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Agenda Item

8 20-0228 Subject: Tenant Protection, Just Cause, & Rent Ordinance Amendments From: City Attorney Parker, Councilmember Bas And Pro Tem Kalb Recommendation: Adopt An Ordinance Amending Chapter 8.22 Of The Oakland Municipal Code (Residential Rent Adjustments And Evictions) To (1) Limit The Maximum Rent Increase In Any One Year To Conform To State Law; (2) Make Failure To Pay Required Relocation Benefits An Affirmative Defense To Eviction; (3) Limit Late Fees; (4) Prohibit Unilaterally Imposed Changes To Terms Of Tenancy; (5) Add One-For-One Replacement Of Roommates To The Definition Of Housing Services; (6) Prohibit Eviction Based On Additional Occupants If Landlord Unreasonably Refused Tenant's Written Request To Add Occupant(S); And (7) Strengthen Tenants' Rights And Enforcement Of Tenants' Rights Under The Tenant Protection Ordinance [TITLE CHANGE]

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    Abigail Baird almost 4 years ago

    I am a renter in a D6 live work loft. Please support expanded protections for renters. I am reiterating a comment made my Jaron Hollander as we live in the same building. In 2018 our building was bought out by Green Sage LLC a Colorado based cannabis company. We now live under the thumb of out of state, corporate landlord who refused to provide an onsite manager. They neglect repairs, regularly attempts to change the terms of our tenancy, attempts to raise our rent with little or retroactive notice, imposes ”CAM fees” with little or retroactive notice and many other forms of harassment. Worst of all, we live in constant fear of eviction. We live in a 20 unit building were all of the residence are affected. We have an open case with the rentboard but between covid-19 restrictions and the backlog of cases the city of Oakland is managing we have not been able to resolve our issues for two years. We need more protections from the city and this is a small step in the right direction.

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    Melanie Letendre almost 4 years ago

    We need these protections for our vulnerable populations. We needed these before the pandemic hit but now that it is here, these amendments are CRUCIAL to the SAFETY of tenants and their ability to shelter-in-place without harassment. Please pass these, we are counting on you!

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    Jessica Smolinski almost 4 years ago

    I am a resident of D2 and I strongly support passing these amendments. Corporate landlords bought up large parts of Oakland's rental housing stock. Their business model depends on displacing long-term Black and Brown tenants living in rent-controlled units so that they can rent units at higher inflated prices. Despite our existing laws against tenant harassment, harassing behavior by bad actor landlords can still be an effective way of removing tenants from their homes.

    We are seeing the devastating impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic on our community and these changes are necessary for the welfare of Oakland tenants. Right now the City Council must act to keep Oakland residents safe and housed. The new amendments will strengthen the Tenant Protection Ordinance by closing loopholes that some landlords are exploiting to harass and retaliate against tenants.

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    Jesus Chavez almost 4 years ago

    I am an undocumented immigrant, beneficiary of DACA, tenant in D2 and an employee of a nonprofit in D5. I support the passage of these protection upgrades. Undocumented immigrants like myself may not have the privilege to vote for our council members, but we are residents of Oakland, and I voice my support for this upgrade because our council members still represents us as tenants and contributors to the Oakland economy. 112,300 immigrants reside in Oakland, or 27 percent of the total population, of which 61,100 non-citizens residing in Oakland are potentially at risk of deportation (data gathered by Vera Institute of Justice via US Census Bureau and New American Economy). Please guarantee the safety of immigrant families from preventing landlords to report them to ICE as a threat or warning of eviction.

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    Jaron Hollander almost 4 years ago

    I am a renter in a D6 live work loft. Please support expanded protections for renters. Our building was bought out by Green Sage LLC an out of state cannabis company. We now live with a corporate landlord that neglect repairs, regularly attempts to change the terms of our tenancy, attempts to raise our rent with little or retroactive notice, imposes ”CAM fees” with little or retroactive notice and many other forms of harassment. Worst of all, we live in constant fear of eviction. We need more protections from the city and this is a small step in the right direction.

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    Grant Rich almost 4 years ago

    I am a resident of D3 and I strongly support passing these amendments. Many Oakland residents are about the lose their incomes again, as the state moves to close businesses due to the surge of case numbers. Now more than ever, we need protections for Oakland renters from unscrupulous landlords. Please, protect Oakland renters and pass these amendments.

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    Rick Philips almost 4 years ago

    You cannot hand over to renters the control over who lives on the owners’ property.
    If this is a joke, it’s not funny. It would harm all of Oakland renters just trying to live peacefully.
    The courts will never approve this violation of the Constitution.
    We cannot manage rental homes safely without control over who lives there.
    How could the City Attorney let this one go to the Council?
    Owners will take this to court immediately and spend whatever it takes to protect residents from this terrible mistake. We would have no other choice.
    Of course, the activists don’t care how much City money will be spent defending this blatantly illegal action. It’s not their money.

    The Late Fee cap of 5% has already been in effect in Alameda County for decades. The courts do not need your law.
    The other Late Fee cap of $50 is inflexible over time, illogical, unnecessary, and also blatantly illegal.

    Apparently, the City Attorney is no longer counseling the City Council to avoid unnecessary litigation over outrageously illegal proposals by activists.
    Will the resulting lawsuits increase her budget and staffing?
    Is this a conflict of interest that needs more attention?
    Must the Council members protect the City themselves? Or must they simply continue to rubberstamp more lawsuits against the City?
    Under the current circumstances, don’t we all have more important work on behalf of our residents and the whole City? And much better uses of the money?

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    Christina Borowski almost 4 years ago

    Please support renters *and* mom-and-pops. The proposed TPO amendments, as written, will do real harm to Oakland residents, homeowners & renters alike. As other commenters have pointed out, minorities, seniors, and other vulnerable residents will be hardest hit. Tenants have an eviction moratorium, existing protections, and pro bono lawyers in place right now. They're not in immediate danger of losing their housing. However, some small housing providers are at risk of losing their housing and their life savings, too. No other group has been legislated to keep providing services through COVID-19 without pay *except* housing providers. Before we start making things even harder on these neighbors, let’s make sure we have a plan first. And let’s work together to do it. Let’s bring *local* renters and *local* property owners together to hash out the details. You'll be amazed how much better off we all are (even the ambitious politicians). If you care about Oakland, stop dividing us. Oakland deserves win-win. We can and should have tenant protections *and* a way for local owners to survive. But not this way. Please don’t kill our local economy. Don’t rush us into more problems — slow down so we can work together to actually solve things, for all our residents.

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    Maia Vlcek almost 4 years ago

    My name is Maia Vlcek, and I am a resident in District 6. I strongly urge you to pass these upgrades to Oakland tenants protection. As a tenant myself who has been unemployed during the pandemic, I personally understand the importance of making sure everyone stays housed. Now and in the future it is extremely important that we house and protect our community, particularly our Black, brown, transgender, disabled, and low-income communities, who are the residents that will be most affected by the passing of these upgrades. We must make sure that no one is forced out of their home.

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    Britta Houser almost 4 years ago

    This is good for our economy and our communities. Please support this ordinance amendment.

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    Norma Francisco almost 4 years ago

    I am opposed to these draconian laws that can send a senior citizen to jail. I wrote more extensively about how we can and should work together to bring Oakland back to a vibrant city. I don't know if my comments went thru because I hit send before I signed up. I beg renters and property owners to work together for viable solutions that will improve our city, not continue to destroy it. Let's show renters how to purchase property for example using Peter Harris' Commercial Property Advisor Youtube videos. Let's bring commerce and industry back to Oakland. A house divided against itself cannot stand. Norma Francisco, PhD. Owner Occupied Duplex since 1977.

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    Liana Molina almost 4 years ago

    I am a D7 resident and voter and I strongly support this ordinance. Please protect Oakland renters and vote yes on this policy today!

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    H C Davis almost 4 years ago

    Any further consideration by the full City Council needs to be postponed until all stakeholders are included in the discussion, because a rushed process does not uphold Oakland’s diversity: Oakland is known for its diversity which is best upheld when all community members are included in policy making discussions. We need to ensure legislation actually strengthens our communities rather than tearing our neighborhoods apart. Unvetted legislation like this actually hastens gentrification and harms low income and minority residents immensely.

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    Kian Lavi almost 4 years ago

    I support these strong protections for renters, as a tenant in West Oakland.

    Thank you so much.

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    liz suk almost 4 years ago

    I am D7 resident. Too many of our community members have so negatively impacted by the pandemic - we have the highest rates of covid-19 and we are most impact with the loss of low-wage jobs and fear of eviction. At the beginning of the shelter in place, when we conducted a wellness check with over 50K residents in Alameda County, we found that many folks included housing insecurity as an issue they are more concerned and worried about. We need to continue with tenant protections in this city and continue to ensure that our most vulnerable community members are taken care and we don't exacerbate our already burgeoning homeless population. We have felt the negative impacts of gentrification on our communities prior to the covid crisis and now we have an opportunity to ensure we are taking the steps to protect our most vulnerable neighbors now. We urge the City Council to take the steps need to do this today. Thank you Nikki Bas and Dan Kalb for your work with community organizations on renter protections.

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    Lauren Chiarulli almost 4 years ago

    I am an Oakland renter living in D3. Please pass these strong protections for renters. In a homelessness, economic, and pandemic crisis, we need to keep people housed. Housing is a human right. Thank you.

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    Georgia Richardson almost 4 years ago

    There is no reason to rush these amendments through, If you are truly concerned about all Oakland residents, you would listen to the recommendation and suggestions of those who provide housing as their profession. If renters are being evicted during COVID-19, the owners are breaking the law and should be individually dealt with! Responsible and small housing providers should not be the casualty of housing policy that is not balanced and does not protect the most vulnerable on both ends of the spectrum. The pleas of the small property owner's voices have fallen on death ears or I should say drowned out by the noise of tenant advocate attorneys with their own agendas. Good attorney representative would educate and encourage mediating differences rather than retaliatory measures to generate more business for themselves.

    I have 2 senior tenants who have been residents in my building one longer and one almost as long as I've owned it. One resident lost a home in foreclosure and I rented to him despite his credit. he pays on time and sometimes early because he understands the economic pressure I'm feeling. Most renters don't understand that in any business, if it's not profitable, or at least break even, they soon go out of business which ultimately affects everyone. Attorneys are well of aware of this fact but ignore that the most vulnerable on both sides are impacted by COVID-19. Everyone is affected by COVID-19! The EM already provides eviction protections! What's the rush?

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    Marla Wilson almost 4 years ago

    Hi, I'm a D2 homeowner and former landlord calling to urge you to pass strong upgrades to Oakland’s tenant protections. Let's safeguard tenants from abuse and harassment. Please support the Tenant Protection Upgrade and vote to pass it.

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    Catherine Kung almost 4 years ago

    I'm an Oakland renter living in D2 and I work in D5. I support the adoption of this ordinance amendment and urge ALL COUNCILMEMBERS to step up and do the right thing and support as well. Housing. Is. A. Human. Right. Everyone deserves a clean, safe place to have shelter, ESPECIALLY DURING A PANDEMIC.

    We need strong, lasting protections for Oakland renters because this COVID ish isn't going away and it's unbelievably callous and immoral for those in the comments below who want to abuse their power against others who truly need the support. The fears about opening up *~the landlord's home~* to GASP -complete strangers- are thinly-veiled attempts to say "I want to be able to discriminate freely against who can have shelter, bc I happen to have this power and I'd like to abuse it." If a landlord is afraid of what might happen to their investment during a pandemic, maybe they should have thought twice before taking the risk of investing. Sorry sweatie, you might not get the payoff you were hoping for. ;))) Rethink your ideas of who deserves shelter and who doesn't, because your mind is twisted af at the moment.

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    Leanne Grossman almost 4 years ago

    Hello, my name is Leanne, and I am an Oakland homeowner in the Glenview district. I urge you to pass the Ordinance amending Chapter 8.22 of teh Oakland Municipal Code to support tenants today. Now more than ever, it is imperative to protect tenants from abuse and harassment. We need to make sure the laws stop bad actors from displacing more tenants of color from Oakland.

    [optional: add personal story/situation]

    Will you support the Tenant Protection Upgrade and vote to pass it?