Rent ordinance

 

City staff proposed several clarifying amendments of the Rent Review, Rent Stabilization and Limitations on Evictions Ordinance at an extended City Council meeting Friday, April 7. The proposed changes were not recommended to overhaul the ordinance, but to fix certain discrepancies. 

 

A contentious 2016 election seasonn pitted Alameda landlords against tenants. A major premise in the heated contest concerned tenants’ rights surrounding evictions. Renters, business owners and homeowners teamed up to form Alameda Renters Coalition (ARC).

The group sought to write tenants’ rights into law as a City Charter amendment and put Measure M1 on the ballot. To give voters an alternative to ARC’s measure, the City put its “Rent Review, Rent Stabilization and Limitations on Evictions Ordinance — Ordinance 3148 for short — on the ballot as Measure L1. 

 

The General Election ballot is set, and Alameda voters will be determining a host of issues in November. Along with voting for the next U.S. President, Alameda voters will elect two city councilmembers, a city auditor, treasurer, school board members and decide on two city ordinance issues.

 

An initiative backed by Alameda property owners that would offer an alternative rent ordinance option appears unlikely to make it on the November ballot.

The Alameda County Registrar of Voter’s office could not verify if the signatures attached to the initiative were valid during the random sample check process.

“It is a pretty complicated process,” said Alameda City Clerk Lara Weisiger. “The Registrar’s office has their own way for calculating whether the signatures are valid during a random sample.”

 

The city’s Housing Authority is hosting free clinics for landlords and tenants on Wednesday, July 27, and Thursday, Aug. 11. The clinics will address the city’s rent stabilization ordinance. The Housing Authority is the ordinance’s program administrator. The clinics will examine tenants’ new rights and landlords’ new responsibilities under the ordinance.

 

City Council decided not to implement a funding plan that would have determined how to allocate the cost of the Rent Review, Rent Stabilization and Limitations on Evictions Ordinance at its meeting on June 21.

The rent ordinance, which came into effect March 31, is projected to cost $1.95 million annually, according to Alameda Community Development Director Debbie Potter and SCI Consulting Group, a Fairfield-based consulting firm that assists public agencies with establishment and administration of taxes, assessments, fees and other special levies. 

 

The city of Alameda’s Rent Stabilization and Eviction Limitation Ordinance that went into effect on March 1 has raised concerns from tenants, landlords and local politicians.

The Alameda City Council adopted the new ordinance to give relief to tenants from the increasing cost of rent in the city and create a process that would suppress landlord-renter tensions. However, the ordinance has created more squabbles between the two sides. 

The passage of Ordinance 3148: A Rent Stabilization and Limitations on Evictions Ordinance has brought turmoil and unrest to the provincial city of Alameda. Tenants dislike the “no fixed cap” clause that allows landlords to raise rents as much as they please. Landlords resent the new ordinance’s paperwork and the costs and requirements Ordinance 3148 foists on them. 

 

Councilman Tony Daysog was one of three signers of a petition for a ballot measure filed with the City Clerk on March 31 that would amend the city’s Rent Stabilization and Tenant Protection Ordinance.

The City Council is scheduled to consider the Rent Stabilization and Tenant Protection Ordinance at its Feb. 16 meeting. If passed, the ordinance would require landlords to offer one-time, one-year leases to prospective or in-place tenants. The new ordinance would not allow landlords to increase rents more than once in a 12-month period.