Friday, December 21, 2007

Western Center on Law & Poverty Legal Analysis Highlights Flaws of Landlords’ Scheme

A new legal analysis released today by the Western Center on Law & Poverty brings to light the devastating impact the Landlords’ Hidden Agendas Scheme could have for all California renters, but particularly seniors, the disabled and working families. Their analysis warns that the measure would abolish rent control and other laws which increase the supply of affordable housing, and would threaten laws intended to protect tenants. In fact, they say the measure could “undo centuries of real property law and consumer/tenant protections.”

To read the full analysis, visit:

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Bah Humbug! Landlords Make Another Run At Renters in San Francisco

Merry Christmas Indeed! Did you know that Landlords often choose the Christmas season to send eviction notices to tenants? Why? Because with new 5 day notices - counting weekends and holidays it's often the case that a renter may have only a day or two to respond to a notice.

And thats exactly what a landlord wants. To read more check out this blog on stupid landlord tricks

Thursday, December 13, 2007

California Landlords: The Grinches Who Want to Steal Rent Control

By Ted Gullicksen, San Francisco Tenants Union

With the holidays just around the corner, most people are focusing on spending time with family and friends. But, if you’re a California landlord, you are counting the days until your deceptive anti-senior, anti-tenant, rent control abolition measure qualifies for the ballot. While most people take time during the holidays to reflect upon the things they have that make them fortunate – like a safe home for their family to live in – the landlords are anxiously awaiting the day they can kick those people out on the street.

California landlords have spent around 2 million trying to qualify their measure for the ballot, all with the hopes of getting rid of rent control and renter protections. These are protections that seniors, veterans, single moms and hardworking families depend upon.

Who would do such a thing you ask? Well, it reminds me of the Dr. Seuss story about the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. If he were writing about the Landlords’ Scheme today, this is what he might say:

The Landlords hated rent control! All the fairness and protections! So, they decided to take California in a whole new direction.

“We’ll get rid of rent control, 60 day notices too.
Those seniors and working moms won’t know quite what to do.
But voters like rent control and won’t want to end it.They won’t want to put this in the Constitution or amend it.
We must come up with a plan, a trick some would say.
We need to make certain we get our way!”

And so their Hidden Agendas Scheme was hatched out of greed.
They were only interested in filling their own selfish needs.
But they weren’t prepared for strong opposition.
And that is exactly what we will have – a broad coalition!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Perris City Council extends rent-increase moratorium at mobile home parks

The Riverside Press Enterprise covered the following story related to the City of Perris and the city councils decision to protect renters from "greedy Landlords" - notice the quote from the councilman at the end of the story - we've attached the link as well as the body of the story

PERRIS - The Perris City Council voted Tuesday to extend a moratorium on rent increases in the city's two mobile home parks for nine months in light of concerns over providing affordable housing for seniors.

The council originally imposed a 45-day moratorium on rent increases in mid-November. On Tuesday the council voted 4-1 to extend the rent moratorium on mobile home lots until Sept. 30.

Peter Herzog of the Manufactured Housing Educational Trust appealed to the council to reject a moratorium.

Herzog said imposing a cap on rents, especially the rent of vacant spaces, would ultimately be counterproductive to accomplishing any capital improvements in the mobile home parks.

Herzog cited a study on mobile home parks done by the city of Yucaipa in San Bernardino County that finds city rent control ordinances often precede the deterioration of mobile home parks.

"The council's action, particularly on the vacant spaces, will limit capital improvements in the park and (permanent) rent controls would be absolutely devastating to that," Herzog said as he left the council chambers. "With that facing you, why would you put out a significant amount of money if you're not going to recover that? Capital improvements are not free."

Nonetheless, the majority of council members supported continuing the moratorium that caps the rent on mobile home spaces at $470.

Councilman John Motte, the lone opposing vote, questioned and criticized any municipal involvement with rent control.

"Let the market rates prevail," Motte said. "It's ridiculous for us to get in a maze of bureaucracy over this."

City attorney Eric Dunn said that state law prohibits rent moratoriums on long-term leases, which applies to about two-thirds of the mobile homes in question.

Councilman Al Landers and others raised concerns about what he sees to be excessive rent increases. Most recently a rent increase in October took rents to $470, and another in October 2006 raised them to $435, according to Herzog.

"We've just got to fend for people in some way, especially the elderly," Landers said, adding that "boarded up buildings, broken windows and trash," in the parks' vacancies are unacceptable.

John Fatone, chairman of Park Place Manufactured Homes Community Group, initiated the call for more capital improvements in the parks that led to the current rent moratorium.

He did not attend Tuesday's meeting because he was ill.

"I'm looking out for the same people I started all of this about -- the people on fixed incomes, to make sure they're protected from greedy landlords," Fatone said by telephone.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Real Battle Has Just Begun

Turning in 1.1 million signatures to qualify the Homeowners Protection Act for the June 2008 Ballot was just the beginning. With that behind us, we can focus our attention on the real battle: defeating the landlords’ Hidden Agendas Scheme. We want to send a loud and clear message to the landlords that that we won’t let Californian voters fall for their ruse, and that momentum is building for true eminent domain reform.

Let’s continue to fight the good fight. Tell all of the tenants and senior groups you work with to get organized and get involved. Make sure that in every region we have a good team assembled to do battle on the ground. Figure who are our best spokespeople and who are the victims of landlords’ greed.

No one is going to fight this battle for us. But we can easily win this battle if we commit to being actively engaged from now until Election day.