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Relocation Payments, Just Eviction, and Rent Control

From: domainremoved <Ken>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2018 21:42:48 +0000

Dear Mayor Ohtaki and Members of the City Council,

I urge you to reject the proposal of the Housing Commission to require relocation payments unless rent increases are capped.

The Housing Commission’s proposal is rent control and just cause eviction in disguise. I own many rental properties, small and large, and I own in many other cities, including rent control locations such as San Francisco, and Oakland. I have never raised my rent more than 10% in one year ……. Ever! If we have seniors or other people that are struggling, we often try to go easier on the increases. I consider myself an excellent landlord, and I always do my part to be reasonable and responsible as an owner. I also have maintained all my buildings to the absolute highest standards.

Ultimately, rent control only hurts the housing stock, decreases housing affordability, and causes many owners to neglect their properties. Even though I do not neglect any of my properties, I can share with you the following. Most buildings in San Francisco and Oakland have below market rents, and therefore many of my neighbors have buildings that have fallen into disrepair. This is because regulated rents creates a disincentive for owners to spend money. The classic example would be….. Patch the roof…… and continue to patch it, again and again, even if it is past it’s useful life. Don’t replace it. Why ??? - Because the rent can’t be raised to compensate the owner. This is an issue, but it’s not even the worst problem. More significantly, when rent control is implemented, tenants get further and further behind, and this creates a “split market”. As time goes forward, old tenants pay less and less, relative to the real value, and then new tenants have substantially less and less units to choose from. This drives prices up. Later in the cycle – it drives rents WAY up. Look at the price of a unit in San Francisco….. Studios are now $2,500 to $3,000. Two bedrooms are more than $4,000. With rent control, over time, a lucky few get a hall pass for subsidies, regardless of need, and everybody else is less able to afford housing.

As an example - Check this out:

San Francisco’s median rent hits a ridiculous $4,225


This is not something we would want to see in Menlo Park.

The Housing Commission has expanded the scope of a relocation program beyond the City Council’s original intent – which was to pursue a relocation assistance program triggered when units are permanently removed from the market or vacated due to redevelopment.

Please do not create more legal hurdles and financial burdens on property owners. These proposals jeopardize my ability to continue to provide safe, stable, and reliable housing for Menlo Park residents.

Instead, please continue working with housing providers to explore a true relocation assistance program that addresses situations when residents are displaced due to redevelopment.

Thank you in advance.

Most respectfully,

Kenneth Meislin
Mill Valley, CA



Kenneth Meislin - Principal
Meislin Investments
P.O. Box 489
Mill Valley, CA 94942

Direct Line 415 273 2170
415 652-0178 (cell)
Fax – 415 449 3655


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Received on Wed Sep 12 2018 - 14:41:46 PDT

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