News: Contra Costa

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A proposal to bring a rent-review program to Lafayette received a mixed response from the City Council last week. The proposal, modeled after a program recently enacted in nearby Concord, was prompted by residents’ concerns over rent increases issued by new owners of a particular apartment complex in the city. During the Sept. 25 meeting, representatives from the California Apartment Association and local rental owners highlighted the fact that numerous housing providers in Lafayette not only have rents far below market, but also voluntarily limit rent increases to 10 percent annually. Mallori Spilker, CAA’s local vice president of public affairs,… Read More

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The Lafayette City Council next week will discuss a proposal to require mediation for rent increases exceeding 10 percent. The council will take up the potential rent-review ordinance when it meets at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25, at the Lafayette Library & Learning Center – Community Hall, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd. The proposal is modeled after a program recently approved by the city of Concord. Review Concord’s Rent Review Ordinance and staff report on the subject here. Although no formal action will be taken at Monday’s council meeting, rental owners are encouraged to attend and share their comments regarding the… Read More

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Concord has tapped Hayward-based ECHO Housing to handle mediation services for the city’s new Residential Rent Review Program. The program, which took effect last month, gives tenants the right to nonbinding mediation when they receive rent increases of more than 10 percent during a 12-month period. When informing tenants of any rent increase, no matter the amount, landlords must notify tenants about this program in both English and Spanish, using notices provided by the city and linked below: Notice of Availability of Rent Review (English) Notice of Availability of Rent Review (Spanish) To cover the costs of the program, Concord… Read More

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The Walnut Creek City Council on Tuesday voted to ban marijuana smoking in city apartments. The city amended its smoking ordinance so that anyplace where tobacco smoking is banned, marijuana smoking is prohibited, too. This includes public places, downtown and multifamily housing. Although the smoking ban applies to “vaping,” the council created an exemption for the vaporization of medical marijuana in multifamily housing. The council scheduled the amendments to take effect in 30 days.

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The Concord City Council this month adopted a rent-mediation program that was supported by the California Apartment Association. The ordinance, approved during the May 2 council meeting, will give tenants the right to nonbinding mediation if they receive rent increases of more than 10 percent during a 12-month timeframe. “We’re not trying to price people out of the marketplace so we just have a revolving door of people moving in and out of our community,” Councilman Tim McGallian said, as reported in the East Bay Times.  “But at the same time we understand you have to be able to make… Read More

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The Concord City Council next week will consider adopting a rent-mediation program, a sensible alternative to rent control that’s supported by the California Apartment Association. CAA urges rental housing providers to attend the council meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. in Concord council chambers, 1950 Parkside Drive. The association supports sensible mediation programs, such as the proposal in Concord, as a way to address concerns over rising rents. The Concord ordinance would give tenants the right to a mediation hearing if they receive a rent increase exceeding 10 percent in one year. The mediation proposal comes despite loud calls for rent… Read More

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Richmond will hold a series of community workshops this month related to the city’s rent control ordinance, which voters approved as Measure L in the November election. While the California Apartment Association has pending litigation challenging the measure, property owners and managers must follow this ordinance as long as it remains in effect. In addition to providing information about the rent control ordinance, the city says it will provide resources for both renters and landlords, and computer lab assistance for accessing and completing related online forms. The workshops are scheduled as follows: Community education workshop Wednesday, March 29, 2017 6… Read More

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As early as May, the Concord City Council could vote to adopt a rent-mediation program for rent increases over 10 percent. City staff is now drafting a rent-mediation ordinance based on directions given Monday from the city’s Housing and Economic Development Committee. The committee recommended adoption of the rent mediation program in lieu of rent control. About a dozen rental housing owners attended the committee meeting Monday. The mediation program would be non-binding, and staff still needs to flesh out several details. The move toward mediation comes after CAA helped thwart a move last year for rent control, just cause… Read More

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CAA remains committed to overturning Measure L The California Apartment Association remains undeterred this week after a Contra Costa County Superior Court judge denied its motion for a preliminary injunction to halt enforcement of rent control in Richmond. Richmond’s rent control law appeared on the November ballot as Measure L and won approval despite a strong opposition campaign spearheaded by CAA. “We are disappointed with this week’s ruling but remain committed to overturning Measure L, which has a number of legal flaws, including violations of the U.S. and California constitutions,” said Joshua Howard, CAA’s senior vice president for Northern California.… Read More

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Concord’s Housing and Economic Development Committee on Monday recommended adoption of a rent-mediation program. The committee recommends that such a program address disputes over rent increases of 10 percent or more in months. The Concord City Council last year decided to study rent mediation as an alternative to rent control and rent freezes. During Monday’s committee meeting, members of the rental housing industry voiced support for a mediation program, while tenant advocates renewed calls for rent control. City staff will now draft a mediation program for the committee to review later this month. At that point, the committee could forward… Read More

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