Around 1 a.m. at the Feb. 16 City Council meeting, Mayor Trish Spencer revealed that fixed-term leases can be used by landlords to avoid paying relocation costs.
Once word spreads about this loophole, fixed-term leases will proliferate, and stable, community-minded tenants will be replaced by transient, nomadic individuals with little or no interest in building a community.
Since the establishment of Alameda 154 years ago and through numerous real estate booms and busts, landlords and tenants have co-existed without city mandates regarding pricing. Yet the City Council is quickly making policies that will forever change this relationship. Many people believe this council is ill-prepared to pass an ordinance of this nature with many facts not quantified.
The front page of the Feb. 18 Alameda Sun had a photo of Block 11 at Alameda Point. Its caption read, “The San Francisco skyline is visible in the background.” Given that the depicted building is six or seven stories high, it won’t be long before the denizens of San Francisco will look to the east and note the Alameda skyline.
A signature legislation stands before us, one that will affect all Alamedans — renters and homeowners, young and old, newcomers and long-timers.
As we deliberate, all of us on the Council dais will have asked any number of questions, including: if this passes, will this stop the problem that brought us here in the first place, namely stopping excessive rent increases?
We have been landlords in Alameda since 2003 when my husband and I bought a multi-unit Victorian. He was in the construction business, and I was just starting a new career after being travel agent for 30 years.