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Agenda Item

6 22-0376 Subject: Amend Rent Adjustment Ordinance To Establish Residential Rental Registry From: Housing And Community Development Department Recommendation: Adopt An Ordinance Amending The Rent Adjustment Ordinance (O.M.C. 8.22.010 Et Seq) And The Just Cause For Eviction Ordinance (O.M.C. 8.22.300 Et Seq) To (1) Create An Annual Requirement For Residential Rental Units In Which Rental Property Owners Of Units Subject To The Rent Program Service Fee Shall Be Required To Report Rent And Other Tenancy Information, As Set Forth In Section 8.22.520, (2) Require Owners To Provide Evidence Of Complying With Residential Rental Registration Requirement When Filing Rent Increase Petitions Or Responses To Tenant Petitions And (3) To Provide As A Tenant's Affirmative Defense In An Eviction Action The Property Owner's Failure To Comply With Registration Requirements Outlined In O.M.C. 8.22.510

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    Robby Weinberg over 1 year ago

    This is a privacy violation in owner occupied situations between tenants and owners who live on the same premises. all parties combined are in a unique living situation that was once acknowledged by the city with a certain level of respect, but has been under attack since the removal of the owner occupied exemption. you can not legislate against the smallest of Oakland housing providers (many minority, elderly and on a fixed income... not to mention multi-generational Oaklanders) as you would, say, Blackstone. it is highly immoral and a HUGE disservice to OAKLAND CITIZENS. yes, we are still Oakland citizens.

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    Randy Wilk over 1 year ago

    Basically, Mom and pop rentals and rental housing built before 1983 comprise of less than 25% of the Oakland present rental market. Whereas the other 75% of rental housing is EXEMPT from Rent Control so the majority of housing provides no revenue and management for Oakland Rent Control efforts which makes this legislation more of a hassle and hindrance squeezing the small minority investors. So, squeezing mom and pop rental investors into another set of rules of registration etc., will not gain much for the city. Rental Registration and related programs have caused most of the small market landlords to sell their property to large industrial property REITS, who will ultimately radically raise the rents and create another set of exemptions through initial capital upgrade investments where it was intended to maintain lower rents. Thus, it is creating the opposite effect of what the Council was trying to achieve.

    At the same time, cause the city grief from a very large lobbying power that the REITs currently have at the County and State level to squash a city council's effort or even pay them off.

    In addition, this proposed legislation raises privacy concerns/violations especially related to undocumented tenants!

    The recent procedures, as I understand it, for the proposed and related legislation also violates State of California BROWN ACT and needs to be investigated so this does not happen again, quite an embarrassment to a city gov. that prides itself on ethics!

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    Tuan Anh over 1 year ago

    The Rental Registry was rejected at the state level FOUR times for good reasons. The proposal is a costly bureaucracy and harmful policy. It will not add one new unit to help with the housing crisis but will implement fees that is passed onto tenants.

    Most worrisome is the rental registry exposes personal and highly-sensitive private tenant information without expressed consent. Tenants who only provided information for screening purposes are now exposed to financial fraud and identity theft. Any stranger could do a records request and get people's physical location, email address, phone number, financial information, how much rent they pay, etc. and sell this information on the dark web. The city does not have any security clearances or adequate cyber security measures in place to handle sensitive personal information.

    ICE can use information from the Rental Registry to track down undocumented residents and break up families. Geolocation data is highly sensitive information that could be combined with meta data and info ICE collects at border crossings to do sweeps and arrest people. Immigrants have long flocked to Oakland because it is a sanctuary city. The Rental Registry violates the trust of immigrants and compromises safety for vulnerable residents. We need immigrants labor to build homes and solve the housing crisis in Oakland.

    Please vote NO on Rental Registry.

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    Michael Gabriel over 1 year ago

    I strongly oppose rent registration. I retired after 40 years in nonprofit affordable housing and have owned a 4-plex in Oakland since 1976. I am familiar with housing policy and read the reports. What’s most disturbing in the Ordinance is the remedy for non-compliance. Just Cause rights should not be diminished in any way by failure to comply with this administrative function.

    I am also writing on behalf of the silent majority of small rental housing providers who don’t know that a rent registry Ordinance is being considered and its potentially harmful effect on their lives. These are people of color, elderly, retirees, widows, disabled, veterans, blue collar workers, and other hard working small rental housing providers. In some cases, they live in the property or just own a few units. Many owners were just becoming aware of the impact of the Tenant Protection Ordinance when the Covid regulations and eviction moratorium hit. These folks are still suffering from nonpaying tenants and uncertainty. They don’t have access to free lawyers to interpret the rules and the Ordinance is so full of landmines that one misstep could bankrupt them. With unhoused people all over Oakland’s streets, it is unconscionable to spend millions on this administrative folly. When the mom-and-pop providers go so goes NAOH. Emergency rent relief grants or loan programs have been shown to prevent homelessness. This would be a better use of scare housing funds than the rent registration folly.

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    Lupe Schoenberger over 1 year ago

    Expensive and redundant! Oakland already has regulations in place for landlords to notify tenants of the RAP program and penalties against landlords who increase rent if they have not provided that info at the start of tenancy. RAP has adequate staff to start collecting addresses of new landlords from County records now to inform of landlord obligations.
    This program does nothing to expand the reach to more landlords beyond the contacts available to staff now. The report states staff will send notices to landlord’s who paid RAP fees. Aside from the exorbitant cost, what’s different about this program is requiring landlords to disclose confidential tenant information to the city without the tenant’s knowledge or consent. Tenant advocates should not advocate for anything affecting tenant' privacy.
    The report is filled with claims of success but contains no substantial documentation showing real outcomes to justify the expense.
    The unintended consequence of the registry will be facilitating automatic rent increases for the landlord. Many small landlords don't always give yearly increases, but the rent registry promises to justify the increase for them every year!!


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    Andrea Young over 1 year ago

    I agree with the points raised in the other comments. I respectfully ask you to vote No.

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    Dennis OLeary over 1 year ago

    Instituting another layer of unmanageable housing killing bureaucracy is crazy at this point. Less affordable housing is the inevitable outcome. A colossal, expensive project that will require the hiring of dozens of new full-time Rent Board employees. For what? Smells like vacancy control and another duplicitous back door attack by the City of Oakland on its housing providers.
    Small owners and their tenants have already made it clear at the ballot box that this stinks. Just the data security risk alone should shelve this monstrosity. But Oakland is going to push it anyway. This council appears to be preoccupied with crippling the housing provider. Once you have destroyed this relationship completely- you can’t have it back.

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    Viktor Salitrennik over 1 year ago

    Please stay away from the rental market. So far, the City interference has produced the overwhelmingly negative result. Please concentrate on cleaning the streets and managing homeless camps, instead.
    Thank you.

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    Benjamin Scott over 1 year ago

    Committee Members:
    This Does nothing to create more units of needed housing in Oakland
    Invades the privacy of residents/households and property owners who may not wish to have their rental details made public – especially in smaller multi-unit dwellings where data is harder to anonymize
    Creates new data security issues that may be exploited by third parties or bad actors
    Applies more onerous owner reporting to support a new system when existing business license and Rent Adjustment Program (RAP) fee systems can be improved to obtain housing data
    Passes more fees and operating expenses to maintain and support another city program to small property owners who have still not recovered from 2+ years in a global pandemic
    Induces legitimate fear by some who are genuinely skeptical given the history of “registries” that can be used to target and exploit certain communities.
    There are many other ways, with different city department, and with free legal assistance residents can use and report to if they have any housing issues. This is government creep that is unnecessary. Enforce existing policies / ordinance. This is unnecessary, complicated and hurts tenants and landlords (housing providers) both already struggling.
    Benjamin Scott
    Rent Board Commissioner (Fmr)
    Chair, Citizens Budget Advisory Committee (Fmr)
    Parks & Recreation Commissioner (Fmr)
    Dunsmuir-Hellman Historic Estate (Fmr)

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    Phyllis Horneman over 1 year ago

    This council could show IRS how to bureaucrat. New government jobs! Forms! Vulnerable, hackable information! After all, it isn't like the city doesn't have money to spare! You know what you are missing from all this if you are serious about privacy? The measure lacks any penalty for improper disclosure of information to any person or organization other than the landlord and tenant. An employee who discloses this information improperly should face fines and firing. The city council demands sensitive information- be responsible. Enforce your safeguards. Inquiries to employees are a huge point of vulnerability.