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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Rent Stabilization Section 8 Rent
City of Berkeley
Ordinance - Majority Approval Required
30,378 / 66.9% Yes votes ...... 15,001 / 33.1% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Results as of Dec 15 1:28pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (88/88)|
|Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text|
Shall the Berkeley Rent Stabilization and Eviction for Good Cause Ordinance be amended to: regulate Section 8 rent above the federal payment standard; exemp certain subsidized units; specify rent deposit interest rate reimbersement; permit City use of Rent Board information; set base rent for certain units; limit eviction of tenent for replacement roommate; and eliminate most criminal penalties? Financial Implications: Revenue loss up to $20,000 FY 2006 to Rent Stabilization Board.
1. The measure would regulate units rented under the federal Section 8 program where the rent exceeds the maximum rent that is subject to federal subsidy i.e. "the payment standard". Under current law all Section 8 units are exempt because under the old federal Section 8 program, the rent that could be charged was limited to the payment standard.
2. Subsidized units rented by non-profit housing corporations to low-income tenants pursuant to a regulatory agreement with a governmental agency would be exempt from the registration and rent regulation provisions of the Rent Stabilization Ordinance.
3. Transitional housing units rented by non-profit organizations as an incident to recovery and shelter programs would be exempt from all but the Good Cause for Eviction provisions of the Rent Stabilization Ordinance except as preempted by the Transitional Housing Participant Misconduct Act. The eviction controls would continue to apply as long as the tenant remains eligible for the organization's program.
4. Interest on security deposits would have to be paid to tenants at the Federal Reserve rate for 6-month certificates of deposit. Current law requires landlords to place security deposits in federally insured bank accounts and pay tenants the actual amount of interest earned.
5. The City would be allowed to use information in Rent Board files for the enforcement of other City ordinances. The current ordinance prohibits such use of this information.
6. The base rent ceiling for a unit that was not rented on the operative base date would be the first rent charged, unless another rent was previously certified by the Rent Board. Under current law, the owner is required to set the base rent as a good faith estimate of the median rent for comparable units.
7. A landlord may not evict a tenant for violation of a lease's prohibition on subletting if the tenant replaces a roommate with a tenant who meets the landlord's customary occupancy qualifications and the landlord fails to articulate a well-founded reason for the refusal. Current law does not expressly restrict eviction under these circumstances.
8. Criminal penalties for violations of the Rent Stabilization Ordinance would be mostly eliminated except where a landlord is found guilty of willfully violating the eviction controls and the maximum penalty would be modified to conform to state law. Under current law, a landlord is subject to criminal penalties for the willful violation of any provision of the Rent Stabilization Ordinance.
9. Obsolete references to an "appointed" Rent Board will be eliminated.
s/MANUELA ALBUQUERQUE, Berkeley City Attorney
|Arguments For Measure P|
The Mayor, a unanimous City Council, and the Rent Board placed Measure P on the ballot to update the Rent Stabilization Ordinance and address issues raised since its enactment in 1980. Measure P is balanced and non-partisan - it benefits both tenants and property owners.
Yes on Measure P guarantees tenants that they won't be evicted for replacing a roommate with someone who the landlord does not have good reason to reject. This protection is important because shared housing is the only affordable housing option for many tenants, especially students.
Yes on Measure P helps low-income Section 8 tenants keep rent increases within the federal affordability standard. This protection is necessary because of harmful Section 8 changes implemented by the Bush Administration.
Yes on Measure P protects property owners from extreme "criminal" penalties for violating the Ordinance's registration, security deposit interest and rent control provisions.
Yes on Measure P removes inappropriate requirements from non-profit organizations that provide subsidized and transitional housing for low-income tenants.
Yes on Measure P simplifies the method for setting the base rent for previously exempt units, thereby eliminating a process owners have complained is onerous and confusing.
Yes on Measure P streamlines the process for calculating and refunding interest on tenants' security deposits, removing the complexities and uncertainties that have lead to disputes in the past. All tenants will receive the same interest rate and landlords will be relieved from the current restrictions on use of the deposits.
Yes on Measure P permits many City functions to be coordinated and operate more efficiently by allowing city agencies to use data already compiled by the Rent Board. Assemblymember Loni Hancock, Mayor Tom Bates, and Councilmembers Breland, Hawley, Maio, Shirek, Spring, Worthington, and Wozniak all urge you to VOTE YES ON MEASURE P.
s/TOM BATES, Mayor, City of Berkeley
(No arguments against Measure P were submitted)
|Full Text of Measure P|
|AMENDING CHAPTER 13.76 OF THE BERKELEY MUNICIPAL CODE TO REGULATE SECTION 8 RENT ABOVE FEDERAL STANDARD, EXEMPT CERTAIN SUBSIDIZED UNITS, SPECIFY RENT DEPOSIT INTEREST RATE REIMBURSEMENT, PERMIT CITY USE OF RENT BOARD INFORMATION, SET BASE RENT FOR CERTAIN UNITS, LIMIT EVICTION OF TENANT FOR REPLACEMENT ROOMMATE, AND ELIMINATE MOST CRIMINAL PENALTIES
BE IT ORDAINED by the People of the City of Berkeley as follows:
Section 1. That Section 13.76.040.A of the Berkeley Municipal Code is amended to read as follows:
Section 2. That Section 13.76.050.D and the introductory sentence to Section 13.76.050 of the Berkeley Municipal Code, listing exemptions from the Rent Stabilization ordinance, are amended and subsections "L" and "K" are added to Section 13.76.050 to read as follows:
This chapter shall apply to all real property
Section 3. That Section 13.76.070 of the Berkeley Municipal Code is amended to read as follows:
Any payment or deposit of monies by the tenant, the primary function of which is to secure the performance of a rental agreement or any part of such agreement, including an advance payment of rent, shall be
Section 4. That Section 13.76.090 of the Berkeley Municipal Code is amended to read as follows:
Section 6. That Section 13.76.130.A.2 of the Berkeley Municipal Code is amended to read as follows:
1. The tenant has failed to pay rent to which the landlord is legally entitled pursuant to the lease or rental agreement and under the provisions of state or local law, unless the tenant has withheld rent pursuant to applicable law; and said failure has continued after service on the tenant of a written notice setting forth the amount of rent then due and requiring it to be paid, within a period, specified in the notice, of not less than three days.
Section 7. That Section 13.76.190 of the Berkeley Municipal Code is amended to read as follows: