Not since WWII have we experienced such a global sense of mass shock and dread as we are experiencing today. But we’re tough, and already are fighting back against the pandemic. I sincerely hope that each of you is well and safe.

As we hunker down for the long-term battle to stay healthy, keep our families healthy, and keep our renters decently housed, housing providers are being bombarded with more harmful and nonsensical legislation rather than legislation designed to help us survive these difficult times. Much of the political rhetoric surrounding the proposals talks about evictions – preventing and prohibiting them.

In the past few weeks we’ve asked for your thoughts about running a small rental business in this difficult climate. It’s very noteworthy that none of the letters mentioned the E-word. The very first letter we received was from a member who wants to lower his renters’ rent while they cannot work, but asked if he could do so temporarily, or would the reduced rent become permanent? In fact, several members asked variations of this same question: “Can we be decently accommodating to our renters without being permanently whacked down by the bureaucratic burdens of already-existing laws.  Why would we want to evict our good, cooperative renters and face finding new renters after this crisis abates?”

Housing providers are being bombarded with more harmful and nonsensical legislation rather than legislation

designed to help us survive these difficult times. Small property owners are once again forced to bear the financial burden. 

The answer is emphatically, we don’t! Small property owners are in the business of providing housing, not

denying it to good people facing hard times. 

 

AB 828: Truly Misguided Legislation

Assemblyman Phil Ting, author of AB 828 and candidate for reelection in November, is willing to place a huge financial burden on housing providers who must meet their mortgage, property tax, insurance, and other obligations without receiving the rental income on which they depend. Similarly, at the local level D-5 Supervisor Dean Preston seeks to make permanent – forever – the restrictions on evictions for non-payment of rent that the Governor imposed on a strictly temporary basis. Preston and his minions aren’t interested in hearing from small property owners or considering their concerns; apparently, we’re the enemy. I once asked him, at a small event we both attended, if we might have coffee and discuss San Francisco rental matters. “NO, there’s no point in our talking to each other,” was his curt reply.

 

May Members’ Meeting Cancelled

Unfortunately, we are unable to hold our regular public meeting in May, possibly beyond. We recently sent 

checks to our own landlord (St. Mary’s Cathedral) for the conference room for our March, April, and May

meetings. They have very generously applied those checks to future meetings. We appreciate the gesture.

Despite the current situation, we continue carrying on the business of advocating for San Francisco’s 

small property owners. Each week, we teleconference with our state group, CalRHA.

We discuss with our colleagues and lobbyists how we can work together to create a more equitable environment

for housing providers. They asked for, and we provided some real-life statements from small property owners – your answers to our May Question of the Month—to present to various key political figures in Sacramento.

SPOSFI members define the small “mom-and-pop” owners with whom politicians often express empathy, but then do nothing to help.

 

Legal Panel Goes Online for Now

We do plan to continue holding sessions like our popular Legal Panel that we held on our regular meeting 

date in April. You can watch them, but only if we have your e-mail address so we can send you the link to watch. If you haven’t yet done so, please do send us your e-mail address at info@smallprop.org.

Thank you all. Stay tough!