Blogging Bayport Alameda

March 8, 2016

This is my fight email

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

Naturally the Alameda “Housing Providers” weren’t just going to sit back and allow a ballot initiative to go unchecked, this email from Karin Lucas, you know the Karin Lucas that Trish Spencer was going to appoint to the RRAC, spells out the strategy of the organized Housing Providers in Alameda.  Here’s the email that has been circulating, all errors are from the original:

1. City Council Ordinance

The City Council passed ordinance requiring Rent Review Advisory Committee (RRAC) approval for annual rent increases over 5% and imposed a relocation fee for no-cause evictions.

Barbara Thomas and California Apartment Association (CAA) are considering filing a lawsuit against the City of Alameda for legal violations they have found in the City’s ordinance.

My opinion: Even if the lawsuit is won, all may be for naught if the Tenants Initiative passes. Therefore we should focus on defeating the Tenants Initiative.

It did sound as though former City Council member Barbara Thomas was threatening a lawsuit the last time she spoke.  As an aside, word is that Barbara Thomas is running to be an Alameda County judge.  If you didn’t have a reason to vote against her before, you should have plenty of reason now.

As I mentioned a bit yesterday, Housing Providers that were against the City Council’s ordinance should be really worried about the ballot initiative.

2. On Feb 29, the Alameda Renters Coalition filed an initiative to amend the Alameda City Charter with strict Renter Protection.

Annual rent increases would be limited to 65% of CPI, only just-cause eviction would be permitted. After publishing Notice of Intent to Circulate Petition in the legal notices of a newspaper, the tenants can begin to gather the necessary 6,461 signatures of registered Alameda city voters. They have about 2 ½ months to do so if they want to qualify for the November 2016 election. If they need more time (the law gives them 180 days) they will qualify for the next election after November.

OPTIONS TO FIGHT TENANTS INICIATIVE

!. CAA plans to gather signatures for a counter ballot measure to qualify for November.

Unsurprisingly, it appears as though a counter ballot is in the works.

2. Council Member Tony Daysog wants to see small landlords exempted from some forms of rent control. He is considering a ballot measure for November. We should consider working with Tony and arriving at some provisions that should be specific for small landlords. Tony may need our help to gather the necessary signatures.

Tony wants to meet with us as soon as possible. Also, he is running for reelection in November and may appreciate our support against Ashcraft who needs to run again, and Malia Vella, a declared candidate, who supports the tenants and will have lots of union campaign funds.

It looks like Tony Daysog may be teaming up with these smaller landlords to protect himself from a challenge in November by “protecting” the mom and pop landlords he’s so fond of.  Given that there doesn’t appear to be any naturally coalition of folks for Tony Daysog he’s feeling the urgency to create one himself by wrapping himself in the mantel of protecting small Alameda landlords.

I found this part most interesting:

 Malia Vella, a declared candidate, who supports the tenants

The subtext is that Tony Daysog does not support the tenants.

3. We should organize “Information Teams” who will be at the locations where tenants gather signatures so we can educate people about the problems of rent control. We will need to develop information folders for the teams and slogans. We should also set up a campaign committee with officers and a website.

Lawn signs have been very effective in Alameda – we need to design and order them.

All initiatives will be under great time pressure to collect 6, 461 valid signatures within the roughly 2 months remaining to qualify for the November election.

If the tenants are successful with their signature drive (which will be known by the end of June} the committee could continue to campaign up to the November election.

Looks like this group of Alameda landlords are looking to put some time and perhaps pump some money into the campaign (and possibly the campaign of Tony Daysog) to keep a landlord friendly council member on the City Council.  Although it seems that they already have won the loyalties of Frank Matarrese, Tony Daysog was still inclined to vote for the ordinance even after all the “mom and pop” protestations.

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114 Comments »

  1. 3. Does this mean that Malia Vella supports the initiative or just the tenants?

    Comment by MP — March 8, 2016 @ 6:18 am

  2. Unknown, this email is all speculation from Karin Lucas.

    Comment by Lauren Do — March 8, 2016 @ 6:35 am

  3. 3. I have voted for Tony before but have always been disappointed that he seems so unwilling or unable to take strong stands as a City Council member after making plausible campaign statements that seem to indicate he will do so. Unfortunately, the “changed” Tony Daysog (2012 campaign) is the same man.

    Figuring out where Tony Daysog stands has always been problematic at best. (Some people in Alameda wonder if he really stands for anything, or if he just waits to see which way the wind is blowing before he votes.) I wish his voluminous and meandering written statements and his lengthy statements from the dais–often written before the meetings take place–offered more substance and showed more consistent compassion and stronger principles.

    At least he is showing his truer colors here in his efforts to protect the “mom and pop” landlords–who do not really seem to need it.
    His efforts to “protect” landlords–even the bad ones–are literally leaving renters out in the cold.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — March 8, 2016 @ 6:55 am

  4. .Jon,

    For you — its either black or white. Either slam all the landlords or you’re against the tenants. That’s stinking thinking Jon!

    Tony voted for the ordinance,and he sees a need for some protections for the smaller mom and pop landlords who Denise Shelton has so amazingly described
    in her recent posts.

    Comment by Karen Bey — March 8, 2016 @ 7:43 am

  5. I must state for the record that I was against Tony Daysog before I was REALLY against Tony Daysog. The so-called mom-and-pop landlord issue is completely bogus. They are making money hand-over-fist and if they are such great landlords, they’ll rarely pay relocation costs and, if they do, it will be because they wanted to move the tenant out. That’s why they need to pay relocation costs like everyone else.

    Beyond that, there’s so many issues regarding the exact definition of a mom-and-pop that there’s little chance of the name ever appearing or passing as a ballot initiative. For instance, 25% of mom-and-pop are not Alameda residents. Why on earth is an Alameda city council member advocating so forcefully and to such an extent for out-of-town landlords to the detriment of Alameda residents? On this point alone, the entire effort is completely tone-deaf. Not only that, it would strip tenants of mom-and-pops of rights and benefits which all other Alameda renters have. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Then, because mom-and-pops want the exemption, they’ll have to register and declare their properties and identities and certify, under penalty of perjury I’d imagine, that they fit the legal description of a mom-and-pop. I mean, for people who don’t want more bureaucracy, a mom-and-pop exemption screams for more and will require more along with greater scrutiny of their business and tenant relations. It’s a maddeningly mean-spirited proposal.

    Comment by John K — March 8, 2016 @ 9:10 am

  6. I also think mom-and-pop operations should be required to disclose the exemption to all prospective tenants upon first showing the unit so that tenants are aware that their unit is not covered by certain portions of Alameda’s rent ordinance. This would include tenants being provided with a written notice of the exemption and acknowledgement which tenants would be required to sign at the same time the lease is signed or the unit rented. The signed acknowledgements would then be filed with the Housing Authority.

    Comment by John K — March 8, 2016 @ 9:41 am

  7. #5 Where do you get this information that mom-pop landlords are making money hand-over-fist…have you been able to see their tax returns? Have you ever owned a home? The upkeep on a home is expensive….Yes, they are making money but that is because they planned ahead….invested so that could retire with extra income….is that a bad thing? It seems to me that a better idea would be fighting for some kind of Gov’t housing…..Areas like Santa Monica have it….moderate and low income housing based on income that must be proved every year. Wouldn’t that help solve the problem?

    Comment by J.E.A. — March 8, 2016 @ 9:44 am

  8. #7: I do my own research. Both Zillow and the National Association of Realtors have published articles saying how great the market is right now for mom-and-pops, especially in the Bay Area. Otherwise, I’d have to believe what the mom-and-pops tell us, like, “Trust me, I’m a landlord.” Lol.

    Comment by John K — March 8, 2016 @ 9:51 am

  9. OK, Mr. Do-my-own-research, what is the prevailing cap rate for multifamily buildings in Alameda? What about for duplexes?

    Comment by dave — March 8, 2016 @ 9:53 am

  10. dave, that’s your thing, not mine. I prefer to believe the experts.

    Comment by John K — March 8, 2016 @ 9:58 am

  11. Cap rates are the most commonly used metric by experts.

    Comment by dave — March 8, 2016 @ 10:01 am

  12. And if you don’t know cap rates, you have NO — as in nada, zero, zilch zip — NO idea you’re talking about when blather about landlords’ profits.

    Comment by dave — March 8, 2016 @ 10:03 am

  13. that should read: NO idea what you’re talking about when you blather about landlords’ profits.

    Comment by dave — March 8, 2016 @ 10:04 am

  14. #8….First of all let me state I am not a landlord….I just went to Zillow for my own house information…..none of it was correct including what I paid for it or the year I bought it….so, some of your research might be flawed….just saying…

    Comment by J.E.A. — March 8, 2016 @ 10:12 am

  15. Here are my preliminary thoughts on how I think the ordinance we recently adopted needs to change, so that we protect both renters from excessive rent increases (which I am confident the ordinance will do) **and** protect small ‘mom and pop’ landlords. I’ll elaborate later… am at work. All the best.

    /s/ tony

    a. reasonable rate increase thresholds that trigger new rent review process:
    a1. any new rent increase notice amounting to more than 7% increase in rent, in conjunction with any previous rent increase notices issued and implemented 365 days prior to the new rent increase notice that cumulatively amount to more than 12% increase in rent, triggers new rent review process

    b. relocation benefits amount equal 2 months of rent plus $1500 that only extremely low-income, very low-income, low-income, and moderate-income households are eligible for
    b1. Definition of extremely low-income, very low-income,low-income,and moderate-income is based on most current findings issued by State of California Housing and Community Development Agency (or any successor agency in the event HCD is replaced) for Alameda County (example: http://www.hcd.ca.gov/housing-policy-development/housing-resource-center/reports/state/inc2k15.pdf)

    c. exempt locally-based small ‘mom and pop’ landlord from having to pay relocation benefits to tenants in instances when they are moving-in family members
    c1. For purposes of this exemption, locally-based small ‘mom and pop’ landlord must meet both conditions below:
    (a) must permanently reside in the City of Alameda; and,
    (b) must owns no more 4 residential rental properties in the City of Alameda

    Comment by tony daysog — March 8, 2016 @ 10:17 am

  16. post#7, J.E.A. good points, however you may have noticed that moderate, low, or any type of housing in the Bay Area is a real problem at this point. Here in Alameda we don’t help the situation by fighting any kind of housing development. Simple point is the entire Bay Area needs more housing to solve this problem.

    Comment by John P. — March 8, 2016 @ 10:27 am

  17. 15.

    a1- so, if you raise the rent 6% every six months you avoid the rent review process? That is how I read your language. Previously you attempted to advocate for 12% in 24 months, but this language looks to allow 12% annually?

    c1.(b) – 4 properties? or 4 units? Big difference right? A property sounds like parcel to me. A parcel could house 5, 10, 20 or more units.

    Comment by BMac — March 8, 2016 @ 10:39 am

  18. Looks like the Bay Area did not get the memo in 2011 when apartment buildings were going to be needed. Of course Alameda has its own unique set of barriers (we are special) to why the supply of apartments has not grown.

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2016/03/demographics-renting-vs-owning.html

    Comment by Mike McMahon — March 8, 2016 @ 11:36 am

  19. Oh, gawd…I’m in a research pissing contest with dave. This should end well.

    Comment by John K — March 8, 2016 @ 11:59 am

  20. It might if you knew what you were talking about.

    Comment by dave — March 8, 2016 @ 12:17 pm

  21. So, back to politics for a minute – which I thought was the theme of today’s lesson — how are the known cast of characters lining up on the initiative? I know, I know, we should wait until there has been enough time for careful study, etc., but are there any non-obvious predictions out there?

    Comment by MP — March 8, 2016 @ 12:20 pm

  22. 19, John, you can never win a debate with Dave, he simply won’t let you.

    Comment by John P. — March 8, 2016 @ 12:22 pm

  23. This isn’t a “debate” John P, at least not yet. If John K wants to start demonstrating his point with evidence, it could become one. Thus far he’s only made unsubstantiated claims on a subject of which he’s ignorant. If he wants to cite evidence and discuss it, it may yet become a debate.

    https://laurendo.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/fiddle-and-burn/#comment-88625

    Comment by dave — March 8, 2016 @ 12:28 pm

  24. #17.

    Required Triggering TESTS:

    Required Test 1: does the new rent increase notice exceed 7%? If YES, then modified rent review-binding hearing process triggered. If NO, must apply Required Test 2 below.

    Required Test 2: if the new rent increase notice is less than 7%, does this new less-than-7% rent increase notice, in conjunction with prior rent increase notice(s) issued within 365 days of the new rent increase notice, cumulatively exceed 12%? If YES,modified rent review-binding hearing process triggered.
    If NO, then modified rent review-binding hearing process not triggered.

    Example:

    Example 1: June 1, 2016, landlord gives 7% rent increase notice effective July 1, 2016 … and further suppose that this landlord, within 365 days prior to June 1,2016, (ie June 1,2015) had given, say, a 6% rent increase notice on June 1, 2015 (effective July 1, 2015). Thus, per the amendment, the rent review process is triggered, since cumulatively (over the course of the 365 days), the combined noticed rent increases amount to 13% (previous June 1 2015 6% increase + new June 1, 2016 7% rent increase) — and 13% is greater than 12% cumulative threshold for rent increase notices within 365 days.

    Example 2: June 1, 2016, landlord gives 8% rent increase notice effective July 1, 2016 … and further suppose that this landlord, within 365 days prior to June 1,2016, (ie June 1,2015) had NOT given any rent increase notice. Thus, per the amendment, the rent review process IS triggered, since the landlord passed the 7% threshold, in issuing a 8% notice on June 1, 2016. Cumulatively (over the course of the 365 days prior to and within June 1,2016), the combined noticed rent increase notices cumulatively amount to 8% (previous June 1 2015 0% increase + new June 1, 2016 8% rent increase) — but the rent review process is still triggered by surpassing the 7% threshold.

    Example 3: June 1, 2016, landlord gives 7% rent increase notice effective July 1, 2016 … and further suppose that this landlord, within 365 days prior to June 1,2016, (ie June 1,2015) had NOT given any rent increase notice. Thus, per the amendment, the rent review process is NOT triggered, since the landlord did not go above the 7% threshold, in issuing a 7% notice on June 1, 2016. Cumulatively (over the course of the 365 days prior to and within June 1, 2016), the combined noticed rent increases cumulatively amount to 7% (previous June 1 2015 0% increase + new June 1, 2016 7% rent increase) — but the rent review process is still not triggered by surpassing the 7% threshold.

    Example 4: June 1, 2016, landlord gives 5% rent increase notice effective July 1, 2016 … and further suppose that this landlord, within 365 days prior to June 1,2016, (ie June 1,2015) had given a 5% rent increase notice. Thus, per the amendment, the rent review process is NOT triggered, since the landlord did not go above the 7% threshold, in issuing a 5% notice on June 1, 2016. Cumulatively (over the course of the 365 days prior to and within June 1, 2016), the combined noticed rent increases cumulatively amount to 10% (previous June 1 2015 5% increase + new June 1, 2016 5% rent increase) — so the rent review process is not triggered — 10% is less than the 12% cumulative threshold for rent increase notices occurring within 365 days.

    Example 5: June 1, 2016, landlord gives 5.5% rent increase notice effective July 1, 2016 … and further suppose that this landlord, within 365 days prior to June 1,2016, (ie June 1,2015) had given a 7% rent increase notice. Thus, per the amendment, the rent review process IS triggered, since the landlord, over the course of the 365 days prior to and within June 1, 2016, issued rent increase notices cumulatively amounting to 12.5% (previous June 1 2015 7% increase + new June 1, 2016 5.5% rent increase) — so the rent review process is triggered — 12.5% is greater than the 12% cumulative threshold for rent increase notices occurring within 365 days.

    Important Note;
    Tenants still have the right to take any rent increase notices to the RRAC\binding hearing process

    Goal:
    Lower the administrative cost of the program (est. ~ $1.9 million annually as is) by setting thresholds that trigger the RRAC\binding hearing process at levels that reflect existing data as to what constitutes reasonable rent increases

    Comment by tony daysog — March 8, 2016 @ 12:30 pm

  25. #17 = four residential units.

    Comment by tony daysog — March 8, 2016 @ 12:31 pm

  26. I live next door to a Mom and Pop landlord. They told me they’re only pocketing ~$800 a month from each of their rentals. That’s an almost criminally small amount of money. Shouldn’t our landlords, the people most responsible for stimulating our economy, be making more than the lazy uneducated waitress? Don’t these great Alamedans who are providing housing to countless people deserve a bit more respect? Councilman Dayseg’s proposal doesn’t go far enough. We need to protect the hard-working people fueling our economy: NO CAPS ON RENT INCREASES!

    Comment by Rodney — March 8, 2016 @ 12:35 pm

  27. MP, Mailia told some members of the ARC that she will help with organizing the campaign for the rent control initiative and get the union (she is with the Teamsters) to gather signatures, and is hoping for their support for her council campaign.

    Comment by Cindy — March 8, 2016 @ 12:38 pm

  28. Tony, you should really be basing your proposal off of effective dates of increases, not notices. Notices can be served long before effective dates and makes for weird scenarios.

    Under your language, you could raise the rent 6% every six months+one day resulting in 12% increases every 366 days. This is an absolute failure of your language if your goal is 7% annually w/ 12% every two years. Perhaps you don’t mean to do that, or perhaps the landlords you are working with see this as a feature, not a bug.

    If your language assumes only one increase is allowed in any 12 month period as the new ordinance does, then the above scenario would not come into play. Do you want to keep the one increase per year rule?

    Even at one increase per year, the landlord can increase 7% effective July 1, 2016 but give notice 45 days early and then 7% July 1, 2017 but give notice 44 days early, and then 7% in 2018 but give notice 43 days early, etc, etc….. Thus allowing 7% annually and not triggering the 12% w/in 365 days review.

    Don’t let the landlords write your proposals. It is just like Wall Street writing their own regulations or oil companies writing their own.

    Comment by BMac — March 8, 2016 @ 1:02 pm

  29. #28: duly noted …. good points to mull over . . . back to work.

    Comment by tony daysog — March 8, 2016 @ 1:26 pm

  30. I need to ask if anyone has calculated the actual cost of the new bureaucracy the initiative will require. Election costs? Maintenance and equipping of the new elected officials? Meeting and office space? Salaries/per diems and perhaps benefits? How many FTE’s will be required and at what pay and benefits levels, not to mention pension obligations. Who will do their legal work in cases of non compliance and at what cost? On retainer or employee of the City? Impacts on the court system?

    I am at this point neither for or against the initiative or the idea of a counter initiative, but it does seem to me that the voter needs to know these important facts before signing a petition of any kind and also knowing what the source of the income to pay the expenditures will be. It just seems prudent to have these facts in hand.

    Comment by Kate Quick — March 8, 2016 @ 1:39 pm

  31. 22. I know.

    Comment by John K — March 8, 2016 @ 2:22 pm

  32. #26- aside from your ridiculous statement about waitresses, I am just clearing $100.00 a month for my rental property. For the first few years, it was at a loss. All this talk of rent control has me focused on maximizing my annual rent increases whenever I can. Prior to this, I rarely exceeded 2% knowing that if I needed to, I could increase it down the road. Now, I won’t have that option, thus I need to maximize every opportunity I get. As for the proposal to block no-fault evictions, there are circumstances where they must be allowed. If an owner wants to move back into their own property, they should not be prevented or penalized. When I left Alameda 3 years ago, there was no concern that I wouldn’t be able to move back into my own home anytime. Now, we find ourselves needing to move back here shortly due to a change in jobs and I need to live in my property. It’s BS.

    Comment by Brian Keith — March 8, 2016 @ 3:43 pm

  33. 27. the Teamsters are going to be collecting signatures for the rent control initiative ?

    Comment by MP — March 8, 2016 @ 4:04 pm

  34. MP, I think Malia may have been referring to the firefighters union, although she works for the Teamsters and her family own rental property in Alameda.

    Comment by Cindy — March 8, 2016 @ 4:43 pm

  35. Kate, my sympathies are with tenants, but the same things occurred to me yesterday.

    BMac posted in comment 5 to yesterday’s blog :

    “If I were King, there are elements of the ARC initiative that I would not prefer to see or go beyond what I would institute. However, given the threat to even the modest ordinance the Council just passed, the initiative begins to look more attractive than it would without any context.”

    While I don’t disagree, I’m still overwhelmed at the potential for consequences of the initiative which need to be accounted for before I could vote for yes.

    Comment by MI — March 8, 2016 @ 5:02 pm

  36. #10 #11

    What’s a cap rate? http://www.creonline.com/cap-rate-formula.html

    Comment by A Neighbor — March 8, 2016 @ 5:11 pm

  37. This initiative will ultimately convince the Kate Quicks of the city (empathic, considerate landlords) that it is time to sell to the Matt Shridhars (tough investors with lawyers on retainer) landlords. This will be particularly true after the Kate Quick type landlord has had to do a couple of just cause evictions and seen her savings ground up in litigation. Think twice before bringing this to Alameda!

    Comment by Ed Hirshberg — March 8, 2016 @ 5:11 pm

  38. 36

    Rolling back rents to May ’15 levels will be struck down. The city doesn’t have the legal authority to abrogate contracts, not today & certainly not retroactively. Whether that dooms the whole ordinance or not is another matter.

    That’s a legal matter. There are a host of political brambles, principally the relocation payments. Very few homeowners, who are a majority of voters, will accept that (assuming they read the fine print).

    The economic issues are too numerous to name in detail but one that sticks out (separate from the obvious violations of property rights) is the inability to pass through capital improvements that are not required by building code. That combined with a needlessly strict .65 CPI limit pretty much guarantees a lot of peeling paint & deferred maintenance. Codes don’t require nice exteriors or fresh carpet, or landscaping, to name a few. Be ready for a bunch of tatty buildings.

    I predict a very close vote, inside of 52-48, too close to call either way.

    Comment by dave — March 8, 2016 @ 5:25 pm

  39. post #37, good job Ed, tell us the end of the world is coming if tenants are to receive any help with their present situation. Dave you too do a good job of trying to point out to us all that if we try to help tenants in any way we will all be destroyed. Kind of like how the world will end if we increase the minimum wage. Let’s just keep beating these folks down until they are in the streets. post# 30, Kate I don’t have a problem with your questions, and I really believe in the kind of person you are that ultimately you will always do the right thing.

    Comment by John P. — March 8, 2016 @ 5:50 pm

  40. This is what I have observed in Oakland. Judgments in the high five figures and even into six figures are not uncommon. Most casual landlords call it quits after they have had a couple of these. This is why we invest in commercial property.

    Comment by Ed Hirshberg — March 8, 2016 @ 6:30 pm

  41. Current tenants will be helped by this ballot initiative, John. I don’t think anyone disputes that. Even people who value property rights — your property included — get that. They’ll be helped for a while, though some might rethink it when enough maintenance is deferred.

    But future tenants will not be helped at all. Restricted supply will make their initial rents much higher than they would be otherwise, as has happened in every place rent control has been enacted.

    Taxpayers, and I presume you are among that lot, won’t much like a few million a year being wasted on a new bureaucracy that adds nothing to basic city services like police, fire, parks and infrastructure.

    End of the world? Unlikely. I love living here & I doubt I’ll leave.

    High rents for shitbag buildings? That’s in the mail. You can’t truncate property rights and expect different results.

    Comment by dave — March 8, 2016 @ 6:39 pm

  42. 39. John P. I’ll need help with the minimum wage analogy, but I don’t think opposition to a Berkeley style rent control measure is a matter of wanting to beat anyone down. I’ve never met Ms. Pauling from the ARC and only know what I have read and heard her say at Council meetings. I understand that she moved to Alameda from Berkeley and, assuming that she moved to Alameda within the last 30 years, that would have been at a time when Berkeley had a rent control measure similar to the one she seeks to have put on the ballot here. I’m not asking in order to pick on Ms. Pauling at all, but a question might be whether rent control in Berkeley turned out not to work so well in her case. I know that trying to find an affordable apartment in B-Town after 30+ years of rent control is no easy task.

    Comment by MP — March 8, 2016 @ 6:52 pm

  43. Lauren Do. Thanks for getting this email out there. I think it’s important information for ARC and the entire Alameda rental community. The renters have taken a big and unprecedented step in Alameda and I don’t think they realize yet what they’ve unleashed on themselves. Hopefully, our more savvy and experienced political allies will guide us through this and finally bring some real stability and fairness to Alameda renters.

    Comment by John K — March 8, 2016 @ 8:52 pm

  44. At what point did John K wake up and become a housing expert? Anything that comes out of your mouth is so vague and from a 50,000 foot view it’s like listening to someone who claims to communicate with the dead . Has anyone ever answered the age old question … Where is this working ? How’s it kept the rents down in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland? John K is living proof of what happens when you don’t prepare for the future financially.

    Comment by Ted March — March 9, 2016 @ 6:55 am

  45. Also Mr. Klein , you work at Forever 21 , correct?

    Comment by Ted March — March 9, 2016 @ 6:57 am

  46. Last comment for the morning – I’m calling bullshit on ARC membership count. Why is it that only 50 or so people show up to any ARC event ? That’s because Tenants Together joined their Facebook. Even at the city hall fight , they had less then 50 loud barbarians . Alamedans are waking up, home owners and renters know this is not a good plan. The Arc group has consistently counted on renters being on their side , but many Alamedans ( renters/owners)don’t share their extremist ideology . Their plan is to make this a renter/owner battle. Don’t fall for it ! This is a sustainable housing issue. John Klein is a carpet bagger who claims to be an Alamedan, your not. Just google him. We don’t care if you rent or own. We care about our town. We care about our standards for housing . The world you crave is just a bridge or tunnel away Johnny Boy! Does this idiot even live in town? I heard he rents a room. Let’s share more about John, let’s figure out everything about him.

    Comment by Ted the March — March 9, 2016 @ 7:20 am

  47. I think the Alameda Rent Ordinance that was recently passed by the City Council and the strengthening of the RRAC provides tenants with great protections. Does it solve the housing crisis – no, but it provides rent stabilization and tenant protections which is a lot more than tenants had previously.

    It’s expensive to live in the Bay Area – just 20 minutes from one of the largest job centers in the country. We’re fortunate enough to live in a community with great police protection, great schools, beaches and parks and trails, and bike lanes (yeah!!) and so the word gratitude comes to mind when I think of the wonderful city that we live in.

    While there is a lot I would change in the ordinance (including some protections for the small mom and pops landlords), I would like to focus on the “housing shortage” — which is the other leg of the housing crisis.

    Now we must focus our energy on making sure that we build enough housing both affordable and market rate, and that we have enough housing in the pipeline for all the jobs that we want to create in Alameda.

    The new ordinance will keep people in their homes — so as we create more jobs in Alameda, where are they going to live?

    Comment by Karen Bey — March 9, 2016 @ 7:42 am

    • Where has it stabilized? Where has rent control worked? This is one of the most desirable places on earth , in a capitalistic society. $$$

      Comment by Ted — March 9, 2016 @ 7:54 am

  48. I was just looking at different Rent Ordinances and came across this WSJ Article about the Rental Board in Berkeley. Interesting read. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10000872396390444226904577557740642053180

    Comment by frank — March 9, 2016 @ 7:51 am

  49. Here is another link to the Article that hopefully will show the full text. http://blog.rsanyc.net/property-rights/2012/08/rental-board-under-fire-in-berkeley.html

    Comment by frank — March 9, 2016 @ 7:56 am

  50. Ted: Lol.

    Comment by John K — March 9, 2016 @ 8:03 am

    • John, your an extremist . Your a bully ( showing up at people’s houses), you assume were all going to hang out and let you do whatever you want to do. Show up at my house and see what happens bra . Going to get treated like a terrorist you are. You don’t know anything about housing, all you care about is the fight itself. Looking for meaning for what’s left of your life . So when you look in the mirror I hope you see the man who didn’t prepare for this day. Where do you live ? 🙂

      Comment by Ted of the March — March 9, 2016 @ 8:13 am

      • John!! Where are you?

        Comment by Angry Ted — March 9, 2016 @ 8:47 am

        • For those of you who are looking at housing with logic , we are seeing signs of a correction as we text. Please stop trying to apply logic to this robust housing market for the John Kleins of the world and join CAA. United ( renters/home owners) we will protect the town form this new chapter of Occupy Oaklamd in Alameda. Google the names of the head extremists . One and the same. Math and logic is on our side. Once this is put to bed , we can discuss affordable housing options for those who qualify ( not you John). #JohnKleinIsNotAlamedan

          Comment by Mister Man — March 9, 2016 @ 9:27 am

      • John!! Where are you? John !!!

        Comment by Angry Ted — March 9, 2016 @ 8:48 am

  51. Chill

    Comment by MP — March 9, 2016 @ 9:21 am

  52. John Klein’s Twitter motto is:”Keep your heart open and your thoughts positive, and you will never feel alone”. Hmmm…

    John K, are you wearing lipstick in your Twitter pic? It looks like you are.

    #15: Tony,it is good that you are trying to define what a mom-and-pop landlord actually is. Maybe there should also be something about Mom-and-pop landlords not being corporations or LLPs. Just a thought.

    Comment by vigi — March 9, 2016 @ 9:42 am

  53. I’m not a real estate pro, but I do know what cap rates are. What separates landlords squawking about poverty from those silently turning a nice profit would seem less to do with their mom-and-popness than to do with when they bought. (Of course there are deviations around averages.) If landlords, be they rapacious corporations or sweet old widows, bought in the 1970s or 1980s or even 1990s, unless they have borrowed against their property (rarely a good financial practice), they should be fine. People who bought recently will have lower cap rates. I looked into rental property and the prices have been too high. You had to be betting on price appreciation to make the investment work. And that’s a pretty bad bet right now. I think the city’s limit on rent increases is less of a problem to some (not all) of these landlords than the fact that they may have made a dud investment, regardless of who or what they are. The mom-and-pop exemption makes no sense to me. Debate whether you want rent control or not, but forget the mom and pop stuff.

    Comment by BC — March 9, 2016 @ 10:10 am

    • BC – you are confusing cap rate and ROI .

      Comment by Angry Ted — March 9, 2016 @ 11:27 am

  54. I hope everyone is enjoying today’s ‘ted talk.’ Ted talk is brought to you today by the California Apartment Association, a group of out-of-town landlords whose sole purpose is to control how everyone lives, not only in Alameda, but for all of California. #CAAIsNotAlameda

    Comment by John K — March 9, 2016 @ 10:21 am

  55. 52. What is it with right-wing nut-jobs and extreme illiteracy?

    Comment by BC — March 9, 2016 @ 10:25 am

  56. “Show up at my house and see what happens bra . Going to get treated like a terrorist you are.”

    I guess we have established, for those who didn’t know, that this is truly an unmoderated comments section and anything goes, including threats of violence.

    Comment by BMac — March 9, 2016 @ 10:30 am

  57. #58. You are correct about the mom-and-pop exemption, it makes no sense. I think it’s a situation in which Tony Daysog has been captured by the mom-and-pop landlord ‘echo chamber’ and can’t hear or comprehend anything to the contrary. He may be able to craft and file the ballot initiative, but I think signature gathering will fail.

    Signature gathers are going to have to stand on corners and explain to renters why some of them don’t deserve the protections that other renters have (in a town that is 55% renters) and explain to other landlords why those other landlords need to pay but the mom-and-pops don’t. I think the signature gathering will fail….miserably.

    Comment by John K — March 9, 2016 @ 10:32 am

  58. First Johnny Boy , you are the out of towner here.

    Two- B Mac , I think that a civilized conversation is key, BUT when you show up to someone’s home be it mine or John John’s that’s crossing the line on how Alamedan’s conduct themselves . Once that line is crossed you can’t expect the other party to watch you invade there sanctity . So I stand by my words , cross that line and you may get more then you had bargained for. Johnny has recently incouraged people to do more of this behavior . If you scare one child for example while they are in their home listening to ” grown ups ” yell outside ….. You may get knocked out. Clear
    enough for you?

    Comment by Ted talk :) — March 9, 2016 @ 11:35 am

  59. Also BC – most Alamedans ( renters ) are doing really well. Not all of them care about CPI. Many renters are educated enough to understand Rent Control does nothi
    H , but drive market rate up and creates dilapidated buildings .

    Comment by Ted Talk — March 9, 2016 @ 11:38 am

  60. 65. I never mentioned the CPI. Maybe you meant it for someone else. Don’t want to further enrage a potentially violent person.

    63. And thanks for the attempted correction on cap rate vs. ROI. The definition I have I was working on is this: “The capitalization rate, often just called the cap rate, is the ratio of Net Operating Income (NOI) to property asset value. So, for example, if a property was listed for $1,000,000 and generated an NOI of $100,000, then the cap rate would be $100,000/$1,000,000, or 10%.” That’s what I meant. If you buy a property in a housing bubble, the cap rate is low. Maybe the definition I have is incorrect, but if it is correct, it’s precisely what I meant.

    Keep up the good work! You may be an even less charming and persuasive front-man for the anti-rent control group than Barbara Thomas or Karin Lucas. Be proud. That is no mean achievement!

    Comment by BC — March 9, 2016 @ 11:52 am

  61. 66. Exactly. Cap rates seem low right now, even with the sky high rents. Why? Because the underlying assets are being valued at such extreme levels, based upon speculation. A family member bought a 4 unit property in Alameda last year, and the sales price would not be justified by the rents in the units, but since it was a 1031 exchange, she had to park that money somewhere to avoid the tax hit. If she had to finance the building with a big mortgage, it doesn’t work out. That is just one reason and one example of why cap rates are not the only factor in determining whether rents are fair. The tenants should not be responsible for the speculative buying of investors or the inflated prices properties are selling for thanks to our facked up tax system.

    Comment by BMac — March 9, 2016 @ 12:06 pm

  62. 66 & 67:

    Cap rates are quoted by current market value, not cost basis. This is done to reflect the opportunity cost of ownership as well as to compare one building’s value relative to another’s, which is the primary purpose of the cap rate.

    Cap rates typically do not include debt service as a cost, as financing is a separate consideration. Cash flow does include interest expense, so an owner who uses debt financing, as most smaller owners do, will have returns lower than the cap rate. Negative returns are common among small owners.

    Cap rates in Alameda for multifamily buildings have been in the 5.0 – to 5.50% range lately, though of course each property is separately valued and rates can vary. Duplexes are generally in the 3’s as they are often bid up to higher multiples by smaller investors. Is 5% return before debt service (and much lower, often negative, when that is included) really considered “hand over fist?”

    One note on owners with apparently low cost basis: it is very common for these properties to have a significant mortgage balance. This can be to finance improvements but even more often is the result of buying out a former partner in the venture.

    The point is twofold:

    A) Owners’ returns are generally far less than is commonly stated by activists
    B) Unless you see the owners’ tax returns or have intimate knowledge of their financing, etc, you really do not know what their profits (or losses) are.

    Comment by dave — March 9, 2016 @ 12:57 pm

  63. That is just one reason and one example of why cap rates are not the only factor in determining whether rents are fair. The tenants should not be responsible for the speculative buying of investors or the inflated prices properties are selling for thanks to our facked up tax system.

    ——————————————

    Cap rates are based on what owners EXPECT to receive in rents. Cash flow & ROI are what they actually realize. An owner’s financing or cost basis, though, have nothing to do with what the rent is. Rents are set by markets (in most of the country anyway). Supply & demand do not care what the cost basis or financing scheme are.

    And the 1031 exchange is a scam enjoyed by no other asset class.

    Comment by dave — March 9, 2016 @ 1:14 pm

    • Isn’t it funny how those without any business model are telling those of us with homes/buildings what and how we should be doing it . I bet you’re an expert on everything you talk about . Stop! Just cause Google told you , does not make it so.since we are giving advice , go live in an area where you can comfortably afford to do so in a sustainable manner . Austerity , austerity and Austerity . If not you may wake up like John Klein looking for a cause to call your own.

      Comment by Ted Talk 101 :) — March 9, 2016 @ 1:24 pm

    • Isn’t it funny how those without any business model are telling those of us with homes/buildings what and how we should be doing it . I bet you’re an expert on everything you talk about . Stop! Just cause Google told you , does not make it so.since we are giving advice , go live in an area where you can comfortably afford to do so in a sustainable manner . Austerity , austerity and Austerity . If not you may wake up like John Klein looking for a cause to call your own. Your financial plan should not be restricting others.

      Comment by Ted of the Talk 101 — March 9, 2016 @ 1:25 pm

      • BC- You sound like a very entitled person. I agree with Ted , what makes you an expert? Do you own any property in town? That you’re basing this off of?

        Comment by Sara B❤️ — March 9, 2016 @ 1:35 pm

  64. Please stick to the same username, thanks in advance

    Comment by Lauren Do — March 9, 2016 @ 1:36 pm

  65. Sara B- welcome to the real estate philosophy hour LOL

    Comment by Teddy the great — March 9, 2016 @ 1:37 pm

  66. Lauren Do – I’m strictly Ted related with names . All Teds so far are me.

    Comment by Teddy the great — March 9, 2016 @ 1:38 pm

    • For people like John Klein and Bc. Think about the fact that there is a person out there who is trying to find his way to America right now. This person does not speak English , but shortly after arriving he/she will surpas your success level while you blah blah blah on the Internet and discuss your philosophy on anything and everything.

      Comment by Teddy — March 9, 2016 @ 1:50 pm

  67. Sara B: I’m not claiming to be an expert. In fact, I explicitly said I wasn’t an expert. (I note Dave’s point on current value vs. cost basis, for example, and stand corrected on the definition.) And I said I looked at property and decided not to buy it. So, apart from my own home, no I don’t. Am I entitled? Depends to what, I guess.

    Ted: your contributions make me think Donald J. Trump may be your idol. He’s a big real estate guy and is full of hot air too.

    Comment by BC — March 9, 2016 @ 2:04 pm

    • BC- Hillary – it’s really a matter of who sucks less at this point .

      Comment by Ted — March 9, 2016 @ 2:12 pm

  68. Ted/Teddy/whatever: you’re also logging in as Sara B. Stop.

    Comment by Lauren Do — March 9, 2016 @ 2:14 pm

  69. 69. dave, you did not understand my point. I know that cap rates are based off of asset value as well as expected rents.

    My point is that the asset values are highly distorted on the owner side of the equation. Rent control is just one more market distortion that will affect the value of the asset. Your cost basis and financing situation will determine whether you made a potentially poor investment.

    If someone bought rental property at the peak of a massive asset bubble or is otherwise leveraged to the hilt, and the potential cash flows of that asset were subject to changes in regulations imposed by an angry mob, they are not morally entitled to still profit from an investment that does not pan out. It was just a risk they took, just like had they purchased equities instead.

    Comment by BMac — March 9, 2016 @ 3:16 pm

  70. Whether or not asset values are distorted doesn’t determine rents, neither does financing or cost basis. Rents are set by markets (well they were until last week anyway). A free & clear owner will get the same rent as a leveraged one for a comparable unit.

    When you are looking at ads for apartments, do any of them state the owners’ debt ratio? No, they state location, number of bedrooms, etc the factors that determine demand and therefore price.

    But the lines about “angry mob” and “morally entitled” line are interesting. What we have here in Alameda is an angry mob that feels morally entitled to below market rent of a private asset, indefinitely without its owner’s assent. Does confiscation of private property — for that is what ballot initiative amounts to — strike you as moral? I haven’t brought morality into this ongoing discussion, to me it’s just business. But since you bring up the M-word, I’d be interested in how & why you think that is moral.

    Comment by dave — March 9, 2016 @ 3:56 pm

  71. Is property tax confiscation of private property? Is planning control? No one has explained why some confiscations are are okay and others aren’t. They all arise from the exercise of collective choice in some imperfect manner or other.

    My point wasn’t about the level of rent in the market. That is, as they say, what it is. It was about why certain landlords are presenting their tales of poverty and woe. Some of them make very little or no profit because they made bad investments. I fear they may be attributing the dire state of their businesses incorrectly to the looming threat of rent control.

    Personally I am very ambivalent about rent control. I do see both sides of the issue. Maybe I’ll wait to see what Alameda! Action News and the Alameda Citizens Teaparty recommend and let that determine my vote on any initiatives.

    Comment by BC — March 9, 2016 @ 4:29 pm

  72. Property tax is broadly applied and used to fund specific public purposes. Rent control is narrowly applied to take from some private parties for the direct benefit of other private parties. Property tax also doesn’t force an owner into a an unfavorable contract that he cannot exit without paying a ransom. Aint the same thing.

    Comment by dave — March 9, 2016 @ 4:39 pm

    • I keep reading there’s a certain race investors took and we just have to deal with it. Isn’t there a certain risk renters took that are lower income when they decided to move to such a desirable area? By that logic…

      Comment by Ted — March 9, 2016 @ 4:48 pm

  73. Does anyone know when the ARC petition hits the street for circulation/signatures? (15 days after filing??). Does anyone in the know know whether any of our local/state electeds or aspirants have taken positions ?

    Comment by MP — March 9, 2016 @ 4:51 pm

    • The households that need help with rent can be helped in other ways. For example there are 750 people waiting on our section 8 list . Of those 750 people there are absolutely no families from Alameda . The Housing Authority checks for Alamedans to give them priority Daily , there are none. Why aren’t all these families applying for a voucher? Their budgeting $1.9 million to enforce the new ordinance . We can solve this problem with the $1.9 million being given as a subsidy to qualified tenantS.

      Comment by Tedski — March 9, 2016 @ 5:15 pm

  74. 82. nailed it. dave, you are the one who always brings up cap rates. I merely explained why cap rates need not be weighed heavily in a discussion about rent stabilization policies. Rather than understand, you do what you always do and move the goalposts and say it is about rents set by markets. That wasn’t my point.

    Your argument in 83 is the best argument for rent control being on the other side of a line than things like zoning or other market distorting actions of governments. Ultimately, that line is somewhat subjective or arbitrary and people might weigh the pros and cons of interference differently. One could argue that keeping people in their homes provides benefits to the community beyond just benefiting the individual. I could be persuaded by such arguments. Whether the arguments will be enough to sway me on this initiative remains to be seen. The political and legal environment between now and November towards currently adopted city policy will be another factor.

    Comment by BMac — March 9, 2016 @ 5:41 pm

  75. 87

    I’m fairly sure this is the first time I’ve brought up cap rates in this blog, second at most, so I’m not sure where the “always” comes in. If you read through, you’ll see it was a riposte to Klein’s claim of outsize profits discovered through “research.” Failure to cite, or even understand, such a basic & widely quoted measure belies any claims of “research.”

    And I like to think I’m consistent in all things, so please explain what you mean by my “moving goalposts.” I mentioned the fact, and it is a fact, that rents are set by markets not by landlord preferences or their financing scheme. I have consistently stated this in weeks of debate here. It’s unfortunate that you are so determined to ignore this fact, but hey, that is your prerogative.

    Throughout this debate you have frequently stated that landlords should be clipped because they are so wealthy and earn such unfair profits. I have consistently stated that A) their wealth is immaterial to the debate and B) neither their wealth nor their profits cannot be gauged by an outside observer. Now you’re telling me that cap rates (ie profit margins) have no bearing bearing on policy. Is that a moved goalpost? Sure seems like one. But I’ll let that pass because for once your’re right. I will however remember that the next time you say landlords should be clipped becuase of their alleged wealth.

    Re: Zoning , etc It is widely, even universally applied for a public purpose.* It does not explicitly confiscate property without compensation (see: eminent domain). Rent control is an explicit interference in some, not all, transactions and contracts, which expressly benefits some private parties at the expense of others.

    But do please tell me how an angry mob thirsting for others; property is moral (a term you recall, that you brought up first). This should be interesting.

    *http://www.yourdictionary.com/public-purpose

    Comment by dave — March 9, 2016 @ 6:13 pm

  76. I have to agree with Brian Keith (32). I am only a landlord now because I want to keep my house in Alameda and eventually move back in, but because after longtime unemployment and cutting our retirement savings in half, my husband had to accept a job out of state where ageism is not as big an obstacle in the IT field. I am paying a mortgage on the house, insurance, property taxes, a HELOC, and rent for the one bedroom apartment we live in. We were unable to refinance when interest rates dropped because of our employment situation so we’ve been paying a good deal more than we would be if my husband and I didn’t lose our jobs in the recession. He has to have two years of solid employment until we can refinance, so we continue to pay high rates.

    We are in our late 50s. We sold at a huge loss or donated most of the contents of our 3-bedroom house. We also have debts because in order to get a job, my husband had to invest in training and certification classes while he was unemployed. We spent approximately $10,000 in repairs and upgrades to get the house ready to rent out. It was nine months after my husband secured a job and we had income again after 3 years of zero income before we rented our house. My husband and I can optimistically expect to live another 30 or possibly 40 years, but it’s not likely that we will be able to work for more than another 10 years. So from the outside, it might look to someone like we are raking in the dough renting out a three-bedroom house in Alameda, but from our perspective, we are just meeting our expenses and slowly beginning to pay off debt. We still may run out of money before we die. We’ve clung to our house because it seems like our best hope for a reasonably safe future.

    When we first rented our house, we had no interest in raising the rent in the foreseeable future. The house was in good repair and we were happy with the rate we got. Now, we’re reconsidering since we have to worry that we’ll have to pay relocation costs for the tenants if we are able to move back. We need to start a savings account for that and it’s beginning to look like the only way we’ll manage the extra to fund it, is to raise the rent and keep raising it as often and as much as we can. I’m disgusted at the tyranny and distain of those who sneer at our “mom and pop” status. We have been struggling for years and will struggle for many more years at a time when many of our peers are retiring or getting close to it. That’s okay. We’re certainly in better shape than many others, we’ve avoided foreclosure and bankruptcy, but we are not exploiting anybody to “enrich” ourselves. We just want want everyone else wants: food, health care, and a roof over our heads.

    I’m not thrilled about revealing so much personal information here, but I think I owe it to the other people in our situation to try to make it clear that the “mom and pop” landlord is not a myth or a scam. In some cases, landlords are renting to people whose income is higher than theirs. There have to be exceptions for situations where an evicition is not just a ploy to get higher rents. Fair treatment should not just be limited to tenants. Property owners who are without fault deserve fair treatment, too.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — March 9, 2016 @ 6:18 pm

  77. Denise, I know you don’t, but someone in your position as owner of a single family home rental (and therefore, by state law, not subject to any rent control) might see passage of the strictest form of local rent control imposed on your apartment building competition (like the ARC petition) as a positive thing. The competing apartment supply dries up because of the price controls, raising the market rate rents for your non-rent controlled single family house. The relocation benefits are a bad deal for you (although you might get around them as a single family rental owner), but the strictest rent control like the ARC petition is really a bad deal for your single family home rental tenants. I think they vote too.

    Comment by MP — March 9, 2016 @ 8:11 pm

  78. 89. Denise, speaking for myself only, when I deride references to Mom and Pop landlords it is generally aimed at medium and fairly large landlords who appropriate the term from people like you, Kate Quick and my own MIL and employ it as a tactic to escape culpability for their contribution to the problem and any attempts at solutions.

    As stated numerous times, you do not need to worry about the initiative. As the owner of a SFH, any restrictions placed on you only apply if you manage to avoid the loopholes the size of Saturn’s rings.

    Comment by BMac — March 9, 2016 @ 10:38 pm

  79. Denise, if I were you (or your single family house tenants), I would worry. About the ARC initiative, in particular.

    About relocation payments, the ARC Ballot Initiative requires you as a single family homeowner to pay them for an owner move in unless your existing lease has special provisions written into it that you probably never thought to include and the tenancy itself did not exceed 12 months.

    ARC Ballot Initiative Sec. 3(q) Temporary Tenancy. A homeowner who is the Primary Resident of a single- family home may create a temporary tenancy. The temporary tenant must be provided, in writing at the inception of the tenancy, the length of the tenancy and a statement that the tenancy may be terminated at the end of the temporary tenancy (pursuant to Section 5 (a)(8) below) and payment of relocation fees shall not be required

    ARC Ballot Initiative Sec. 5(8) Termination of Temporary Tenancy. A landlord or lessor seeks in good faith to recover possession of the Single-Family Home for his/her occupancy as a primary residence, where the landlord or lessor has previously occupied the rental unit as his/her principal residence and has the right to recover possession of the unit for his/her occupancy as a principal residence under an existing rental agreement with the current tenants for no more than 12 consecutive months. Landlord must be in compliance with all requirements listed in Section 3 and any regulations that might be promulgated. No relocation is required.
    Under Sec. 6(g)(g) of the ARC Ballot Initiative, you will pay a Rental Housing Fee. “After the first Board has been elected and in office, the Board may collect the Fee if in its discretion determines that it is more effective to have the Board collect instead of the City. The amount will be determined by the first elected Board.”

    If you want to be a bad single family house landlord and seek to avoid the payment of relocation benefits to your single family house tenants for an owner move in under circumstances in which you do not satisfy the “Temporary Tenancy”, and termination thereof, provisions, you might be able to do that by simply raising the rent to an unpayable amount. I’d speak to a lawyer first though because in discussing this with your tenants in the way of a non-lawyer, you might say something like, “I want to move back in”, to which the tenant might say “ok, pay the relocation benefits”, to which the bad, but non-lawyer landlord might say, “look, I will evict you for non-payment of rent after I raise the rent unreasonably, so forget about the relocation benefits and just let me move back in”. That might be interpreted by a creative, unfriendly, or just dumb lawyer (they can all be equally costly) as an “action to terminate any tenancy, including but not limited to making a demand for possession of a Rental Unit, threatening to terminate a tenancy verbally or in writing…” before the tenant “has failed to pay the Rent to which the Landlord is legally entitled” in violation of Section 5(a) of ARC Ballot Initiative.

    What happens if you have violated Section 5(a) of the ARC Ballot Initiative? Sec. 5(g) of the ARC Ballot Initiative informs that “Failure to comply with any requirement of this Article may be asserted as an affirmative defense in an action brought by the Landlord to recover possession of the Unit. Additionally, any attempt to recover possession of a Unit in violation of this Charter shall render the Landlord liable to the Tenant for actual damages, including damages for emotional distress, in a civil action for wrongful eviction. The Tenant or the Rent Board may seek injunctive relief and money damages for wrongful eviction. A Tenant prevailing in an action for wrongful eviction shall recover costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.”
    So your lawyer, if you have one, or other friend might advise you to avoid those potential pitfalls by doing your owner-move-in-relocation-benefit-work-around by just giving and serving notice of your unreasonable rent increase by whatever the applicable period is required. No discussion. Anyway, you would need to make sure that you have followed the added notice and other provisions under Sec 6(n) of the ARC Ballot Initiative:

    (n) Reporting and Fee Payment Requirements:
    (1) Within sixty (60) days after the adoption of this Article, all Landlords shall be required to file a copy of all rental increase notices, change of terms of tenancy and tenancy termination notices with the Board before serving the tenant the notice. A proof of service with time and date of service of notice shall be included with notice filed with the City.
    (2) If the Board, after the Landlord has proper notice and after a hearing, determines that a Landlord has wilfully and knowingly failed to properly report, as described above, any rental increase notices, change of terms of tenancy or tenancy termination, or pay the Rental Housing fee, the Board may authorize the Tenant of such a non-reporting or fee paid Unit to withhold all or a portion of the Rent for the Rental Unit until such time as the Rental Housing fee is paid or notice filed. After a notice is properly filed or fee paid, the Board shall determine what portion, if any, of the withheld Rent is owed to the Landlord for the period in which the notice is not properly filed or fee paid. Whether or not the Board allows such withholding, no Landlord who has failed to properly report or pay the fee shall at any time increase Rents for a Controlled Rental Unit until such fee or notice is reported. This shall go into effect thirty (30) days after determination of the Board.
    (3) Further, failing to pay the fee or filing a copy of a notice before the filing of an unlawful detainer is a complete defense to an unlawful detainer. No Board action is required for this defense to be alleged or litigated in an unlawful detainer.

    The above would make me worried. And just because it might make you worried does not mean that the ARC Ballot Initiative is of great, or any, benefit to tenants of single family house rentals. The relocation benefits for a single family house tenant are uncertain in the face of a successful work around. Worse, perhaps, is the additional upward rent pressure on non-rent-controlled single family houses created by the drastic rent controls on apartments under the ARC Ballot Initiative. It’s a lot easier to raise rents on single family house rentals after available apartments subject to heavy ARC Ballot Initiative-type rent controls become scarcer and scarcer.

    Comment by MP — March 10, 2016 @ 1:49 am

    • Always remember that ARC/Tenants Together are one and the same. While single family home owners think they have protections under Costa Hawkins , keep in mind that the same group is attacking Costa Hawkins at a state level. So before you know it , you could be side by side with investors with over regulations that make no sense. For what? A group of people less then 100 who are to entitled to apply for Section 8 ( remember of 750 wait list , zero Alamedans ).

      Comment by Ted — March 10, 2016 @ 5:29 am

  80. It’s always amusing to read that ARC and Tenants Together are working together on rental issues and implying a nefarious collusion with a group of outsiders that aren’t from Alameda. This, while at the same time, encouraging people to sign on with the California Apartment Association, a different group of outsiders who aren’t from Alameda that works with landlords on rental issues. Somehow, THAT particular group of outsiders is okay. It’s hypocritical and transparent argument.

    Comment by John K — March 10, 2016 @ 7:26 am

    • John K ( Johnny Boy ) ,

      Who is more of an outsider than you? You’re not in Alamedan Who is more of an outsider than you? You’re not an Alamedan. If you were, you would know better than to demonstrate on people’s front yards . You have no sense of community here, no accountability . Who’s couch are you spending the night on, do you really live in Alameda? Fun fact, I am a member of your Facebook group ARC. I saw that you’re concerned if the RRAC is successful, it would hurt your initiative, your true cause, not housing 🙂

      #JohnKleinIsNotAlamedan

      Comment by Ted Truth — March 10, 2016 @ 8:01 am

  81. Ted Truth: okay, Mr. Accountability…why don’t you tell us your real name, who you represent and where you live? #TedDoesn’tKnowShit

    Comment by John K — March 10, 2016 @ 8:18 am

    • I represent the people who I call my neighbors in Alameda. I represent common sense . I represent an educated point of you . I represent the moderates that think your proposal ignores the most vulnerable people in town and gives too much to grown men trying to make sure their Facebook profile picture is just right. I don’t want to attack any part of who you are ( your business and the beauty of being American) , I do however question why you want me to
      subsidize your choices. I also question your strategy ( i.e. greedy landlords, terrorizing people on their yards , trying to barge your way into the council etc…) have a good day at …work?

      Comment by Teddy keeps it real. — March 10, 2016 @ 8:29 am

  82. #TedTalksAlotofShitBut….YouKnow.

    Comment by John K — March 10, 2016 @ 8:32 am

  83. 95. Lauren said that the ARC website or facebook page had a video of the ARC shoutdown at Frank Matarrese’s house. They’ve never made that public. Have you seen it?

    Comment by MP — March 10, 2016 @ 8:37 am

  84. “I represent an educated point of you .”

    — This might be my favorite sentence ever uttered on this blog. We need a wall of fame for all time greats.

    Comment by BMac — March 10, 2016 @ 8:56 am

  85. BMac, you get the prize for being the 100th post on “This is my fight email”

    Comment by MP — March 10, 2016 @ 9:15 am

  86. Does anyone else read a ghost of Gillett-speak in Ted’s comments? Like twins!

    Comment by Neighbor Lee — March 10, 2016 @ 9:25 am

  87. #TedSeemsALittleOutOfControl

    Comment by John K — March 10, 2016 @ 9:35 am

  88. Here’s something I’ve missed in all this. If someone in my position sells their house, who is responsible for the relocation fees: the seller or the buyer who wants to use it as a single family home? Is this clear or does it have to be part of the sales negotiation? Also, does the relocation fees apply if you wait until the lease is up or are you required to renew the lease whether you want to or not as long as the tenant is not in violation?

    Comment by Denise Shelton — March 10, 2016 @ 1:25 pm

    • Denise,

      If you can’t deliver the home empty, it will cost you in many ways. For example the new buyer has to deal with the tenant. It will make your house less attractive and worth less then a vacant unit. It really depends on how you negotiate the terms of the sale. Most people want to freshen their house and do some upgrades prior to a sale , not if you can’t get the tenant out. All the philosophers in the discussion will have their opinion, but just call a reputable realtor and they will confirm what I’m saying . Anyway you slice it , the value of the home will be decreased either by paying the ransom or dealing with the costly uncertainty of an eviction.

      Comment by Ted — March 10, 2016 @ 1:49 pm

  89. 104. When the lease expires and the tenant remains, so does the tenancy, likely with a month to month term. Under the ARC Ballot Initiative – unless you have a specially drafted lease giving notice at the beginning of the tenancy (which must be for less than 12 month lease) that you intend only to create a “Temporary Tenancy” and follow the procedures for “Termination of a Temporary Tenancy” — or there is one of the listed cause grounds (breach, nonpayment, etc.) for terminating the lease, relocation applies. Simple expiration of the lease, unless you have created a “Temporary Tenancy”, does not relieve you from relocation. That said, you are not required to “renew” the lease of a single family house rental on the same terms, including the rent. What some people may not have thought through is impact that strict rent controls on apartments, including the rent rollback provisions of the ARC Ballot Initiative, might have on market rate for single family house, condo, and newly constructed apartment rentals (post – 1995), which are exempt from rent controls. Strict rent control of older apartments under the ARC Ballot Initiative will tend to drive up rents for single family house, condo, and newly constructed apartment rentals as the supply of available older apartments dwindles (either because the owner withdraws the unit from the market or because, as the rent falls farther and farther below market rate, the older units become too attractive, price-wise but probably not maintenance and upkeep-wise, for the tenant to want to give them up)

    Comment by MP — March 10, 2016 @ 2:41 pm

  90. This may not be the case. There are many investors for single family homes who would be happy with an in place seasoned tenant.

    Comment by Ed Hirshberg — March 10, 2016 @ 2:45 pm

  91. Agreed. That would also be true of a lot, if not most, landlords of all property types. Particularly now, a wise landlord could or should opt for the long term, stable tenant, rather than to chase what could be a bubble tenant and, in the end, a vacancy. I think that is what a lot more landlords are doing than has been acknowledged in these debates. But as a factor in determining rents for a single family house rental, the scarcity created by strict rent controls on older apartments such as the ARC version would tend to push up rents on non-rent controlled units.

    Comment by MP — March 10, 2016 @ 3:03 pm

  92. #104 Denise….as far as I can see…you’re sh*t out of luck….having said that I feel your pain…you have done everything right to save your home….Alameda is the only place where being a Dem makes me question life……

    Comment by J.E.A. — March 10, 2016 @ 8:22 pm

  93. As previously mentioned, landlords are doing great… http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2016-03-14/it-s-a-great-time-to-be-a-landlord

    Comment by John K — March 14, 2016 @ 1:37 pm

    • Johnny Boy,

      Why comforts me is that you and the Mailia Vella’s of the world are such extremists , that the majority can’t connect with your message. You are both socialists . That is not meant to be an insult . Just matter of fact.

      Comment by Ted — March 16, 2016 @ 9:18 am

  94. #111. thanks, Doug.

    Comment by John K — March 19, 2016 @ 9:08 am

    • John,

      It says your an assistant sales associate at Forever 21 on your Facebook profile. And I mentioned this earlier your response was LOL . Any gainful employment is to be commended. An honest days work is an honest days work . I’m not in anyway making light of your employment, I’m questioning how it qualifies you to be a housing expert? And no I’m not Doug, I’m from Alameda. Doug like you is an out of towner. The whole ” rent stricke ” talk on ARC is comical . It seems that there is a hierarchy building there as well,huh?

      Comment by Teddy 😎 — March 19, 2016 @ 12:32 pm

  95. Got it. Thanks again, Doug. Lol.

    Comment by John K — March 22, 2016 @ 12:48 am


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