Mountain View Rental Housing Committee Update June 2017

News from the Mountain View Rental Housing Committee

Background:

On November 8, 2016, the residents of the City of Mountain View voted to adopt Measure V, also known as the Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act (CSFRA), to stabilize rents and to provide just cause eviction protections for certain rental units in Mountain View.

Effective April 5, 2017, rent levels and rent increases for covered rental units, built before February 1, 1995 must comply with the CSFRA. Single family homes, condominiums, and duplexes are not covered by the CSFRA.

Key Provisions:

1.   Rent Rollback:

a. For tenancies commenced on or before Oct. 19, 2015, the allowable rent 

is the rent in effect on Oct.19, 2015, 

b. For tenancies commenced after Oct. 19, 2015, the allowable rent

is the rent the tenant paid at the start of the tenancy.  

 2.   Allowable General Annual Rent Increases

In September of each year, including 2017, landlords may increase rents in an amount equal to the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) over the prior year (as determined by the Rental Housing Committee). On May 22, 2017 the Rental Housing Committee announced that the annual general adjustment of rent for 2017 is 3.4%. This rent increase for covered units is allowed to take effect starting September 1, 2017. Landlords must provide tenants with at least 30 days’ advance written notice of such rent increase. A rent increase is only allowed if landlords are in compliance with all provisions of the CSFRA.

 3. Initial Rent Levels and Rent Increases for New Tenants

Landlords may set the initial rents for new tenancies if the prior tenant voluntarily vacated the Rental Unit or was evicted for a just cause. After a tenant moves in, rent increases are limited to the annual general adjustment.

4. Eviction protections applicable to Covered and Non-Covered Rental  Units

Just cause is required for evictions from Rental Units with an initial certificate of occupancy prior to April 5, 2017. Just cause reasons include a tenant’s failure to meet the obligations of a rental agreement, non-payment of rent, and demolition of the unit or owner move-in, subject to limitations in the Law. Any notice to terminate a tenancy for just cause must state with specificity the basis of the termination. Certain just cause evictions require tenant relocation assistance and compliance with other provisions.  Please refer to the CSFRA for the full provisions.

City Council appointed the following people to be on the Rental Housing Committee:

Chair Vanessa Honey, Vice-Chair Evan Ortiz

Committee Members: Matthew Grunewald, Tom Means, Emily Ramos, Julian Pardo de Zela (alternate)

Rental Housing Committee Meeting, 5/22/2017

The meeting was called to order at 8:00pm

Oral Communications from the Public began.  Most of the public communication was from landlords. Below are some sample comments.

  • The regulation states that landlords should refund over payments because of roll back since January 2017.  Landlords questioned how that would be monitored.
  • A previous Councilman, who had been against Measure V, commented that it was going
  • to be difficult to manage
  • Landlords who kept rent at below market rates will be hurt the most
  • Rental property expenses (water, sewer, electricity, garbage, and repairs) are going up but rent income will not.
  • Measure V benefits some people that may not need it.

Action taken:

  • Committee adopted an annual general adjustment of rent 3.4% for 2017, however, landlords wanted 6%.
  • Committee adopted ‘Rules of Conduct’ similar to Mountain View City Council’s.

For future meetings:

  • Committee will be discussing ‘What is a fair rate of return for landlords’
  • Committee will be schedule two Stakeholder meetings, one for Tenants, one for Landlords.  They will be posted on the city website and will ask the audience to be ready to answer a list of perhaps 3 prepared questions.

Meeting adjourned 11:15pm

— Tamara Lewis, Observer

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