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Mountain View triples its rent relief package to $1.6M

Original post made on Apr 15, 2020

Mountain View will drastically increase its emergency funding for renters who are out of work due to the new coronavirus, thanks to the City Council's action Tuesday night.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 15, 2020, 1:44 PM

Comments (20)

23 people like this
Posted by Bored M
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 15, 2020 at 1:57 pm

So.... when's the mortgage relief package coming?


25 people like this
Posted by SC Parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 15, 2020 at 2:51 pm

Why is City Council paying rent for people? How does this "stave off displacement and homelessness" when state law prevents any renter from being displaced or evicted during this emergency? @KevinForestieri, do you just copy and paste?


19 people like this
Posted by mike
a resident of Gemello
on Apr 15, 2020 at 3:08 pm

The Council often discusses reserves, and what they should be used for. Emergency reserves are for emergencies, and THIS is an emergency. I'm not suggesting spending money willy-nilly, but well managed cities don't use reserves for routine budget balancing but for true emergency situations like earthquake, flood, or pandemic.


23 people like this
Posted by Kevin Forestieri
Mountain View Voice Staff Writer
on Apr 15, 2020 at 3:15 pm

@SC Parent

Nothing in the eviction moratorium relieves a tenant's obligation to pay rent, and tenants in arrears will eventually have to pay for April/May rent. Think of the rent relief fund as a way to prevent displacement after the moratorium has been lifted, rather than an immediate-term way of keeping people housed. That's how the folks at CSA describe it, anyway.


25 people like this
Posted by Waldo
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 15, 2020 at 3:39 pm

We are fortunate to have CSA deeply rooted in our community. Their expansive relationship with our less fortunate neighbors, their rigorous vetting process, and their experienced and caring staff assure the absolute best use of precious resources. As CSA tirelessly works on our behalf, they are in dire need of new volunteers, as the at-risk older volunteers have temporarily stepped away.


16 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 15, 2020 at 3:56 pm

Great to see MV City Council working hard to help citizens who need the most help in this time of need, and the council is not attacking landlords or trying to place the burden on landlords like San Jose Council is.


12 people like this
Posted by B Burr
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 15, 2020 at 4:48 pm

Say what's the deal with those homes off Rengstorff Ave near old Middlefield behind Los Altos taqueria that say "no trespassing ,yes that means you!" "Trespasser will be shot". There are orange cones blocking their driveway entrance.

You guys know which ones I mean?


11 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 15, 2020 at 5:20 pm

Some comments:

The City of Mountain View is using city funds to provide profits to a private industry. This is not a realistic approach because it is only going to fund 1 month at a time. The new news that LA will not have sports or other entertainment permits until 2021 should be a clear indication we are at least 6 months away from any approach of normalization. In effect, the City Council of Mountain View will eventually become bankrupt if it intends to continue this plan.

Second Comment, landlords if they have conventional funding are given as much as 6 months of a mortgage holiday from the CARE act. The condition is that they cannot expect rent payments while using it. So if these landlords are CHOOSING to not use that provision or are but not following through with the condition that rent payments are to be put on holiday, should the City take that responsibility? That is more than 50% of their expenses. Which means for as long as those holidays are in place they are getting a major CASH windfall because they are DEMANDING rent to be paid.

Third, As far as anyone "attacking" landlords, this situation is unfortunate, that the VIRUS is likely going to put landlords out of business. BUT they should have had the proper insurance in place. Granted that these landlords needed to be smart enough to avoid "scam" insurance. Some insurance companies craft business continuity insurance with major means to prevent paying out when the policy holder needs to receive their benefits. This is not a situation where the tenants or the city should be required to protect their cash flow.


15 people like this
Posted by Landlord subsidy
a resident of Slater
on Apr 15, 2020 at 6:55 pm

This subsidy is for landlords. Renters that cannot afford to pay ARE MOT PAYING and cannot be evicted for 6 months at least.


7 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 18, 2020 at 8:55 pm

I wonder if there will be a RENT HOLIDAY in he country.

I just read a report from Forbes magazine that is indicating is possible because it looks like the Congress sees this situation is not going away anytime soon.

The Forbes article is called “Proposed: $2,000 Monthly Stimulus Checks And Canceled Rent And Mortgage Payments For 1 Year” found here (Web Link)

Specifically it is proposing:

“Proposal #2: Cancel Rent & Mortgage Payments Through The Coronavirus Emergency

Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) introduced the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act. This Act, if approved, would call for a nationwide cancellation of rents and home mortgage payments through the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, or up to one year.

The bill would include:

Full rent payment forgiveness for your primary residence

Full mortgage payment forgiveness for your primary residence

No accumulation of debt for renters or homeowners

No negative impact on their credit rating or rental history.

It would establish a relief fund for landlords and mortgage holders to cover losses

It would create an optional fund to finance the purchase of private rental properties to increase the availability of affordable housing.

The bill would be retroactive to March 13, 2020, and would last for one year, unless extended. Renters and homeowners who made payments during April 2020 would be reimbursed for their payments.

No Double-Dipping Allowed. The bill would only allow taxpayers to receive coverage for their primary residence. It would not cover second homes, vacation homes, or other non-primary residences. Those who have both a mortgage and also rent a home would have to choose the home for which they would want to receive financial relief.

Landlords and Mortgage Companies Would be Covered Through a Fund Managed Through the Department of Housing and Urban Development

The Department of Housing and Urban Development would create a relief fund for lenders and landlords to cover the lost rental and mortgage payments they would have received.

To receive these funds, lenders and landlords would be required to follow federal guidelines for fair lending and renting practices for five years.”

I THINK THIS SOUNDS VERY FAMILIAR, OH YES, I WROTE ABOUT THIS BEFORE.


6 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 19, 2020 at 3:44 pm

I just read that there is a bill that just needs 2 votes to require a 25% discount on rents in California.

It is called AB 828 and can be read here (Web Link)

I sure hope it passes will last until 2022

It applies to all units where owners own or manage more than 10 units statewide.

ABOUT TIME


6 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 19, 2020 at 6:03 pm

The bill is not so simple. The 25% reduction would occur if a landlord has sued to evict a tenant who can the prove he or she has lost income or incurred special expenses because of Covid-19. It would only apply until shortly after the emergency is declared at an end. Tenants who get behind in rent may well end up losing their housing in the months ahead. Work from home. Learn at home. Use your imagination. If and when this viral pandemic ends, another will come along. Going back to "business as usual" would prove foolish and deadly.


6 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 19, 2020 at 6:21 pm

In response to Gary you said:

“The bill is not so simple.”

That seems to contradict the California Apartment Associations new from their website. I saw this on it found here (Web Link) and it stated:

“A bill in response to COVID-19 would force every rental property owner in California to reduce rents by 25%.

The bill, AB 828 by Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, also would force landlords to subsidize the rents of their tenants.

Ting’s proposal ignores the robust rent and eviction controls already in place across California. It provides no assurances that landlords can collect rent, remove problem tenants, or get a fair hearing in the court system. Read CAA’s letter opposing AB 828 here.

Landlords can help CAA fight this bill by sending a letter to their legislator, urging them oppose AB 828. Visit CAA’s Action Center to get started.

AB 828 denies equal justice to housing providers by:

Forcing landlords to reduce rents by 25% — even if a tenant cannot show a COVID-19 hardship or need.

Allowing the courts to set rents and change rental agreements already in place.

Assuming every tenant is facing a COVID-19 hardship and must be compensated for it.

Protecting nuisance tenants. The bill does not require tenants to answer an unlawful detainer complaint.

Mandating that rental property owners demonstrate an economic hardship to collect the contracted rent.

This unfair bill would allow the government and courts to give reduced rent and extended tenancies to all renters, even those not facing economic hardships. At the same time, it provides no safeguards for landlords.

CAA asks owners to contact their state legislator and ask him or her to vote no on AB 828 – legislation that cuts rents 25%. Click the button below to start.”

It was also stated on another website called Connect California the article was written by Dennis Kaiser citing Tom Bannon of the CAA found here (Web Link)

That seems to indicate it is pretty much UNIVERSAL.


6 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 19, 2020 at 8:15 pm

You provided a link to the actual bill. You might read it for yourself. That landlords do not like it is not sufficient reason for any tenants to support it.


4 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 19, 2020 at 8:54 pm

Gary,

Let’s assume you are right that the courts will override “some” rents where landlords file unlawful detainer actions (evictions).

What that means in effect is that the law will cause the following to occur.

A tenant decides to go on a rent strike.

This puts a landlord into the position of either being forced to file an eviction case, or simply not pursuing eviction at all because of the likelihood of a court ordered 25% reduction in rent. Which is worse, NOT GETTING ANY RENT or taking a RENT DISCOUNT of 25%.

The REALITY is that tenants will be able to FORCE evictions by non-payment. This is the reason why Tom Bannon is furious.

The tenant will FORCE landlords to file an eviction complaint. The REALITY is that this law is going to force ALL landlords to reduce their rents prior to going to court because it will be INEVITABLE.


6 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 19, 2020 at 11:53 pm

Since landlords cannot get a summons to serve unlawful detainer complaints, they may file breach of contract complaints instead - maybe one each month. Most every lease has an "attorney fees" clause. Under it, landlords will be able to recover their attorney fees on top of "damages" and court "costs." A tenant's credit could be ruined long before the courts return to processing eviction (unlawful detainer) cases. So you can strike all you like. But most tenants would be smart to just pay the rent if they possibly can.


4 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 20, 2020 at 1:55 am

In response to Gary you said:

“Since landlords cannot get a summons to serve unlawful detainer complaints, they may file breach of contract complaints instead - maybe one each month.”

That most likely cannot work. WHY? Because to attempt to do so with the new law in place will render the contracts in violation of public policies. You DO remember that contracts that are in violation of state laws are unenforceable? In effect the AB 828 will invalidate the original contracts given that the tenants will have a public right established in the new law. Good idea, but it is a defective one.

In order to sue for a breach of contract, it must in the whole not have any state laws that change the terms of the contract. That is EXACTLY what AB 828 will do. And of course another reality is that EVICTION is the only legal recourse under the law. Please refer to this website titled “CHAPTER 5 Breaking a Rental Lease and Grounds for Eviction “ (Web Link) and the web page titled “California Landlord-Tenant Law” found here (Web Link.

So it looks like Eviction is the only legal recourse recognized under the law. A residential lease is not like any “Business” contract. Thus it has limited recourse in the courts. So when you claimed:

“Most every lease has an "attorney fees" clause. Under it, landlords will be able to recover their attorney fees on top of "damages" and court "costs."”

But simply enforcing a new public policy cannot be a recognized “damage” to a landlord. The Courts do not provide that kind of remedy at all. So you are simply trying to mislead the people reading this web page. So far as your claim:

“A tenant's credit could be ruined long before the courts return to processing eviction (unlawful detainer) cases. So you can strike all you like. But most tenants would be smart to just pay the rent if they possibly can.”

A tenant’s credit can only be damaged if they take actions not supported by established legal remedy for being overcharged rent that AB 828 will allow. In fact if the courts rule against a landlord in this case, the landlord’s credit rating will take a serious hit. These cases are public record. If a landlord even attempts to threaten the credit record of a tenant that would provide a cause of action against the Landlord. Please read the web page named “Credit Damage: Can You Sue Over Ruined Credit?” found here (Web Link) In California if a landlord attempts to do this it would be not legal based on the web page titled “Debt Collectors” from the California Attorney General’s office website found here (Web Link ). If you are claiming a landlord is a “debt collector” than only when an eviction is ordered can there be a report on ones credit as stated here:

“Credit Reporting

Debt collectors may report your debt to credit reporting companies, which put together credit reports that creditors use when deciding whether to give you credit. However, debt collectors cannot report FALSE information about your debt. If you dispute a debt in writing with a debt collector, that debt collector must tell any credit reporting company that it has reported your debt to that you DISPUTE the debt.”

So only where a landlord prevailed in court regarding eviction can you even think about taking that action? Having a disputed debt is not typically a valid reason to downgrade a person’s credit score UNTIL it is out of dispute. That is part of the laws regulating credit scoring under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

Gary, I think you are just trying to prevent the logical course of action if the law is in fact passed and signed by any wild guess.


8 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 20, 2020 at 4:12 am

The proposed law would not lower anyone's rent. It would create a procedure for possibly settling eviction (unlawful detainer) cases based on non-payment of the rent. Terminating a tenancy early and suing for eviction is not the only remedy for breach of the rental contract. Suing for damages is another remedy. You may be in for a rude awakening. I am not trying to do anything except keep tenants out of trouble stemming from terrible online advice.


4 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 20, 2020 at 7:00 am

Gary,

At the very least can you produce ANY cases in court that supports your idea?

Really, I just think your out to try to intimidate tenants with wild ideas that have never been done in court.

More importantly, you are trying to avoid a mass rent strike from occurring, which is the real threat to landlords once AB 828 becomes law.

And oh by the way, the courts will be in no position to follow through with such cases either, very likely they will be subject to the same hold as evictions.

As far as your idea being realistic as well, there will be so much upfront cost regarding lawyers, whereas, tenants are likely to get FREE legal aid with their cases.

Again, your idea is more likely to blow up on the landlord than it would be on the tenants because the burden of proof is going to be lawfully established as being on the landlord.

Simply put, you are going to gamble on a case where the law does stack the deck against you.

NO! This is where once the law is passed and signed, LANDLORDS will be confronted with having to take proactive steps to reduce rents by 25% rather than waste money on lawyers, risk their own credit records, and possibly find themselves investigated for violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

I await you producing some case precedence regarding "breach of contract" litigation regarding a tenant and landlord that was not involving eviction.


2 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 21, 2020 at 1:04 pm

What I love is the irony regarding the California apartment association and the California Association of Realtors trying to say it is an abuse of power to enact AB 828.

Here is a link to a good video about the FALSE claims made regarding "MARKET RATES" and how they are used to entice people into making really bad decisions. You can view for free here (Web Link). Sales people especially the REAL ESTATE business uses false analytics to support the inflated prices of housing in the state of California.

Then you read the opinion published here (Web Link).

Specifically a complaint made was:

"For starters, the bill would establish an unreasonably high bar before a landlord evicts a tenant."

Since this is an opinion, and since there has been no cases heard yet, what proof is there that the burden of proof IS unreasonably high? It said:

" The bill would empower the courts to summarily reduce rents by 25 percent, regardless of whether the tenant suffered an economic hardship. In fact, it would allow the courts to entirely rewrite existing rental contracts, by reducing rents and providing long repayment plans after determining “that the tenant’s inability to stay current on the rent is the result of increased costs in household necessities or decreased household earnings.”

The REAL WORLD is that even if you have not lost your work and are working remotely, your costs of living have increased because if you want to support local businesses, you have to have their products delivered to you, which can increase cost of the product significantly. At least as much as $5.00 surcharges for delivery even on an order as small as $14.00. So EVERYONE is under that increased cost of living. But there is also those that work at all the other businesses that are in effect not working or have had such a reduction of business they have last significant earnings.

Since we are in a health crisis, given the precedence regarding these circumstances, like they were during the POLIO crisis, this is CONSTITUTIONAL, LEGAL, and should have been EXPECTED if anyone remembers the POLIO crisis. Landlords and Realtors are choosing to try to ignore history. The story said:

“The bill would also make it unwieldy to get rid of nuisance tenants.”

What is the legal definition of a nuisance tenant? Is my writing on this web page entitle my landlord to define me as a nuisance? This has been a seriously abused method of eviction in the state and these people know it. It said:

“The legislation allows landlords to file an action against tenants who cause problems, but doesn’t require tenants to answer the complaint. That instructs the court to proceed as if the tenant has denied all claims, thus dragging out the process – and increasing the likelihood of a jury trial that delays evictions by many months.”

That is the process of Due Process. Landlords are implying that when a person files for eviction in this case, THEY ARE PRESUMED GUILTY. WHAT A REDICULOUS IDEA. NO, the tenant is still in fact presumed innocent unitl the court has been satisfied that they offended the landlord. So this is possibly a legal reform that should have occurred a long time ago. It said:

“Property owners could lose their income stream for long periods of time and would, at least temporarily, forfeit their only tool to remove tenants. It would incentivize tenants to stop paying rent and clog up courts with these cases. Owners with 10 or more units would be presumed not to suffer a hardship by the bill, while owners with fewer units would have to demonstrate a hardship to the courts to collect agreed-upon rents.”

And where there is at least an additional 10% of newly unemployed Californians, what entitles landlords from having to adjust their earnings? They had a FALSE idea that their income was GUARANTEED or PROTECTED. This is always NOT TRUE. Those with 10 or more units are “PROFESSIONALS” and they should have established a “BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLAN” to address this kind of problem, failure to do so is not a defense.

And like landlords haven't had a position of an "ABUSE OF POWER". Just look at the landlord in Mountain View that hired a gang to attack a family in the story found here (Web Link)

You can imagine that this was a rare arrest. The police were called by the neighbors of the unit. I can only speculate, but many cities or counties do not arrest landlords doing this. In fact remember this landlord was advised to do this through her Facebook page by other owners.

I would seriously advise that landlords in Mountain View start taking proactive action right now


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