Saturday, July 04, 2009

Does the Tenants Union Own the Board of Supervisors?

It is incomprehensible to me how the Board of Supervisors could pass the so called "Renters Economic Relief Package." I agree that the government should have regulations in place ensuring that landlords maintain buildings in order to maintain a basic standard for tenant health and safety. But that's it. Where do these people get off telling property owners that they need to accept sub-tenants and hardship cases who cannot afford rent? If you can't afford to live in the City why don't you... move to Sacramento? Who says anyone has the right to live in any particular place? You live where you can afford to live. Hopefully Newsom will veto this nonsense.

For those who are not aware, according to the Tenants Union website this package of amendments to the city’s rent control law consists of three parts:
•Suspend any rent increases which will cause a tenant’s rent to exceed 33% of their income if the tenant is unemployed, has had wages cut or is living on a fixed income and has not received a cost of living increase. This provision expands the law’s existing provision which enables the Rent Board to suspend rent increases based on “tenant hardship” by expanding when a tenant can apply for hardship and defining hardship as any rent increase which would cause a tenant’s rent to exceed 33% of their gross income.
•Expand the rights of tenants to add roommates to help pay the rent. This provision will let tenants bring in roommates so that the rent will be more affordable. The number of roommates would be limited by San Francisco Housing Code provisions which establish occupancy limits based on the size and number of bedrooms in an apartment. Currently landlords are able to limit the number of tenants to levels below what the law allows.
•Limit the amount of “banked” rent increases which can be imposed in any one year. Current law allows landlords, to “bank” annual rent increases and impose them all at once at a later date, often resulting in rent increases of 20% or more. This provision will limit these banked rent increases to no more than 8% in any one year.


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