I watched with resignation the vote in the State Assembly on our own David Chiu’s AB 1482 that would bring statewide rent control to California. The pro-housing forces were quite successful in diluting some of the harm and there’s always a (slight) chance that the bill will be defeated in the State Senate.
But if it’s signed by the Governor, prospective renters statewide will feel the effects as owners of rentals sell their buildings as condos and TICs. Chiu has suggested that he may make further tweaks, which, hopefully, will include exempting our small multi-unit buildings.
Another bill, AB 1481, failed to garner enough votes to move to the Senate. It now becomes a “two-year” bill (shelved for the session) and may reappear next year. This bill imposes “just-cause” restrictions and payments for certain evictions. We, in San Francisco, Berkeley and Santa Monica know that these restrictions grow and spread and eventually give renters a lifetime lease on our property.
Another bill that was defeated, SB 529, encouraged tenants to organize tenant associations and engage in contesting just-cause evictions and other real and perceived grievances by means including withholding rent. This right has been law for years, so why was the bill introduced? Simply another attempt to usurp our rights as owners (yes, we still have a few!)
This crazy bill would have allowed outside groups to gather in the common areas of our properties for their meddling; it originally allowed rent withholding without the money being held in an account, as is now required for holding back rent due to serious deficiencies in the property.
Michael Weinstein, the same guy that collects money and then uses it to fight property rights, has signaled that he will try again with another ballot measure similar to Proposition 10 containing typical housing-killer clauses, including vacancy control and rent controls on newer units. If this initiative gathers enough signatures to appear on the 2020 ballot, we’ll again fight back with passion and dollars.
Again, thank you for all the support, financial and in-kind that you provide us. We are your organization. Let us hear from you with suggestions and constructive criticisms at [email protected].
Noni Richen is the President of the Small Property Owners Association of San Francisco. Reprinted with permission of the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute (SPOSFI) News. For more information on becoming a member of SPOSFI or to send a tax-deductible donation, please visit their website at www.smallprop.org or call (415) 647-2419.