From past experience I propose a possible solution to Alameda’s rent issue. With about 12 years on the rent review board in Vallejo, with two years as chairman, I know Vallejo’s ordinance could be used for renters and landlords in Alameda as it has been for properties in Vallejo.
The headline in a recent commentary (“Rent Control Unfairly Taxes Landlords,” Nov. 19) said it all, but the counter to that was on page one (Landlords Sneak in under Moratorium,” Nov. 19). All this proves that we must have a better control over excessive rents in Alameda.
Part two of two
In last week’s issue I offered my point of view of the how the rents have evolved in Alameda (“Rent Control Raises Its Head in Town,” Nov. 12.) This week I’d like to offer my brief summary of how renters and landlords addressed rent control at the Nov. 4 City Council meeting, as well as my perspective on rent control.
The city has adopted two new ordinances to help resolve landlord-tenant disputes over rent increases. The ordinances go into effect Oct. 1.
The first ordinance contains new noticing requirements for property owners when informing tenants of rent increases. It requires property owner participation at a rent-review hearing, if requested by the tenant, according to a city news release.
The second ordinance formalizes the duties and responsibilities of the Rent Review Advisory Committee (RRAC).
At its July 21 meeting the City Council introduced a pair of rent-related ordinances. The first involved giving some teeth to the city’s Rent Review Advisory Committee, while the second concerned the review of rent increases.
Renting is a convenient and affordable option for residents who do not wish to purchase their own property. Renters pay a fixed monthly amount to property owners rather than hundreds of thousands for their own property. Because of this, many Alamedans choose to rent instead of buy.
On Tuesday, Sept. 16, the City Council voted to abandon plans to create a city-sponsored rents task force, opting instead to allow a local attorney to lead a community-based process to explore concerns about rising rents. The council voted 3-2 to move forward with the community-based process; the community group is to report its findings to the Council on Dec. 2.
The Planning Board stopped short of recommending the city enact rent controls Monday, instead voting 4-3 to ask the City Council to consider setting up a task force to study whether people are being displaced by rising rents.