Thursday, March 3, 2016

Stop Rent Control in Mountain View

I received this email from SILVAR:

Call for Action!
Stop Rent Control in Mountain View

Call it “rent stabilization,” call it “binding arbitration,” call it whatever you want, it is still the City of Mountain View deciding how much a property owner is allowed to raise rents. This is bad for our community and bad for business!
Come tell the City Council NO to binding arbitration in Mountain View!
Tuesday, March 15
6:30 p.m. until late
500 Castro Street, Mountain View - City Council Chambers

In late 2015, the Mountain View City Council voted against rent control. They did, however, vote to “look at” what a binding arbitration program would be like. Now staff has completed the proposed ordinance. See how bad it is:
Binding arbitration IS rent control!
·         The City will determine by what percent a property owner can raise rents every year. This is an arbitrary number picked by the council.
·         The City will ban raising rents more than once in a 12-month period, regardless of a property owner’s business needs.
·         It will only apply to three or more unit buildings built before February 1, 1995. The City would be placing the responsibility for affordable housing on owners of older properties.
·         If a property owner raises rents twice in a year, or above the amount set by the City Council, or if there is a different rental dispute, the tenant can take the property owner to voluntary mediation followed by binding arbitration. The property owner must then prove to the arbitrator that the rent increase was “reasonable.”
Binding arbitration is bad for Mountain View!
·         The City has not said how much it will cost, but “fees” paid by property owners will fund the program. Adopting a program without knowing the financial impact on property owners is wrong.
·         It is unclear who the arbitrators will be, and there is no requirement they have any experience in rental housing issues.
·         The Ordinance does not even say for how long the arbitrator’s decision will apply!
·         The City already adopted a mandatory long-term lease program (“Right to Lease Ordinance”) and has not given it enough time to see what impacts it will have on the housing market.
Contact Government Affairs Director Jessica Epstein at or (408) 200-0108 if you have questions or are planning on attending the meeting. 

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