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Did not get a chance to speak re: Tenant Relocation Assistance...

From: domainremoved <Mina>
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2019 14:20:19 -0800

Dear Mayor Mueller and City Council Members,

I have an infant at home and was not able stay long enough last night to
speak, but I hope you are able to take a few minutes to hear my concerns
regarding the Housing Commission’s proposed Tenant Relocation Assistance
Ordinance. I currently own and live in a 5-plex in Menlo Park. I also own
a 7-unit property in Mountain View, which as you know, recently implemented
rent control. I have a unique perspective given I have now experienced the
impact of these rent control measures and I can speak from personal
experience that these "controls" have only had negative consequences, not
only of course for my family, but also for our current and future
residents.

Below I've listed some reasons why I believe the ordinance being proposed
will only be detrimental to the residents of Menlo Park:

1. In my rent-controlled property in Mtn. View, instead of working with
residents with hardships, accepting late payments or payment plans,
postpone rent increases as I had done in the past, I no longer make
exceptions. I will no longer lower rents during the slow season or a
downtown in order to retain residents, but instead will raise the rent to
the maximum allowed each year. I do this because I will be punished
otherwise by not being able to make up for the loss in the future. My
relationship with residents has become purely transactional and somewhat
adversarial.

2. In Menlo Park, we have kept rents flat the last couple years with no
increases and recently have even lowered rents on vacant units to get them
leased. In my rent-controlled units in Mtn View, when a units gets vacant,
instead of listing it at a competitive price to get it leased quickly, I
price it as high as possible given I will be capped in my increases for the
unforeseen future. Therefore, I have reduced the stock of
affordable available housing on the market.

3. In Mtn. View, the cost to implement and enforce the rent control
program has but a burden on City resources. The landlord is also being
forced to pay for it. With these increased city fees, plus all the other
costs we carry that* increase every year* with *no caps*, our potential to
make a profit or even break even becomes less likely. For many small
owners, any income generated from running a property is our livelihood.
There are significant risks in running this business and we run into times
where we have to pay for a brand new roof, completely replace old
deteriorated plumbing, windows, etc. When there are profits, we also
choose to upgrade the properties. To maintain the properties as safe and
enjoyable places to call home, we need to be able to pay for these big
ticket items. If we can't, we will be forced to sell our properties to
developers who will most likely tear down these rentals and build for-sale
housing, which of course is even more unaffordable.

4. Many large real estate companies have residents pay for water, trash,
sewer, garbage and laundry. We currently do not charge for any of these.
Given the restrictions this proposed ordinance and the inevitable increased
fees I will be burdened with, I will without a doubt start charging for all
these perks our residents have for many years enjoyed.

I agree our area is faced with an affordability issue, however, forcing me
to sell my property that has provided affordable housing is not the
solution, nor is putting the entire brunt of this issue on the shoulders of
us small landlords who have put our life savings into making these
investments that are currently our livelihood.

*All *members of our community should come together and contribute towards
a fund to help those most in need. To increase our housing supply, the
City also needs to create big incentives for developers to build more units
and allow for great height and more density and even greater incentives to
those that will build affordable housing units.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Mina
Received on Wed Feb 13 2019 - 14:17:13 PST

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