Mountain View Tenants Coalition

Don’t sign the landlord petition! Spread the word about the “sneaky repeal” of rent control with this flyer

A fraudulent signature gathering operation was witnessed this weekend in Mountain View in an attempt to put a measure on the ballot to repeal all renter protections in MV. Landlord-hired signature gatherers were seen at the Spring parade, local churches and grocery stores trying to dupe people into signing the deceptively titled “Mountain View Homeowner, Renter and Taxpayer Protection Initiative.” Some called it an expansion of rent control, some seemed unaware of the fraud they were perpetrating, others were honest that it was a repeal of Measure V. In a video, one signature gatherer stated that she was being paid. The going rate is $6 for a signature, $8 for getting it by knocking on doors. Given what has gone on in Alameda, Pacifica, Richmond and Santa Rosa, the deception is not surprising. Some of the Pacifica signature gatherers now face criminal charges.

MVTC members were able to stop some of these folks from having much success by simply standing nearby with a sign and urging people not to sign the petition for the “sneaky repeal” of rent control. We urge other folks to do the same, and to pass out these flyers:

Click here for the Dont Sign flyer in SPANISH

Click here for the Dont Sign flyer in ENGLISH

We estimate that they will need to collect around 10,000 signatures by mid June. Be ready for any aggressive, fraudulent behavior, as seen in other cities. It is illegal for them to misrepresent what they are gathering signatures for. They are required by law to state their names and whether they are being paid or not.

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Learn more about the “sneaky repeal” –

Mayor calls proposed ballot measure a ‘sneak’ repeal of rent control

BY ALLISON LEVITSKY
Daily Post Staff Writer

“Mountain View Mayor Lenny Siegel says a ballot measure proposed by a group backed by landlords would effectively repeal the city’s year-old rent control law.

The measure would suspend rent control when more than 3% of the city’s rental housing supply is vacant — which, Siegel pointed out, it always is.

“The vacancy rate never goes below 3%, so the just cause eviction and rent control elements of the charter amendment would never apply, and so that’s why I call it a sneaky repeal,” Siegel told the Post. “They’ve got a whole lot of smoke and mirrors there.””

 LANDLORD INITIATIVE “MISLEADS” VOTERS AND AMOUNTS TO “SNEAKY REPEAL” OF TENANT PROTECTIONS

PRESS CONTACT: Steve Chandler / (650) 776-4071 / steve@stevenchandler.com

Residents Defend Recently-Enacted Rent Stabilization Protections, Urge Voters Not to Sign Deceptively Titled “Mountain View Homeowner, Renter and Taxpayer Protection Initiative” 

Mountain View, CA– Today 18 residents of Mountain View filed a complaint with the City Attorney alleging that a recently proposed landlord initiative is rife with misleading statements and inaccuracies.  The complaint demands that the City Attorney reject the proposed initiative unless the landlord campaign corrects the falsehoods.

“We know that the landlord lobby will stop at nothing to protect their profits, including by lying to voters,” said Trevoli Welsh, one of the signatories of the complaint.  “Our rent stabilization program is fully funded by a nominal fee on landlords and is actually expected to come in underbudget this year.  Yet the landlord campaign is based on using fear-mongering about the alleged cost of the program, when the truth is that it protects over 30,000 residents at no cost to taxpayers.  That’s a bargain price to ensure that teachers, nurses, first responders and our neighbors can afford to stay in our community and thrive.”

In November 2016, Mountain View voters approved Measure V, instituting one of the first new rent stabilization programs in California in over 30 years.  Over 15,000 households in Mountain View have since enjoyed protections against massive rent hikes and no-cause evictions.  The complaint was filed in response to an initiative submitted by landlords that seek to upend those new protections.

 “Let’s be clear, this initiative is the landlords’ attempt to kill tenant protections in Mountain View,” said Kara Sanchez, another of the signatories of the complaint. “They lost the election less than two years ago, and this is nothing more than an attempt at a sneaky repeal of the voters’ decision to protect the diversity of Mountain View.”

Depending on the outcome of the complaint, the next step for the landlord initiative is to gather the signatures necessary to qualify for the ballot.

 Landlord campaigns to overturn rent control have faced widespread allegations of misconduct during signature gathering campaigns across the state in recent years.  Signature-gathering drives backed by landlord trade groups like the California Apartment Association have been criticized for employing paid signature-gatherers who have misrepresented petitions in order to obtain signatures in Richmond, Santa Rosa, Pacifica, and Alameda.  Just last month, the District Attorney of San Mateo County filed twenty-one felony charges against signature gatherers financed by the California Apartment Association for forging signatures in a Pacifica anti-rent control campaign.

“We want to spread the word to voters about the truth of this initiative,” said Heather Phipps, another person who signed the complaint.  “We urge voters not to sign this ‘Landlord Profit Protection Act.’  Our new tenant protections are an important part of the puzzle in addressing the housing crisis in Mountain View. The landlord initiative is an attack on the people who help make our town strong, it’s an attack on Mountain View as a Human Rights City.  Don’t sign the landlord petition!”

Did you get your ROLLBACK for January – April 2017??

When we won the lawsuit in April 2017, many landlords in Mountain View complied with the rollback and lowered tenants’ rent (to October 2015 levels), starting in May 2017.  Now that the CSFRA effective date of December 23, 2016 has been acknowledged, however, the rollback should have been in effect for January, February, March and April of 2017 too. Tenants who paid their higher rent in those four months are entitled to reimbursement for the amount they overpaid.

For example, assume your rent in October 2015 was $1,800/month, but in April 2017 it was $2,100. If your landlord was complying with the law, he probably lowered your rent back to $1800/month starting in May. But now he should pay you back for the four months of 2017 that you paid the $2,100. He should pay you back $1,200 (4 x $300)!! Click HERE to download a flyer with another example of this second rollback. (If your landlord didn’t give you the rollback starting in May, he owes you even more.)

You can ask your landlord to write you a check for the reimbursement. You can also make an arrangement with your landlord to reduce the rent you pay for a few months until you have recovered the amount you are owed.  Click HERE to download a sample letter you can send to your landlord asking for the reimbursement.

If your landlord refuses to give you this rollback, you have options! You can file a petition with the Rental Housing Committee, or file a case in small claims court.

There are FREE LAWYERS available to help you understand and enforce your rights. They may even be able to write the letter to your landlord for you and/or represent you in a case if your landlord does not comply. If you would like legal assistance, you can call either of these numbers:

  • Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (serves Mountain View): 650-391-0354
  • Law Foundation of Silicon Valley (serves Mountain View): 408-280-2424

It is illegal for your landlord to retaliate against you for exercising your rights.

 

Know your Rights – Measure V Help

Flyer - Spieker Properties 5.13.17_Page_1

Download Flyer to Print Here!

Come and learn about new tenants rights under Measure V

Screenshot from 2017-04-17 18:06:07

Click here to download this flyer for printing.

Court victory! Rent control is in effect! ¡Triunfo en la Corte! ¡El Control de Rentas entra en efecto!

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English below (Spread the word! Click HERE to print this as a flyer/¡Difundir la palabra! Haga clic AQUI para imprimir esto como un folleto) 

Los inquilinos tienen NUEVOS DERECHOS en Mountain View, a partir del 5 de Abril de 2017 cuando el juez William Elfving rechazó la demanda de la Asociación de Apartamentos de California contra la Medida V. Más de veintiocho mil personas están ahora protegidas contra los excesivos aumentos de renta y desalojos arbitrarios

Cómo obtener su renta retroactiva: Comenzando el primero de Mayo (o cuando tenga que hacer su próximo pago de renta) usted debe pagar lo que estaba pagando por su apartamento en Octubre de 2015 si su apartamento califica para ese tipo de pago (Vea la sección de “preguntas frecuentes” más abajo). Esa será la cantidad de renta que usted debe pagar hasta que haya otro aumento legal según la nueva ley. Si usted ha recibido un aumento desde que se movió al apartamento que ocupa después de Octubre de 2015, su renta legal es el total que usted pagó cuando se movió.

Si puede, vea en el internet: mvtenantscoalition.org una carta que usted puede enviar junto con su pago de renta de Mayo donde le explicaría al dueño de su apartamento porqué está pagando esa cantidad: haga clic aquí

Pueda que usted tenga derecho a un reembolso sobre la renta que pagó en Abril 2017, o inclusive sobre la renta que pagó de Enero a Marzo 2017. PERO esto es todavía algo que no se ha decidido legalmente. Lo más seguro que usted puede hacer es pagar la misma (cantidad que pagó en Octubre de 2015) durante los próximos meses, y espere a ver qué pasa legalmente con el asunto del “reembolso”.

Dentro de pocos meses los inquilinos podrán pedir al Comité de Rentas de Vivienda los reembolsos de renta. Habrá información legal disponible para aconsejar y orientar a los inquilinos sobre ese proceso.

El primer aumento legal bajo la Medida V (“ajuste general anual”) será anunciado para el 30 de Junio de 2017, y entrará en efecto no antes de Septiembre 1, de 2017.

PREGUNTAS FRECUENTES: ¿Cómo sé si mi apartamento es de los que cubre la “ley de control de rentas”? En la página de internet de la ciudad de Mountain View hay buena información sobre esta pregunta: goo.gl./RFwxBE

¿Qué pasa si el dueño de mi apartamento me exige pago de renta no legal?

Si el dueño de su apartamento le da “aviso de 3 días para pagar o para desalojar el apartamento” debido a que usted está pagando renta reducida bajo la Medida V, ¡consiga ayuda legal inmediatamente! Llamando al 408 280-2424. ¡No pierda tiempo! También lo que puede hacer es pagar lo que el dueño le pida inmediatamente (dentro de los siguientes 3 días) pero pida al Comité de Rentas de la Vivienda ayuda para obtener un reembolso y reducción de renta. (Guarde todos los recibos o documentos de sus pagos de renta)

¿Es aplicable el reembolso si yo firmé un nuevo contrato por renta más alta que en Octubre de 2015? Creemos que hay mucha razón para decir que sí es aplicable. Si el dueño del apartamento dice que no, busque ayuda legal: mvtenantscoalition.org/legal-resources

¿Obtendré un reembolso por la renta que pagué entre Octubre 2015 y Enero de 2017? No. La Medida V no establece que sea legal pedir un reembolso por rentas pagadas antes de que dicha Medida entrara en efecto.

¿Más preguntas? Llame a la Ciudad (650 282-2514), ehislop@housing.org o visite la página web de la Ciudad sobre la Medida V: www.mountainview.gov/rentstabilization. Watch mvtenantscoalition.org and/or facebook.comMVTenantsCoalition para información actualizada sobre talleres legales para obtener contestación a sus preguntas.

Nota: Este volante es con la intención de proveer información general sobre la Medida V. Sin embargo, debido a que las leyes y procedimientos legales están sujetos a frecuentes cambios y a diferentes interpretaciones, MVTC no puede garantizar que la información en este volante está al día, ni se hace responsable por ningún uso que se le dé. No confíe en esta información sin consultar a un abogado o alguna agencia apropiada acerca de sus derechos según su situación personal.

 

Renters have NEW RIGHTS in Mountain View as of April 5, 2017, when judge William Elfving denied the preliminary injunction against Measure V requested by the California Apartment Association!

The new law includes eviction protections and rent control. Rents roll back to their October 19, 2015 levels in many cases. The law applies to apartments in buildings of three units or more built before Feb. 1, 1995.

On May 1 (or whenever your next rent payment is due), Mountain View tenants who live in covered units should pay what they were paying for that unit in October 2015. That will be your rent going forward until there is a lawful increase under the new law. If you have received an increase since moving in after Oct. 15, 2015, your lawful rent is that initial amount you paid when moving in.

  • Click HERE to download a letter you can send along with your May rent to explain the amount to your landlord.
  • You may be entitled to a refund for rent you paid for April 2017 or even for rent you paid in January through March of 2017. Whether you are entitled to a refund and, if so, for how far back, is an unresolved legal question. The safest thing to do is to pay your “rolled back” rent (the October 2015 amount) for a few months and wait for developments on this legal question.
  • In a few months, once the Rental Housing Committee is up and running, tenants can file a petition and ask for a refund through that process. Legal resources will be available to advise tenants and help them with this process, and understand their maximum rights!
  • Going forward, the Rental Housing Committee should announce the first lawful rent increase (“annual general adjustment) by June 30, 2017, which will take effect no earlier than September 1, 2017.

FAQs 

What if my landlord insists on unlawful rent?

If your landlord gives you a “three day notice to pay or quit” in response to your reduced rent payment, get legal advice immediately! You can call the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley for free legal assistance at (408) 280-2424. Do not delay! You can also pay the higher, unlawful amount right away (within the 3 days) and petition the rental housing committee for a refund and rent reduction later (keep records of your rent payment).

Does the rent rollback still apply if I signed a new lease for higher rent since October 2015? We think you have a strong argument that it does. If your landlord disagrees, seek legal help.

Will I get a refund for rent I paid between October 2015 and January 2017 ? No. Measure V was not intended to provide a refund on rent paid before it was intended to take effect.

How do I know if my apartment is rent-controlled? There is now a handy tool on the city website to help you figure this out: goo.gl/RFwxBE

More questions?

Know your rights event:

Thursday, APRIL 20 ∙ 5:45-7 pm ∙ Mountain View, Community Center, 201 S. Rengstorff Avenue

Information and consultations with attorneys:

Thursday, April 27 5:45 – 8 pm ∙ Community Center, 201 S. Rengstorff Avenue Mountain View

Thursday, May 11 ∙ 5:45 – 8 pm ∙ Mountain View Senior Center, Room B ∙ 266 Escuela Avenue

Thursday, May 25 ∙ 5:45 – 8 pm ∙ Mountain View Senior Center, Room B ∙ 266 Escuela Avenue

Sponsored by:  Presented by Bay Area Legal Aid, Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, the Mountain View Tenants Coalition, and the Stanford Community Law Clinic.

DISCLAIMER
This website is intended to provide accurate, general information regarding Measure V. However, because laws and legal procedures are subject to frequent change and differing interpretations, MVTC cannot ensure the information on this page is current, nor be responsible for any use to which it is put. Do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney or the appropriate agency about your rights in your particular situation.

 

Know your rights, attend a clinic Mondays at CSA

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Rent roll back delayed in court

The court challenge to Measure V means you should keep paying your current rent.  The rent roll back is on hold.

For now, keep paying your current rent to avoid eviction. If you get a 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit, call: 1-408-280-2424 for legal advice!  Also call if you get any 30 or 60 day termination notice from your landlord.

We will keep fighting to get the rollback to October 2015 rent level so watch for news in 2017.

If you get a rent increase, especially one that is more than 7.2% of your current rent, you should also call 1-408-280-2424, because you may want to dispute it under the Rental Housing Dispute Resolution Ordinance. You can also call the city’s Rental Housing Helpline at (650) 282-2514.

¡Nuevas Noticas Sobre La Medida V!

El desafío judicial contra a la Medida V significa que usted debe seguir pagando su renta actual. El retroceso de las rentas al nivel de octubre de 2015 está en espera.

Por ahora, siga pagando su renta actual para evitar el desalojo. Si recibe un aviso de 3 días para pagar la renta, llame al 1-408-280-2424 para asesoramiento legal. También llame si recibe un aviso de terminación de 30 o 60 días.

Seguiremos luchando para obtener el regreso al nivel de alquiler de octubre de 2015, así que ten atento a las noticias en 2017.

Si obtiene un aumento de alquiler, especialmente uno que es más del 7.2% de su renta actual, también debe llamar al 1-408-280-2424, porque es posible que puede impugnarlo bajo la Ordenanza de Resolución de Disputas de Vivienda. También puede llamar a la línea de ayuda de vivienda de la ciudad al (650) 282-2514.

 

 

A letter for your landlord explaining your right to reduced rent under Measure V

With voter approval of Measure V, many households in Mountain View now qualify for a reduction in rent.

Thanks to our lawyers you can now click here or here to download and print a letter to send along with your rent on January 1, 2017. It explains to your landlord or property manager why you are paying reduced rent as specified in Measure V, which goes into effect on Dec. 23. There are two versions in the document, depending on when you moved into your apartment. Fill in and print the one that applies to your situation.

MAKE SURE YOUR APARTMENT QUALIFIES. You must live in an apartment building built before Feb. 1, 1995 with three units or more. Condos are exempt.

To find your apartment’s construction year, type your apartment building’s street address into the search bar on one of the following sites: zillow.com, redfin.com, trulia.com. The year of construction should come up. City staff are also working on a list of qualifying apartments.

How to determine your lawful rent for January 2017:

  • If you moved into your apartment before Oct. 19, 2015, when you pay your January 2017 rent, you can legally pay the amount in effect in Oct. 2015.
  • If you moved into your apartment after Oct. 19, 2015, you can pay the amount you were charged for rent when you first moved in.

FAQs 

What if my landlord insists on unlawful rent? If your landlord gives you a “three day notice to pay or quit” in response to your reduced January rent payment, you have options:

  • Pay the higher, unlawful amount right away (within the 3 days). Keep payment records so you can petition the rental housing committee for a refund and rent reduction.
  • Do nothing. Your landlord may serve you with eviction (“unlawful detainer”) court papers. If you receive those papers, you can defend yourself, but you have only five days to submit papers to the court. Call one of the phone numbers below for legal help right away:
 Law Foundation of Silicon Valley: 408-280-2424, Bay Area Legal Aid: 408-850-7066, Asian Law Alliance: 408-287-9710, Project Sentinel: 650-282-2514 

Does the rent rollback still apply if I signed a new lease for higher rent since October 2015? We think you have a strong argument that it does. If your landlord disagrees, seek legal help.

Will I get a refund for rent I paid between October 2015 and January 2017 ? No. Measure V was not intended to provide a refund on rent paid before it took effect.

More questions? Contact City Hall: (650) 903-6379 or neighborhoods@mountainview.gov. Or watch mountainview.gov and mvtenantscoalition.org for updates and more info. 

Disclaimer: MVTC intends to provide accurate information about what Measure V means for tenants in Mountain View. However, because Measure V is brand new, and all laws can be subject to different interpretations, MVTC cannot be responsible for any use to which the information on this website is put. Do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney or the appropriate agency about your rights in your particular situation.

Eviction protections are in effect! Rent reductions coming soon!

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Thanks to a large community organizing effort, a historic victory has been won for Mountain View! Measure V goes into effect on December 23, 2016, and will limit rent increases on pre-1995 apartments and protect against no cause evictions. To prevent evictions before then, the City Council has approved an emergency ordinance to make Measure V’s “Just Cause for Eviction” protections effective immediately.

Know your rights!

Evictions: Your landlord now needs to state one of the 9 “just causes” listed in Measure V in any termination notice or notice to vacate (if you live in an apartment building with three units or more). Only condos, duplexes, single family homes and post 2016 apartments are exempt from this. If you received a notice to vacate (60-day or 30-day) — even if it was before Nov. 15 — you should contact one of the legal resources listed below as soon as possible for help. If you have been served “unlawful detainer” court papers, don’t wait!

 Law Foundation of Silicon Valley: 408-280-2424, Bay Area Legal Aid: 408-850-7066, Asian Law Alliance: 408-287-9710, Project Sentinel: 650-282-2514 

Rent Rollback: Many households will qualify for a rent reduction when Measure V takes effect on Dec. 23. You must live in an apartment building built before Feb. 1, 1995 with three units or more. If you moved into your apartment before Oct. 19, 2015, when you pay your January 2017 rent, you can legally pay the amount in effect in Oct. 2015. If you moved into your apartment after Oct. 19, 2015, you can pay the amount you were charged for rent when you first moved in. 

New! Click here to download and print a letter you can send to your landlord along with your January 2017 rent explaining the rent rollback. 

FAQs 

What if my landlord insists on unlawful rent? If your landlord gives you a “three day notice to pay or quit” in response to your reduced January rent payment, you have options:

  • Pay the higher, unlawful amount right away (within the 3 days). Keep payment records so you can petition the rental housing committee for a refund and rent reduction.
  • Do nothing. Your landlord may serve you with eviction (“unlawful detainer”) court papers. If you receive those papers, you can defend yourself, but you have only five days to submit papers to the court. Call one of the phone numbers above for legal help right away.

Does the rent rollback still apply if I signed a new lease for higher rent since October 2015? We think you have a strong argument that it does. If your landlord disagrees, seek legal help.

Will I get a refund for rent I paid between October 2015 and January 2017 ? No. Measure V was not intended to provide a refund on rent paid before it took effect.

How do I figure out when my apartment was built? Type your apartment building’s street address into the search bar on one of the following sites: zillow.com, redfin.com, trulia.com. The year of construction should come up. A list of qualifying apartments is in the works.

More questions? Contact City Hall: (650) 903-6379 or neighborhoods@mountainview.gov. Or watch mountainview.gov and mvtenantscoalition.org for updates and more info.

Disclaimer: MVTC intends to provide accurate information about what Measure V means for tenants in Mountain View. However, because Measure V is brand new, and all laws can be subject to different interpretations, MVTC cannot be responsible for any use to which the information on this website is put. Do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney or the appropriate agency about your rights in your particular situation.

Help us get the word out! Click here to print this as a flyer.