Aaron Young 
Member since Feb 20, 2014


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Recent Comments

Re: “Eviction and Rent-Hike Complaints Skyrocket in Oakland

Landlords are required, by the city, to provide the Rent Adjustment Program's Notice to Tenants at the time the lease is signed and with every rent increase thereafter. This notice informs tenants of the existence of the rent board, rent control and the other protections they have like the new tenant protection ordinance.
If landlords are not providing this notice, they will automatically lose during a tenant petition, even for an otherwise legal rent increase. Landlords who are ignoring the rules have no ground to stand on at the rent board.
As a property manager (and tenant) in Oakland, I have been involved in multiple tenant petitions over the last two years (none prior to the upturn in the rental market btw) and we follow the rules. All were legal increases (we won), some were obviously legal because they were simply based on the allowable annual CPI increase. Petitions for obviously legal increases wastes everyone's time.

It is not feasible for the city to process a landlord petition for every annual rent increase for every unit, including simple annual CPI increases. There needs to be an exclusion for simple annual CPI increases that relieves the city staff.
The more complex allowable increases, though they may be legal (if you don't want Oakland properties to fall into complete disrepair,) can be confusing to tenants and are sometimes greater than the annual allowable CPI increase. It may arguably be better if the landlord were required to get pre-approval of these more complex increases, but the current landlord pre-petition takes just as long as a tenant post-petition. Simply shifting the point of petition does nothing to solve the city's workload. A new landlord pre-petition process would need to be designed and streamlined to save time and hassle on everyone's part.

Posted by Aaron Young on 11/18/2015 at 11:45 AM

Re: “Oakland Seeks to Tighten Rent Control Rules

The debt service issue is moot, given lending requirements that a property has debt service. If anything, the removal of the debt service rent increase will only harm the little guy who wants to buy his/her first 1-4 unit (residential loan) rental property. The law suit mentioned in this article is a good example of the current law working. That landlord backed down and had to pay the tenants a HUGE amount of money to resolve their complaints. The current law and system worked! Most landlords are not bad people, but there are a few bad actors in any industry.
It may be arguable to extend capital improvement payback periods for large improvements, but 20 years seems punitive. Eight seems more realistic. Landlord's almost never get fully paid back anyway, as tenants move around. I think we all want our city to improve and be repaired when needed! Repairs aren't free and many landlords are not wealthy.
For regular rent increases, there is already rent control shielding tenants from large market swings. The stories about tenant rents going up hundreds of dollars due to capital improvements are rare, and are only applicable to tenants who have rents well below the market rent because landlords do not raise rents above market levels. Usually, the "below market" tenant's new rent is still far below market AND they get the benefit of capital improvements to their home.

8 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Aaron Young on 02/20/2014 at 8:39 PM

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