control under conditions.

New Hampshire is still in pending litigation regarding state policy.

Colorado allows for control of private property that has public investment.

So only 15 states prohibit rent control out of 50, that is only 30% of the country.

Please be more careful about you information. Someone like me can sometimes locate facts.


126 people like this
Posted by to BusinessMan
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:38 am

Oh "Business Man" (as you refer to yourself?) you love to pretend you are the authority for everything - but here you fail the test again.

You list the following as "proof" rent control does not exist in a majority of states: some states have complete ban, control of rent increases, limited control, rent control on some services, rent control with exceptions, some rent control pending, rent control on private property that has public investment, and 15 states have a TOTAL ban on rent control in all factors.

According to the book “Renters' Rights,” by Portman and Stewart, four states and the District of Columbia have laws authorizing rent control ordinances (California, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York). At least 32 others have laws prohibiting local jurisdictions from adopting these ordinances. In states where the statutes are silent, local governments may enact rent control ordinances pursuant to their general police powers, or they may be prohibited from doing so pursuant to case law, which is the case in Connecticut

Okay... so you want to twist this to say only 15% of states have rent control? Perhaps 15% have TOTAL rent control, but the vast majority have some form or degree - leaving it true that the majority of states have rent control. If we use your shady logic in another example that you might understand: it would mean the pavement isn't wet unless there is a massive rainstorm. ANY rain wets the pavement, and ANY rent control is still rent control.

You are a huge advocate of rent control, as you see it personally benefitting you, even at the expense of taxpayers and the quality of life for all in our city. Fine...then just admit it - but don't think people are fooled by your typical word salad and slanted approach to prove others wrong. It hasn't worked in many of your previous posts, and it doesn't work now.


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2017 at 4:25 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In reply to to BusinessMan you stated: “ You list the following as "proof" rent control does not exist in a majority of states: some states have complete ban, control of rent increases, limited control, rent control on some services, rent control with exceptions, some rent control pending, rent control on private property that has public investment, and 15 states have a TOTAL ban on rent control in all factors.”

I findit interesting that you choose to ignore the reality of the situation. Choosing to ignore reality does not mean it isn’t there. You go on to say:

“According to the book “Renters' Rights,” by Portman and Stewart, four states and the District of Columbia have laws authorizing rent control ordinances (California, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York). At least 32 others have laws prohibiting local jurisdictions from adopting these ordinances. In states where the statutes are silent, local governments may enact rent control ordinances pursuant to their general police powers, or they may be prohibited from doing so pursuant to case law, which is the case in Connecticut”

I looked up that book, it is VERY out of date, because it was published in April of 2012. I found it on Amazon found here (Web Link)

Please understand that in most situations in our dynamic environment, any book discussing the issue like this once the book has aged 3 years, it is simply out of date. In fact there is a new version coming out soon, but not yet available. The paperback is being sold at a significantly discounted rate because of it.

I guess what you did is used the preview function on the Amazon website to read the part you wanted to discuss. The problem is that this book is simply not written to address the “complexity” of the laws. It is only a scant review for the benefit of the public.

This book does what it says, it only addresses the “basics”. If you want to do more real comparison, it will take some significant work. I do not claim to be the “expert” in this area. But I know how to do good research using reputable resources.

If you even bother to look at the website I provided, you would see that our country simply does not have any universal standards at all. The states make up their own rules. And in most cases, those rules a “sold” by the “retail politics”.

However, this does not mean they are in fact providing ample inventory at all. From the article found here (Web Link) And this (Web Link)

Washington State which bans rent control for example is undergoing a significant battle regarding its current policy, it is the 8th worst affordable place to live according to this report (Web Link) Wouldn’t you think that without rent control, under your analysis, there would be ample inventory of apartments?

To me these articles demonstrate a significant market manipulation based on “supply-side” economics, and politicians establishing public policies that give the advantage to the industry that does not actually want to correct the problem. If in fact the 15 states policies were effective why are they also experiencing a critical shortage of apartments?

In fact many of these states have legislation pending to revise these issues. It may be that those states that prohibit rent control will in fact employ some controls very soon given they are experiencing the same problems occurring in California.

As a business trained person, I do not take sides on the issue, but I will discuss matters honestly that impact on the problem. My point of view is that one can surely make a good living if they are smart and do not make bad decisions. Those who do, cannot expect to use others to bail themselves out of their actions. THIS IS THE BUSINESS WORLD.


4 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2017 at 9:06 am

It's amazing to hear such hypocrisy from people advocating that people should just leave if the area is too expensive for them to rent or buy anything while at the same time they're only able to live here because their property taxes are subsidized.


126 people like this
Posted by Repeal Rent Control
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:58 pm

Repeal Rent Control is a registered user.

$160/yr per unit is only the beginning. Even that modest fee will easily produce a significant operating deficit for year one.

San Francisco's annual Rent Board budget is $8,000,000.00 (170,000 units) and Berkeley's is $5,125,000.00 (19,000 units). These are enormous bureaucracies and Mt. View's will surely follow suit. SF's annual registration fee is much lower than Berkeley's because of the near 10-fold unit count to spread out the cost. There is a base cost to running a rent control board. Mt. View's will parallel Berkeley in almost every respect; similar ordinance, similar unit count with everything else associated with the rent control industrial complex.

Berkeley's annual landlord unit registration fee is . . . wait for it . . . $270. Mt. View's will easily reach that level in the next 2-3 years.

As a further insult, Berkeley just implemented their own "online" registration system for $400,000. The cost for the system has been passed thru to the landlords, of course. And the "convenience fee" to use the online system (not mandatory) is 2.5% of the transaction.


20 people like this
Posted by Anke
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 11, 2017 at 1:11 pm

@mvresident2003 laments

"I truly don't understand this incessant need to encourage people to stay somewhere that is beyond their means."

SF's new "housing czar" is taking a new tack and helping people leave. This approach can offer some relief for a while, but as long as people continue to pour into our state at the current rate, _any_ approach will soon be maxed out. There are already reports of rising housing costs hitting rural areas as people get pushed farther and farther away from the overcrowded job centers.

"Homeless families increasingly leaving SF for stability in other cities"
Web Link


123 people like this
Posted by @YIMBY
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 11, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Yimby, your constant claim is that people are "only able to live here because their property taxes are subsidized". Did it occur to you that the majority of homeowners worked HARD to get where they are? Many had to cut back on a lot of perks so they could save enough for a down payment. They kept their families to a size they could afford and were very careful with expenses. I admire their work ethic and their ability to plan and work for what they want. They didn't get handouts helping them purchase their home. Your whining about property tax relief is a sham complaint.

Nobody gets a free lunch. Rent control is a losing proposition and huge bureaucracy that will eventually destroy any reasonable rentals in our area. It will cost tax payers a huge amount in staff, legal fees and support - and that amount will continue to climb. Rent control, no matter how you and your cohorts spin it with rhetoric and word play, is a failure. Remember that when the amount of rentals in Mountain View diminish more every year. You are responsible for that because you thought you'd get something for nothing.


103 people like this
Posted by Waldo
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 11, 2017 at 1:57 pm

Waldo is a registered user.

To The Business Man: I skip your posts because they are too long and wordy.
To YIMBY: By subsidized property tax, you are probably thinking of Prop. 13 tax rates. Has it occurred to you that the older apartments in MV are typically owned by long term family enterprises, and their lower tax rate allows them to offer lower rent, and still remain viable? Even so, under rent control, some are willing to give up this tax advantage, and sell out to developers. BTW...local and regional safety net organizations recognize that some cannot afford to live here any longer, will have to leave the area soon, and need short term assistance to stay here, as their children complete a school term, for example. This is the hard truth they address. Being priced out of the area is not new; it has been going on for decades. I graduated from a local high school 50 years ago, and the vast majority of my classmates have moved to lower cost areas.


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2017 at 3:00 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Waldo you said: “To The Business Man: I skip your posts because they are too long and wordy.”

My last post was 640 words long.

Most who do not like the information I provide choose not to read. That is their right. But it does not matter in the long run.

THE REALITY IS THAT APARTMENTS ARE A NECESSARY RESOURCE IN THE FULL AFFORDABLE HOUSING SOLUTION. INDIVIDUAL HOMES, ROW HOUSES, AND CONDOS ARE THE LEAST EFFICIENT USE OF LAND.

IT IS CORRECT THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH.

Reality is reality. The simple truth is that removing all rent control does not solve the problem of affordable housing shortages. The current National Crisis is proof of this, THERE APPEARS TO BE WORSE SHORTAGES WHERE RENT CONTROL IS PROHIBITED. The choice is that either you have rent control, or you get huge tax increases to fund public projects, or both.

Rent Controls target the apartment industry, can be effective low cost regulation in the long run, and does not impact those who do not have investments in this industry and market. Granted there is a cost on the industry. So the other alternative if increasing taxes to fund public housing projects.

Now who should bear the burden of a tax increase in this situation? My opinion is:

The HOMEOWNERS, ROW HOUSE or CONDO DWELLERS are NOT RESPONSIBLE for the current problem, they have the right to their property and no problems regarding any loss of value based on adjoining projects. So these people are to not be penalized for the problem.

The TENANTS are NOT RESPONSIBLE either, they are simply the customers using the services of the apartments.

The APARTMENT OWNERS have DIRECT RESPONSIBILITY because their industry has succeeded in making rent controls illegal or very difficult, thus placing a significant burden on the community. Even with no rent controls they CHOOSE TO EXPLOIT MARKET SHORTAGES. Thus if there is a tax to fund public housing, the APARTMENT OWNERS should bear the entire cost. EXCEPT, if they INCREASE AFFORDABLE HOUSING. WHERE an APARTMENT OWNER does INCREASE ALLOCATION FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING BASED ON THE RATES SET BY THE HUD FAIR MARKET RENT RATE. They should be able to get a tax credit based on this action.

This post is 390 words long


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Posted by Waldo
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 11, 2017 at 4:26 pm

Waldo is a registered user.

To The Business Man: Try for 150 words or less. At 390, I found myself skimming.


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2017 at 5:16 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Waldo,

If I could, I would use one word, but it would be too short and provide no information. This subject is very complex, I try my best to keep my comments as short as possible.

Believe me, if the situation wasn't so complex, do you think we would be having this discussion? The problem would have been solved, and in reality, there would be no shortage of places to live in the entire country.

I greatly appreciate anyone who reads my writing, and I hope it comes off as only educational. I really do not support rent control. But given the problems we have, I reluctantly support it because it seems to be the only targeted solution.

I know that if the industry was better at planning ahead, I know we would not be here. My background in IT security simply has me do the same thing in my field, where those decide to use my services. Of course I cannot be everywhere, like for example, Equifax, so I couldn't be there to prevent the problem. There are so many areas, we are doing a good job, but there are some really bad apples out there.



119 people like this
Posted by lan
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2017 at 3:27 pm

lan is a registered user.

Even though $160 is a tiny fraction of overall rents for Mountain View, this is a very bad idea. Landlords are already getting socked with strict controls on revenue from rental units, they can raise rents only once per year, and they are restricted on evictions (although tenants who trash their apartments, become a nuisance to their neighbors, or break the terms of their leases can still get evicted, thank god).

I am all for diversity in Mountain View, and am grateful for efforts to provide housing for people with diverse levels of income (because we all like going to the dry cleaners, getting our haircut, going to the grocery store, getting coffee at Starbucks, having our kids educated by qualified teachers, having the police and fire depts. show up when we need them...)

But, this additional small fee seems wrong.


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2017 at 8:18 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to lan you said: “Even though $160 is a tiny fraction of overall rents for Mountain View, this is a very bad idea. Landlords are already getting socked with strict controls on revenue from rental units, they can raise rents only once per year, and they are restricted on evictions (although tenants who trash their apartments, become a nuisance to their neighbors, or break the terms of their leases can still get evicted, thank god).”

The language you use assumes that all tenants are trashing their apartments, becoming a nuisance to their neighbors, or breaking the terms of their leases. What about those who don’t, the vast majority of them? It appears your assuming that all tenants are out to do damage of some kind. I hope you aren’t supporting treating those who are NOT trashing their apartments, NOT becoming a nuisance to their neighbors, or NOT breaking the terms of their leases be treated with any less respect or dignity?

All those that RESPECT their apartments, are GOOD NEIGHBORS, and RESPECT the terms of their leases should be provided any assistance or protection from exploitation of any kind in my humble opinion.

CAN YOU ARGUE THAT THIS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA?


91 people like this
Posted by lan
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2017 at 8:35 pm

lan is a registered user.

@The Business Man

You are reading way more into my post than what is written and making up a story in your mind. I am referring only to the terms of the new rental laws, that is it. I am a renter and yes there are great renters in Mountain View.


2 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2017 at 8:57 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Ian,

So sorry, I misread your writing. I am gun shy because there have been so many hostile postings against tenants. They have been made a scapegoat regarding the problems in the City of Mountain View. Tenants simply acted politically in order to protect themselves.

I do not want to disrespect anyone by accident or on purpose.


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Posted by lan
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2017 at 9:05 pm

lan is a registered user.

@ Business Man

Got it. Yes, I am pro-affordable housing for renters, but I also understand some of the challenges for landlords, having had good ones who own small complexes, and am now worried that they may give up and sell, which means more developers, etc.


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Posted by Billius
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2017 at 4:09 pm

Billius is a registered user.

How many rental units in Mtn View are there, that are pre Feb 1 1995 that are covered by this law, and how many are post Feb 1995?


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2017 at 3:05 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

WARNING LONG ONE BUT GOOD

There is a serious problem with the CSFRA budget, the City is requiring the RHC to reimburse it for the $200,000.00 legal costs of defending the CSFRA Constitutional Challenge. This simply is wrong for the following reasons:

FIRST, the Constitutional Challenge in court was a “Vexatious litigation“ itself as defined by:

“Vexatious litigation

Vexatious litigation is legal action which is brought, regardless of its merits, SOLELY TO HARASS OR SUBDUE AN ADVERSARY. It may take the form of a PRIMARY FRIVOLOUS LAWSUIT OR MAY BE THE REPETITIVE, burdensome, and unwarranted filing of meritless motions in a matter which is otherwise a meritorious cause of action. FILING VEXATIOUS LITIGATION IS CONSIDERED AN ABUSE OF THE JUDICIAL PROCESS AND MAY RESULT IN SANCTIONS AGAINST THE OFFENDER.”( Web Link)

The fact was the CAA and its intervenors used claims identically in 4 legal actions, they consist of the Richmond TRO action, the Mountain View TRO action, the Richmond Preliminary Injunction action, and finally the Mountain View Preliminary Injunction action.

“A single action, even a frivolous one, is usually not enough to raise a litigant to the level of being declared vexatious. RATHER, A PATTERN OF FRIVOLOUS LEGAL ACTIONS IS TYPICALLY REQUIRED TO RISE TO THE LEVEL OF VEXATIOUS. REPEATED AND SEVERE INSTANCES BY A SINGLE LAWYER OR FIRM CAN RESULT IN EVENTUAL DISBARMENT.”(same web site)

In this case it has been established that even if Mountain View was subject to only 2 actions, the pattern was identical to the ones made in Richmond, thus the Richmond actions are deemed to apply in the same manner to the City of Mountain View.

“SOME JURISDICTIONS HAVE A LIST OF VEXATIOUS LITIGANTS: PEOPLE WHO HAVE REPEATEDLY ABUSED THE LEGAL SYSTEM. Because lawyers could be disbarred for participating in this abuse of the legal process, vexatious litigants are often unable to retain legal counsel, and such litigants therefore represent themselves in court. THOSE ON THE VEXATIOUS LITIGANT LIST ARE USUALLY EITHER FORBIDDEN FROM ANY FURTHER LEGAL ACTION, OR ARE REQUIRED TO OBTAIN PRIOR PERMISSION FROM A SENIOR JUDGE BEFORE TAKING ANY LEGAL ACTION. The process by which a person is added to the list varies among jurisdictions. In liberal democratic jurisdictions, declaring someone a vexatious litigant is considered to be a serious measure and rarely occurs, as judges and officials are reluctant to curtail a person's access to the courts.”(same web site)

It could be argued that the CAA attorney must face not only reimbursement, but perhaps losing their license to practice law in the state of California because of their actions.

Second, the actions decided by THE CITY ATTORNEY and THE CITY COUNCIL, were NOT AUTHORIZED BY THE RHC are the DIRECT CAUSE of those expenses. Thus any expenses involved cannot be passed onto the RHC in any way. Only where the RHC had in fact ordered the CITY ATTORNEY to take the actions iit did can that be a valid course of action.

Third, attempting to force those that did not challenge the CSFRA in court to pay for the legal costs of such a malicious and frivolous laws suit onto ALL LANDLORDS of the City of Mountain View is simply wrong. Even I cannot accept that. This cost must be reimbursed by only the parties in the malicious and frivolous laws suit. In fact the law entitles the City to get reimburse by the plaintiffs of the case if you read this:

“Tort Liability

THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT HAS RECOGNIZED THAT STATUTORY SANCTIONS PROVIDE "THE MOST PROMISING REMEDIES" FOR CURBING FRIVOLOUS LITIGATION; HOWEVER, TORT LIABILITY CAN ALSO ARISE FROM A MALICIOUSLY INSTITUTED LAWSUIT. IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH A CAUSE OF ACTION FOR MALICIOUS PROSECUTION, A PLAINTIFF MUST SHOW THAT THE PRIOR ACTION WAS BROUGHT (1) BY DEFENDANT, AND LEGALLY TERMINATED IN PLAINTIFF'S FAVOR; (2) WITHOUT PROBABLE CAUSE; AND (3) WITH MALICE. Defendant's subjective belief in the legal merits of the claim and the extent of defendant's investigation and research is only relevant to the question of malice. "PROBABLE CAUSE" REQUIRES A TRIAL COURT DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER, ON THE BASIS OF FACTS KNOWN TO THE DEFENDANT, A REASONABLE ATTORNEY WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THE INSTITUTION OF THE PRIOR ACTION WAS OBJECTIVELY REASONABLE. SEE SHELDON APPEL CO. V. ALBERT & OLIKER (1989) 47 CAL.3D 863, 254 CAL.RPTR. 336, 765 P.2D 498. However, if there are no "disputed facts concerning the record in the underlying action ... the [defendant] attorney's knowledge is entirely irrelevant." Hufstedler, Kaus & Ettinger v. Superior Court (Mann) (2nd Dist. 1996) 42 Cal.App.4th 55, 49 Cal.Rptr.2d 551.”(Web Link

First, In this case the courts ruled in favor of the City of Mountain View and the defendant intervenors. Second, In this case the Richmond rejection of the TRO and the Preliminary Injunction with declaration of lacking probable cause prior to the Santa Clara Court actions are proof there was NO PROBABLE CAUSE. Third, the only burden the City has is to prove malice which is defined as: “Malice is a legal term referring to a party's intention to do injury to another party. Malice is either expressed or implied. Malice is expressed when there is manifested a deliberate intention unlawfully to take away the life of a human being.” (Web Link)) That seems to be very applicable here.

“An action for malicious prosecution may arise in retaliation for the pursuit of actions with malice and without probable cause. IN CROWLEY V. KATLEMAN (1994) 8 CAL.4TH 666, 8 CAL.4TH 1236B, 34 CAL.RPTR.2D 386, 881 P.2D 1083, THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT HELD THAT AN ACTION CHARGING MULTIPLE GROUNDS OF LIABILITY WHERE AT LEAST ONE OF THOSE ACTIONS WAS ASSERTED WITH MALICE AND WITHOUT PROBABLE CAUSE WILL GIVE RISE TO A VALID CLAIM FOR MALICIOUS PROSECUTION. IT FURTHER HELD THAT THE COURT'S POWER TO IMPOSE SANCTIONS FOR FRIVOLOUS CONDUCT (THEN PURSUANT TO CIV. PROC. CODE � 128.5) IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR A MALICIOUS PROSECUTION ACTION. A PLAINTIFF WHO PLEADS AND PROVES A CASE OF MALICIOUS PROSECUTION MAY RECOVER ATTORNEY FEES, LITIGATION COSTS, AND, IF JUSTIFIED, A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION FOR INJURY TO HIS REPUTATION AND EMOTIONAL DISTRESS.”( Web Link)

So it appears that only the plaintiffs in the case should bear the legal costs incurred by the city. The City Attorney and the City Council surely should be aware of this. Thus, their only remedy for this cost they incurred is to file for legal fees reimbursement against the plaintiffs of the Santa Clara Constitutional Court Challenge. THE RHC MUST AMEND THEIR BUDGET AND LINE ITEM VETO THE COSTS BEING FORCED UPON IT BY THE CITY ATTORNEY AND CITY COUNCIL.


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Posted by clearthinker
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2017 at 8:03 pm

clearthinker is a registered user.

You’re right businessman that was long. Vexacious litigation? Really?
The CAA and landlord intervenors tried to save the landlords of Mountain View 2.5 million dollars a year that will mostly be passed on to tenants, tried to postpone the implementation of Measure V until constitutionality could be determined, and tried to defend themselves against the taking of their earned assets including the reduction in value of their properties by an average of 30%.
Do you understand that this is how pro bono attorneys make their money? They counter sue anyone who goes against them even if it never goes to court. Disgusting! You certainly have a lot to say but you are obviously no “business” man.


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2017 at 6:16 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to clearthinker you said: “The CAA and landlord intervenors tried to save the landlords of Mountain View 2.5 million dollars a year that will mostly be passed on to tenants, tried to postpone the implementation of Measure V until constitutionality could be determined, and tried to defend themselves against the taking of their earned assets including the reduction in value of their properties by an average of 30%.”

However, you did not address what defines vexation litigation again I quote:”

“Vexatious litigation

Vexatious litigation is legal action which is brought, regardless of its merits, SOLELY TO HARASS OR SUBDUE AN ADVERSARY. It may take the form of a PRIMARY FRIVOLOUS LAWSUIT OR MAY BE THE REPETITIVE, burdensome, and unwarranted filing of meritless motions in a matter which is otherwise a meritorious cause of action. FILING VEXATIOUS LITIGATION IS CONSIDERED AN ABUSE OF THE JUDICIAL PROCESS AND MAY RESULT IN SANCTIONS AGAINST THE OFFENDER.”( Web Link)

The simple truth was all court decisions clearly expressed on fact, the plaintiffs brough up cases that had absolutely no legal merit on multiple occasions. AT LEAST WHERE MOUNTAIN VIEW WAS CONCERNED, THE RICHMOND CHALLENGE DECISIONS THE COURTS SAID THAT FACT. What was ridiculous was the same argument was made in the Santa Clara court. GIVEN THAT THE COURT ALREADY DETERMINED NO CAUSE OF ACTION IN RICHMOND, THAT NO OTHER CASES OR LEGAL ARGUMENT WAS PRESENTED EXCLUSIVE OF RICHMOND, THE SANTA CLARA COURT HAD TO DETERMINE THE MERITLESS CASE BEFORE IT. The judge in his decision in Santa Clara county court clearly said so. The case against the City of Mountain View was frivolous because it had no legal merit.

YES THERE WAS A PROPER COURSE OF ACTION BUT IT WAS NOT LITIGATION, it was starting a political process of repealing Measure V in the 2018 election. Not like it is likely to achieve it because there was already support for it in 2016, and the support is more likely to expand than contract. AND THAT THE CITIZENS OF MOUNTAIN VIEW ARE PREPARING FOR THE NEXT FIGHT TO ENSURE THEIR RIGHTS ARE NOT LOST AFTER WORKING SO HARD TO WIN THEM.

You also stated: “Do you understand that this is how pro bono attorneys make their money? They counter sue anyone who goes against them even if it never goes to court. “

If you look at your argument it makes no sense at all, even though the intervenors succeeded, they did not win any judgment or reimbursement in the case. They expended a great deal of money with no mechanism for any recuperation at all. They simply did it because it was the right thing to do. How is it that I hear this over and over again when it simply is not true?

You also said: “Disgusting! You certainly have a lot to say but you are obviously no “business” man.”

I understand your frustration when you’re presented with information that establishes poor judgment and decision making on behalf of yourself or your friends. From what I understand a landlord intervenor wasted $80,000. In legal costs on the meritless complaint. Such money could have done far more good if it was invested in political action instead. Of course the landlord will simply write it off their corporate taxes as a legal tax deduction. The same goes for the CAA and the other landlord intervenor.

Please open your eyes and look at the bigger picture, you seem to have blinders on?


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