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Advocates ask city to reject rent control reform measure

Original post made on Apr 10, 2018

Tenant advocates are asking Mountain View officials to reject a proposed ballot measure that seeks to weaken the city's rent control law.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 1:55 PM

Comments (22)

94 people like this
Posted by Vic Raftor
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 10, 2018 at 4:30 pm

Gooo Tenants!

Let's see how quickly MV looks like a slum *without* these changes.

Ah, it doesn't matter. Any form of rent control will (and always has) destroyed pretty much all of the rental housing in a city.


339 people like this
Posted by Vic is right
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 10, 2018 at 5:01 pm

Every community with rent control is the worse for it. Look at New York- one of the worst rental markets on the world, with a long history of rent control. And yes, rent control creates slums and further reduces rental availability. Ever looked for an apartment in a rent controlled area? It’ll take years to find one.

I’ll add some to this...

Do people even know that California already has a state imposed rent control?

I wonder why the Tenant Advocacy group didn’t object to the misleading Measure V statements. Rent control is not free. There is no way even the fees proposed will alleviate costs, leaving the city to foot the bill. Irony is that the fees (landlords pay) for the rent control ARE allowed to be passed on to tenants.

The whole, “tax someone else” mentality doesn’t work. Get it?


13 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 10, 2018 at 6:05 pm

Here comes the landlord astroturf again. Quick, let's guess how many posts on this article get deleted with "user posting under multiple names" like every other Measure V article.

It's truly disgusting that Margaret Abe-Koga and Mr Means have associated with a campaign using such dirty tactics.


247 people like this
Posted by Lived in two rent-controlled cities
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 10, 2018 at 7:05 pm

It sounds like a good idea, but you just can't fight the laws of economics through artificial means. It doesn't work. I lived in Santa Monica and Berkeley, both rent controlled. What you get is extremely limited availability (i.e. forget about scoring one of these BMRs, because no one ever leaves), and if you do manage to get one, you get what you pay for (i.e. enjoy the slum).

Even as a tenant, I wished it didn't exist.

I'm not a landlord, just being real, from real experiences.


13 people like this
Posted by Lies
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2018 at 10:22 pm

The bald-faces lies being pushed out by this landlord advocacy group are truly astonishing. Since their case is injust, they must bend and break the truth to further their case.


7 people like this
Posted by kim
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 11, 2018 at 9:23 am

lol - Land lords don't allow new construction with excuses that they want the 1950s environment but want 2020 rents. And then ask why rent control. Allow free construction to house new people or rent control. I don't like the idea of rent control either but without a proper free market (no zoning) what other choice do we have to house everyone.


10 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 11, 2018 at 10:28 am

As long as there's Prop 13, there needs to be rent control.


13 people like this
Posted by Build More Housing
a resident of North Bayshore
on Apr 11, 2018 at 12:08 pm

Want to stop worrying about rent control (whether you want it or not)? Build more housing. Demand, meet supply.

This needs to be innovative housing as well, not just more $700,000 condos. Build micro units. Create tiny home communities. That may be the only way to allow lower and middle class individuals and families to buy "starter" homes in this inflated market.

Look at the beautiful tiny homes they are building in Chico:

Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by Rob
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 11, 2018 at 12:29 pm

This nonsense coming from the ex-mayor is disgusting. Ask the landlords if they live in the city. Why not? The city council are for the people who live there, not the owners of property. They should be putting through proper measures that are sustainable. How many residents are 2nd gen? 3rd? Why?


5 people like this
Posted by Build more is not the answer
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 11, 2018 at 8:45 pm

What is the answer is that the people that can't afford it here will need to leave. Like the people that can't afford Palo Alto had to leave and Los Altos.

You live where you can afford. Building more in a peninsula is not very feasible, since there is limited land. Dah You want to build more you would need to be an inland city that can expand all around. Like Sacramento. All the Newbies want is to make this into a NYC type city. I've lived in NYC, would never go back again. Construction going on everywhere, noise noise and more noise. If you like that, then your destination should be NY.


9 people like this
Posted by a mv resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 11, 2018 at 9:19 pm

Responding to "People that can't afford it here will need to leave." That sounds like such a free market response, yet it's not.

The only reason people can't afford to live here is because cities limit or ban development, see Cupertino or Palo Alto.

If someone is going against new housing, they should at least be honest, and admit it's selfish. There's nothing wrong with defending one's quality of life. Yet it's incorrect and mean spirited to blame non-home owners as not-understanding the free market, free loading, or unwilling to pay their dues.

When most non-residents do understand supply and demand, aren't asking for handouts, rather, they just want a chance to buy something private developers will be very willing to provide, if allowed to. What if farmers had stopped the first wave of affordable homes a generation back?

As long as residents and people in government say there shouldn't be new housing, what other logical option does a renter have than to support, what would otherwise not be logical, that is rent control. Rent control is bad economic policy, no worse however than restricting economic supply of housing.


7 people like this
Posted by Expensive Trick
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 11, 2018 at 10:09 pm

One might call the proposed repeal of rent control - under the guise of "reform, " a cheap trick. But really it will be a very expensive trick for tenants if it succeeds. Most of them would be forced from Mountain View within a year.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2018 at 8:41 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

This may be a moot situation. Why?

First reason, the Costa Hawkins Repeal initiative looks like it is on target to be on the November 2018 ballot. If it is on the ballot, all renters in Mountain View will be provided the new protections under CSFRA including the rent roll-back. So those in apartments will finally be united in voting in Mountain View and will likely repeal Costa Hawkins.

Second reason, given above there will be no benefit of any voter either homeowner or tenant to support any changes to the CSFRA. So even if it gets on the ballot, where there are many questions before it will, it will likely be rejected by the voters in the end. All apartment tenants will finally be united as a voting unit because all tenants will be treated the same.

At least, this is the elephant in the room that could simply derail any attempt to modify the CSFRA by anyone.


3 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2018 at 10:18 am

"What is the answer is that the people that can't afford it here will need to leave. Like the people that can't afford Palo Alto had to leave and Los Altos."

The passage of Prop 13 shows that that's not the answer. If you can't afford to live somewhere, pass the appropriate legislation and suddenly you can. So let's pass legislation for rent control and more housing while we're at it.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2018 at 10:57 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

YIMBY,

I agree, there needs to be a "well-thought-out" plan worked out to directly do the following:

Establish process where the planning approval process is uniform amongst all of California, so that it make development easier. Having rules established by state, county, and city causes major problems. Even I admit that.

Establish public building projects that are given priority of approval, and given significant funding or incentives to accelerate the work.

Make these projects "not-for-profit" thus making them significantly more affordable.

Finally, if a particular land lot is open to either a private or public development, given eminent domain, the public project has priority of use. If it is left unused, it is blight. If an existing apartment building is not being used, it is blight, and subject to eminent domain takeover for cost of land only.

These steps can accelerate the process and control the market manipulation that the state of California is suffering from by private collaboration to abuse the market


11 people like this
Posted by MV resident
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 13, 2018 at 5:23 pm

I live in a rent-controlled complex in Mountain View. It is an older building that was well-maintained by the owner for 40 years. He kept rents reasonable. The building was sold last year. Now, when units become available, the new owner charges market-rate rents.

At market rate rents, the new owner is having a hard time getting new tenants. Available units have been vacant for months, which was never a problem with the previous owner whose rents were lower, but reasonable. The reason? It is an older building and given the layout of the units and lack of amenities, people don't want to pay market rate rents because the units are not worth it. The only way the new owner has filled the units is by lowering the rent.

Renters are generally not stupid. They know when they're getting sold a lie about an apartment. There are lot of vacancies in Mountain View. Mountain View doesn't have a severe shortage of apartments, just a shortage of affordable apartments.

And for those who say 'just move if you can't pay' I hope you don't have kids in Mountain View schools because if you do, you could very well be telling your kids' teachers to get out of town.

And for those of you who say that rent control never works, having lived in rent controlled apartments in SF for two decades, rent control can work just fine for renters, the landlords, and the community.


7 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 13, 2018 at 7:42 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Let's do a review of the videos of on the Measure V Too Costly:

Mike Kasperzak criticizes Measure V for not addressing homeless in Mountain View, it was not voted on to provide homes to the homeless. It was a rent stabilization policy, and it is working great. What are you doing Mr. Kasperzak for the homeless?

Margareta Abe-Koga makes numerous errors and false claims regarding the City General Fund. Claiming that the RHC budget is funded by the City Taxpayers, IT IS NOT. It is funded by fees paid by the landlords. So why should the electorate take her word?

Bryan Danforth makes the argument that the CSFRA caused problems between tenants and their landlords. Those problems existed for as much as two years before the voters took control of the situation because the City did nothing to create any improvements. This video simply doesn’t make sense.

Shari’s video simply is completely false because no homeowner that dollars are used in the CSFRA, even the loaned money paid to start it has been returned. So this video simply is not true.

Dr. Ken Rosen simply makes conclusions where there is no economics research performed that has proven it is performed without a conflict of interest. The recent updated Conflict of Interest disclosure requirements found here (Web Link), are being ignored by these “researchers” because disclosure would invalidate their findings as a whole.

John Inks makes the claim that CSFRA is removing money from the city. What proof does he have of this? His major criticism is that the City Council has no control over it. That was done because the City Council refused to get involved to establish a resolution to the problem. They have no right to control any solution proposed by the voters.

Heather Sirk makes a false statement, CSFRA does not control the tenants screening process. It is not impossible to remove a “Problem Tenant”. Of course what is the “definition” of a problem tenant in her eyes is the most important question.

Todd Rothbard makes the argument that CSFRA will not allow landlords to remove dangerous, or offensive tenants. There is nothing in the CSFRA that does this. The fact is this video is designed to inspire fear and anger by those viewing it that is all.

Jim Claus complains that he cannot maintain or improve his property under CSFRA. That is simply untrue, except if you as a property owner depend on your tenants to make up for poor management skills. There has been ample studies that prove that rent control improves property management efficiency and as a result provides adequate returns on investments.

It would appear that these videos are simply making any argument possible to punish the citizens of Mountain View for taking the appropriate measures to correct for a serious crisis. That’s all it is.


3 people like this
Posted by San Jose
a resident of another community
on Apr 14, 2018 at 3:54 pm

Don't forget San Jose. Rent control is there too. It worked so well that over time a lot of Mountain View workers have lived in San Jose.


5 people like this
Posted by Mountain View
a resident of another community
on Apr 14, 2018 at 3:56 pm

Without rent control, extreme shortages have developed in Mountain View. High rents. Hard to say rent control on very old buildings will make this any worse. In fact, what it might do is spur more replacement of older buildings by newer developments that house more people. I just don't get the argument that it harms the rental supply. To me, it's exactly the opposite. It creates an incentive to build more new buildings.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2018 at 6:42 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Howard you said:

“Do you know what it's called when you single out a certain class and treat them different than the rest of society?

It's called discrimination whether its race, age, gender, religion or whatever and in this case type of business and investment one has chosen.”

Howard, unless you can cite any law that defines that there is such thing as business or investment discrimination and in fact it is illegal, I think you are making a false argument. It does not appear to exist in the U.S. or in California.

You also said:

“This is a disgrace when liberals claim their tolerant and a giving people but feel entitled to steal someone else's hard earned money. You have no morals except the ones that serve you best. Disgusting!!”

I am no liberal, but I am a “moderate” and when a minority of non-citizens take advantage of another community, I will do what I can to control it. That is what has happened in Mountain View. Please demonstrate how many of the current apartment owners of buildings in Mountain View are owned by those living here. Owning property doesn’t make you a citizen of Mountain View, only residing in the City does.

I am curious. My landlord is losing a non-CSFRA unit because it was rented after passage. However he has had 4 visitors and all have decided not to sign in. I think I know why. First he is expecting $2100/month on the rent, given my building and amenities it is way too high. But more importantly, when they Google the landlord and Mountain View, when I did it last, it showed in the 3rd entry a very negative news report from the Mountain View Voice.

I wonder if this is also occurring with all the other landlords cited for making comments during City Council or RHC meetings. When they express no consideration regarding their tenants or “customers”. It would appear that these individuals are poisoning themselves by demonstrating no appreciation regarding their customers.

I think most prospective tenants do research regarding the property owners, and if they discover behaviors that demonstrate poor conduct, lack of respect for tenants, or flat out hostility, they will choose not to do business with them.

It may be that there are tenants leaving these apartments, and these landlords are now not getting anyone to replace them. This should have been anticipated by the landlords because they caused this problem themselves.

Of course, it will require them to make significant discounts on rental expectations in order to get anyone to live in their units. But that was not caused by the CSFRA, it was caused by their own conduct in public where they should have known that a record of their speech was being made.


12 people like this
Posted by SupplyDemand
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 16, 2018 at 2:30 pm

Bickering and Name Calling doesnt really help and will not solve the issue.

The core issue is and always will be that we are surrounded by water on 3 sides, limited housing and Silicon Valley is leading in creation of jobs. These jobs have created an influx of people who are all paid highly by Tech Companies and have gobbled up the housing now creating a vaccum for people who are not in Tech Companies.

One group has taken the view of passing Rent Control. Argument is fair housing. Sure fair housing but you can't demand that landlords subsidize your housing. The tenants will get reduced rent but will give up Quality and Availability.

No Landlord will knowingly lose money on their investment. Why should they ? Who can force them ? If any authority forced them to lose money, they will just sell that investment and move to another city.

So what Rent Control is eventually going to do is:
1. Force Landlords to sell high priced investments and purchase elsewhere
2. Force Landlords to forgoe any quality upgrades. Only the necessary upgrades needed to maintain the code will be done.
3. Give incentives to tenants not to move out since as soon as they move out, their rent goes up.

Effectively everything that Oakland, East Palo Alto, NYC etc have - limited availability with extremely low quality housing (built in 1950s and no upgrades).

Do you really think that the Tech Workers will live in these apartments ? No they will not - they will purchase or will live in Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Milpitas etc

Do you really think that landlords will hold onto the properties ? Yes as long as the expenses are lower than the rent. As soon as the expenses exceed the rent, the landlords will sell and move on. When they sell, the new developer will have every incentive to demolish and rebuild (that escapes them from rent-control).

So again -> Limited Availability and Low Quality.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2018 at 4:30 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to SupplyDemand you said:

“One group has taken the view of passing Rent Control. Argument is fair housing. Sure fair housing but you can't demand that landlords subsidize your housing. The tenants will get reduced rent but will give up Quality and Availability.”

That is debatable. All studies arguing that idea have been done where there was a conflict of interest regarding the researchers. There has been yet any study done where proof of no conflict of interest has been established regarding the study. You also said:

“So what Rent Control is eventually going to do is:

1.Force Landlords to sell high priced investments and purchase elsewhere”

This may be true, but they bought them at overpriced levels as a gamble or “speculation. You also went on to say:

“2. Force Landlords to forgoe any quality upgrades. Only the necessary upgrades needed to maintain the code will be done.”

That again has not been proven. This has been a threat made by landlords to those who want to give rent control a try. As stated above no study with proof of no conflict of interest has been provided to prove it. You went on to say:

“3. Give incentives to tenants not to move out since as soon as they move out, their rent goes up.”

That is correct. But if they are happy with their apartment, why should they move? What is wrong with living in the same apartment for as much as 30 years? Absolutely nothing. You also stated:

“Do you really think that landlords will hold onto the properties ? Yes as long as the expenses are lower than the rent. As soon as the expenses exceed the rent, the landlords will sell and move on. When they sell, the new developer will have every incentive to demolish and rebuild (that escapes them from rent-control).”

That may be true, but it may not also be true. Remember you have a lot of bridges to cross for this process to pan out. I see that as long as any profit can be achieved, there will always be supply. Just not by those who are currently here in the City of Mountain View as landlords. That is business, these landlords are not citizens of Mountain View, nor are they special regarding their contribution (or lack thereof) regarding the real value of the City. THE CITIZENS ARE THE VALUE OF THE CITY. Not the apartments.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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