The following Letter to the Editor was submitted in response to the Antioch City Council Passes Temporary Moratorium on Evictions for Residential and Commercial Tenants this past Tuesday.
I had submitted a written statement to the Mayor in objection to any action by the City of Antioch concerning overreaching and rental contracts to which the City is not a party. The action by the City in this matter is unnecessary and largely disingenuous.
The City of Antioch has failed year after year, decade after decade to protect the homeowners who live in Antioch. Initially an inspection process for rentals was instituted to hold tenants and landlords accountable for poorly maintained property. In the crash of ’08 that went belly up and the City has done almost nothing for the last 12 years.
Then as a citizen’s initiative Measure O was passed creating a business license fee for rental properties. No services have been directly provided to anyone for the fees collected. The inspections were not restarted. Another fail. And, oh yes, because no service is directly provided for this tax there may be a Prop 218 violation.
Now, the council steps forward to interfere in rental payments. It might help if just one of the council members owned an investment property here in Antioch. As far as I know, none do. So, we have five people with little or no experience in the business taking destructive action.
Concerning the County Courts, and I can confirm; no, Mr. Thorpe you cannot file an eviction at this time. The courts are not accepting them. And based on the closure, they won’t be filed for at least 30 days. Additionally, even if a tenant has been served a 3-day notice to pay rent in Contra Costa County the courts have extend that notice period out an addition 10 days before they will even accept the filing. It is questionable if the County courts have this right because it hasn’t been litigated yet. Best guess, it will be found in violation of the State Constitution.
In my business we are allowing tenants who have found themselves without work, ill with CN-19 or taking care of a family member sick with CN-19 to defer part of the rent. We are not waiving or cancelling rent. We require a written statement from the tenant attesting to the statement above.
The City Council is totally out of line, overreaching and in my opinion using this measure as a springboard for reelection. If you want to help, help the property owners who live in town and care about value, quality of life and services. Get the homeless issue under control, begin inspection of rental properties again and hold rental owners and tenant accountable. And, provide some direct services to those of us who pay the taxes here in town.
Principal Broker RE/MAX Preferred Properties