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Rent control cap in Mountain View sinks to new low as COVID-19 stalls price growth

Original post made on May 18, 2021

Landlords of rent-controlled units in Mountain View will only be able to raise the rent by up to 2% this year, the lowest cap on increases to date and a clear sign that COVID-19 has hindered economic growth in the Bay Area.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 18, 2021, 1:31 PM

Comments (10)

Posted by Activist Socialist
a resident of Jackson Park
on May 18, 2021 at 1:51 pm

Activist Socialist is a registered user.

Seems reasonable. Wealthy landlords get rent control from Prop 13, so why shouldn't actual working people?

Posted by JustAWorkingStiff
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 18, 2021 at 3:51 pm

JustAWorkingStiff is a registered user.

Water, Garbage, Sewer fees are going up. That is not taken into account in CPI

I get multiple, unnecessary mailings. That $176,000 should be spent more

CSFRA was originally set up for removal when vacancies exceed 5%. Yet it is still here. Well, not surprised. Government programs tend to perpetuate themselves.

Net/Net: I offer reasonable rents, and my tenants stay with me. CSFRA is just an needless expense line item that does not benefit my tenants. I understand the business cycle pretty well and did ensure a steady predictable level of rent for my very good tenants.

Posted by Polomom
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 18, 2021 at 4:38 pm

Polomom is a registered user.

Vacancy Rate at 9.9%. When CSFRA was put in place there was a threshold to dissolve the committee..... Who has the oversight on this? Who is verifying these numbers? MV-Voice maybe look into this.

Posted by Tal Shaya
a resident of another community
on May 18, 2021 at 4:56 pm

Tal Shaya is a registered user.

Two percent rent hike? Oh boo-hoo. My pay raise for the last three years is zero percent. Zero percent!

Posted by Polomom
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 18, 2021 at 6:06 pm

Polomom is a registered user.

The 2% will most likely not assure a break even for the landlord. House insurance in the commercial sector has increased in CA because of natural disasters. Utilities are on the rise annually. Especially water/sewer. Paying the maintenance crew minimum wage in cities like Mountain View with a higher minimum wage cuts into any profits. Maybe maintenance will be deferred. Tenants will not be happy. Property taxes are going up, no stopping that. All the while our huge apartment blocks along El Camino have lots of vacancies. I see lots of condo conversions of pre 1995 properties in the future. They help the first time home owner get a foot in the door to home owner ship!

Posted by Yonatan
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 19, 2021 at 9:28 am

Yonatan is a registered user.

Well, my income has gone down the last two years and in the 5 years that I have lived in this apartment nothing has been changed or upgraded and our utilities keep on going up. Our buildings dryer breaks every 4 months.
Not sure why the management company deserves even a 2% raise.

Posted by sfcanative
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 19, 2021 at 9:50 am

sfcanative is a registered user.

Perhaps someone can explain why this bureaucracy is even active when there's a 9% vacancy rate. The CSFRA is very clear under Section 1718 that the committee is obligated to "suspend the provisions" of the entire ordinance until the vacancy rate drops below 5%.

At their next meeting that's the only item that should be on the committee's agenda!

Posted by JustAWorkingStiff
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 19, 2021 at 3:20 pm

JustAWorkingStiff is a registered user.

SFcanative: I agree under Section 1718 when vacancy falls under 5% the ordinance should be suspended. That is how it was pitched during the election.

Yet, when one member the rent control committee brought up that this should be *looked at* he got pushed out.

Net/Net: This reduces the credibility of the Rent Control Committee, and any organization tasked with providing oversight. It is not unreasonable to start looking into, especially with the re-opening and successful movement to Yellow Tier. And plenty of housing supply with vacancies at 9.9%.

But I expected this kind of unaccountable behavior. No surprise here. It seems like they are their own special interest group, more interested in perpetuating their agenda rather than following the ordinance.

Of course, you will hear objections. Like, it is "may" suspend instead "will" suspend. But if you look at the plain meaning of the ordinance, it is suspend when there is plenty of supply available. I see this as unaccountable word play by the Rental Housing Committee to perpetuate themselves rather than hold themselves accountable to executing the ordinance.

Net/Net: This reduces the credibility of the Rent Control Committee, and any organization tasked with providing oversight.

Posted by Polomom
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 26, 2021 at 4:33 pm

Polomom is a registered user.

Yonatan, utilities are going up for everybody. On top of that the landlord pays more every year in insurance and taxes. The maintenance crew is getting a higher minimum wage than other cities. If I were a landlord right now I would only do the bare minimum. A broken dryer is not the landlords fault. Tenants are the user. And if my tenants were to withhold their rent payments under COVID protection, I definitely would stop all unnecessary maintenance. The County is not giving the landlord a tax break and the City of MV wants the water and trash paid on time. You see, there are 2 sides to this issue. Now, if renting is not your thing you could look for a property to buy where you can afford it and see what home owner ship actually entails. None of my kids live in MV and they attended school with you. Where you live is determined by your budget. When I moved here 36 years ago I liked quite a few other places better, but they were out of my budget range. Not all of us can buy a HI island or mega yachts....

Posted by LongResident
a resident of another community
on May 27, 2021 at 2:21 pm

LongResident is a registered user.

Many of the apartments in the city are not covered by rent control. Are they the ones seeing the vacancies? It might be that there are vacancies in the places trying to charge $4K per month rents (or greater) but not so much in the places charging $2500 which were in fact subject to rent control. How do you even measure a vacancy rate in units not covered by rent control?

But in any event, if Google is to be believed, it should be like flipping a switch when they start requiring employees on site 3 days a week as of September 1. I'd say a global pandemic is a reason to doubt the accuracy of vacancy rate reporting. Hysteresis would argue for requiring some period of SUSTAINED vacancy rates before changing anything. The pandemic has only lasted 1 year and 2 months so far. Did everyone flee on April 1 2020?

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