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.


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.