News: Rental Housing Assn. of AlamedaFilter
The Fremont City Council on Tuesday will hear a consultant’s report and staff recommendations on rent control and other policy options for addressing rising rents in the city. The Rental Housing Association of Southern Alameda County, a chapter of CAA, is urging its members to attend the meeting and speak out against the draconian, unnecessary policies being considered. In addition to rent control, the consultant’s report examines “just cause” eviction policies and possible revisions to the city’s existing rent mediation program. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. July 11 at City Hall, 3300 Capitol Ave. Following recommendations from city… Read More
On a 3-2 vote, the Alameda City Council early Wednesday decided to draft just-cause eviction policies. The city attorney will now write amendments to the city’s rent ordinance, adding to existing eviction controls. The city also has a binding-arbitration policy for rent increases over 5 percent. The council is expected to hold a formal hearing on the just-cause provisions in mid-June. Related content: Renters in Alameda win ‘just cause’ eviction protections (East Bay Times, May 17)
After facing aggressive opposition from CAA, a measure to impose rent control and just-cause eviction policies in Alameda has failed passage at the ballot box. Ballots cast to approve Measure M1 garnered just 34 percent of the vote. Rent control measures also failed in San Mateo and Burlingame, although they passed in Mountain View and Richmond.
Voters on Tuesday rejected strict rent control laws in Burlingame, San Mateo and Alameda but approved them in Richmond and Mountain View. All five measures proposing rent control faced strong opposition from local property owners, homeowners, businesses, real estate groups and the California Apartment Association. In Burlingame and Alameda, voters rejected rent control by a roughly 2-1 margin. Ballots cast in favor of Burlingame’s Measure R garnered 33 percent of the vote, while yes votes for Alameda’s M1 earned 34 percent. In San Mateo, the rent control measure also failed decidedly, with Measure Q receiving just 39 percent approval.
The past two weeks have brought some positive developments in efforts to protect Alameda property owners from the ill effects of rent control and related policies. Just this Tuesday, local rental owners and members of the California Apartment Association helped persuade the Alameda City Council to back away from plans to make landlords subsidize the city’s new binding arbitration ordinance, a form of rent control it approved earlier this year. The council had been expected to levy a $130-per unit annual fee on rental property owners. But after hearing from local CAA members, officials agreed to wait until city staff… Read More
Over strong objections from the California Apartment Association, the Alameda City Council has given preliminary approval to a rent ordinance that includes binding arbitration to settle rent disputes. Under Alameda’s ordinance, owners must justify rent increases over 5 percent through a mediation process. Should this process fail, rent disputes will be decided during binding arbitration, which is effectively a form of rent control. With binding arbitration, the city — not the owner or free market — is placed in charge of how much rents can go up. Following this week’s tentative approval, the council will take a second and final… Read More
The Alameda City Council next week will consider placing disputes over rent increases into binding arbitration, a move that effectively imposes rent control in the local market. Under such a system, owners would have to justify any rent increase over 5 percent and participate in a process in which the city — not the owner or market — determines how much rents can go up. The California Apartment Association is calling on its members to attend the meeting, scheduled for the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 16, and speak out against the proposal. The city’s strategy would add layers of red… Read More
The Alameda City Council on Wednesday night approved a temporary freeze on rent increases in excess of 8 percent. The moratorium, which also includes just-cause for eviction, is scheduled to last 65 days. Moreover, the 8 percent cap applies cumalitively over 12 months, meaning that if a property owner gave an increase of 5 percent four months ago, the owner is limited to a 3 percent increase now. See the ordinace for more details. Dozens of CAA members attended the meeting, helping to keep the moratorium temporary. Tenant groups were seeking permanent rent control. The meeting at one point turned… Read More
Landlords must tell tenants of their right to contest a rent increase Before landlords raise rents in Alameda, they must now tell tenants about an appeal process offered by the city. This requirement came Sept. 2 as an amendment to the city of Alameda’s rent-review ordinance, which has been in place for a number of years. City leaders revised the law based on the belief that the review process is not well-known among tenants. Under the update, a landlord must provide written notice of the appeal process at the same time that he or she provides a tenant notice of… Read More