Concord Set to Talk Rent Control and Discuss Series of Recommendations

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Graphic Provided by MTC

On Wednesday, the Concord City Council will hold a special meeting that will consider a report by the Ad-Hoc Committee on Rental Housing and consider a series of recommendations.

In total, 8 recommendations are being brought forward for consideration by Mayor Carlyn Obringer and Councilmember Dominic Aliano, including limiting rent increases to no more than either 5% or 7%.

The move comes as the State Assembly passed AB 1482, which would until January 1, 2030, prohibit an owner of residential real property from increasing the rental rate for that property in an amount that is greater than 5% plus the percentage change in the cost of living, as defined, more than the lowest rental rate in effect for the immediately preceding 12 months, subject to specified conditions.

This is the same bill that locally Assemblyman Tim Grayson supported, Assemblymember Jim Frazier opposed, and Rebecca Bauer-Kahan did not cast a vote on.

The bill still needs to be passed by the Senate before heading to the Governors desk.

According to the Staff Report, the Committee considers the recommendations as striking a balance between enhancing the quality of life for renters and supporting continued investment in rental housing in the Concord community. This comes after a total of 8-meetings over the past three years with more than 12-hours of public testimony.

In January, Concord established the Ad-Hoc committee on Rental Housing (Mayor Obringer & Councilmember Aliano) to discuss and review state and local requirements regarding tenant/landlord responsibilities, existing housing needs within the city and the development of proposed housing objectives and strategies for consideration by the full council.

On May 29, the committee held a community meeting where they had approximately 130 people in attendance had had 70-speakers that provided 4-hours of testimony.

 

Here are policies recommended by both committee members:

 

  • 4.1 Modify the Residential Rent Review Program (City of Concord Ordinance No. 17-7)
    Amend the existing rent review ordinance to provide tenants with recourse to challenge large rent increases by replacing the current Rent Review Panel with an Administrative Law Judge whose final determination would be binding on units developed prior to 1995 and advisory for all other units. (Attachment 2 is the current Rent Review Ordinance). The Committee did not agree on the threshold annual increase that would allow a tenant to take advantage of the Rent Review Program (mediation, reconciliation, review by an Administrative Law Judge). Below are two proposed thresholds for Council consideration: Aliano: Increase in excess of 5% in a 12-month period. Obringer: Increase in excess of that established in AB 7241 if that legislation becomes law. Currently written as 7% plus CPI.
  • 4.2 Extend Property Owner Notice Requirement for Rent Increases Provide tenants with additional time to plan for increased rent expenses. Policy would increase the noticing period from the State requirement of 30 days to 60 days for an increase less than the threshold set in 4.1, and from 60 days to 90 days for an increase more than the threshold set in 4.1.
  • 4.5 Require Property Owners to Offer Minimum Lease Term of One Year Provide tenants the opportunity to secure 12 months of rent security at the commencement and renewal of rent terms. Tenant will retain the option to request a month-to-month agreement.
  • 4.6 The City should Continue to Support Regional and Statewide Solutions Examples include Land Trusts and Non-Profit Acquisition of Properties to Preserve Long-Term Affordability: Increase the supply of permanently affordable housing available to residents.
  • 4.7 The City should Continue to Support State Legislation that Requires a Statewide Rent Registry
    Support statewide legislation to increase publicly available rental information. However, as the State has declined to pursue this as part of this year’s legislative package, the Committee is recommending Council consider establishing a Citywide rent registry that would be obtained concurrent with Business License application renewals.
  • 4.8 The City Should Enhance its Communication Regarding Affordable Housing Programs and Resources for Tenant Access to Counseling / Legal Representation
    Provide tenants with greater information regarding tenant rights and access to eviction defense.

The following policy was recommended by Mayor Obringer:

 

  • 4.3 Require Relocation Assistance for Tenants
    Provide tenants with relocation assistance in the event of non-renewals or other displacements that are not the fault of the tenant. The amount of assistance would be the greater of $5,000 or two times the monthly average City of Concord rent based on unit size

The following policy was recommended by Councilmember Aliano

 

  • 4.4 Establish a Just Cause Eviction Ordinance
    Ensure evictions are only allowed in situations in which there is just cause by the property owner. Property owners’ allowable reasons for eviction would include failure to pay rent, breach of lease, nuisance, and failure to give access. The following allowable reasons would require the payment of relocation assistance: necessary and substantial repairs requiring temporary vacancy, owner move-in, withdrawal of unit permanently from rental market, and demolition.

 

If You Go:
Concord City Council Meeting
6:00 pm on June 19, 2019
Council Chamber located at 1950 Parkside Drive

For the 145-page Staff Report & Meeting Agenda, click here


2 COMMENTS

  1. Way to go Concord wasting everyone time and effort. This is already going to be a state law at some point as ECT pointed out with AB 1482. Government should stay out of private property rights. Owners should be able to charge what people are willing to pay. End of story

  2. Exactly bill, if you can’t afford to live there then you can’t afford to live there period. People need to live within their means and that includes living somewhere that they don’t have to give an arm and a leg. The owners shouldn’t necessarily try and abuse the renters but at the same time they should be able to charge what they want.

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