|East Palo Alto Residents Ask Council to Oust Manager|
by Bonnie Eslinger, San Jose Mercury News
July 15th, 2014
East Palo Alto residents asked the City Council there to find a new City Manager, charging that the present City Manager lacks a commitment to the City's rent law and local control of public safety, the two issues that led to residents forming the City 33 years ago.
|East Palo Alto to Seek New City Manager|
by Sue Dremann, Palo Alto Online
July 15th, 2014
East Palo Alto's City Council has decided to replace Magda Gonzalez as City Manager there. Tenants Together argued that she was too close to East Palo Alto's major landlord, and she advocated contracting out the City's police services.
|Council Approves Three Housing Measures for November Ballot|
by Jonathan Friedman, Santa Monica Lookout
July 11th, 2014
Three measures on the ballot in Santa Monica will address housing issues. One would allow rent board fees to rise, and another would increase the real estate transfer fee. The third, an advisory vote, would use money from the real estate transfer fee to fund affordable housing.
|Linkage Fees Proposed to Double|
by Roger Showley, U-T San Diego
July 9th, 2014
A proposed "compromise" on commercial development fees would produce fewer than 100 units of affordable housing in San Diego, where some 46,000 households lack affordable housing. Housing activists there oppose the proposal.
|Goldman Sachs is my Landlord|
by Carmen Perez-Lanzac and Elisa Silio, El Pais
July 4th, 2014
Spain's government is requiring that local authorities sell off public housing there, and the investment groups purchasing them are taking action to maximize their profits.
|Panel Backs Increase of One Percent|
by Mireya Navarro, New York Times
June 23rd, 2014
New York City's Rent Board allowed a rent increase of one percent for rent-stabilized units, even though the Board's own analysis showed that previous rent increases had allowed landlords excess profits for several years.
|Does Living in Affordable Housing Lower IQ?|
by Laura Kiesel, Main Street
June 19th, 2014
Researchers at Johns Hopkins found that children in families paying more than 30% of income for rent have an increased chance of cognitive difficulties. The study also found that children in families paying very low rent also suffered such difficulties because their families lived in very distressed neighborhoods.
|Judge Nixes Airbnb Subletter's Eviction|
by Julia Marsh and Kevin Fasick, New York Post
June 18th, 2014
A New York City judge has ruled that a tenant has not committed an incurable breach of the lease by renting to Airbnb guests. However, the landlord can demand that she stop doing so in the future.
|Post-Foreclosure Evictions Haunt Some Renters|
by Mary Ellen Podmolik, Chicago Tribune
June 15th, 2014
Some tenants who were evicted after their landlords faced foreclosure have difficulty finding new housing, as an eviction shows on their credit record. Many states have laws that require that records of those tenant evictions be sealed, but often this does not happen.
|Curtis Park Tax Credit Issue Resolved|
by Ben van der Meer, Sacramento Business Journal
June 11th, 2014
Sacramento's City Council decided to withdraw one of the Housing Authority's request for tax credit funding, so that the Curtis Park Village project could obtain the tax credits. Curtis Park Village will have a small number of affordable units, but the project would fail without the tax credits, according to the developer.
|Blighted Homes Linger in L.A., Frustrating Neighbors|
by Tim Logan and Doug Smith, with Sandra Poindexter, Los Angeles Times
June 10th, 2014
Bank owners of foreclosed properties in Los Angeles are not maintaining their properties, and often do not provide contact information for city officials and neighbors with complaints about blighted properties.
|Eviction by 'Rent-a-Cop'|
by Rebecca Burns, Beyond Chron
June 3rd, 2014
Illinois legislation would allow tenants to be evicted from their homes by private 'rent-a-cop' services, and would allow evictions during extremely cold weather.
|Poll Shows Narrow Support for Affordable Housing Tax|
by David Mark Simpson, Santa Monica Daily Press
June 3rd, 2014
The Santa Monica City Council will discuss placing legislation on the November ballot that would increase the real estate transfer tax to fund affordable housing. The tax itself requires only a majority vote, but allocating the monies raised to affordable housing would require that 2/3 of voters support the tax.
|Piedmont: City Proceeds on Housing Element|
by Linda Davis, Contra Costa Times
May 14th, 2014
The Piedmont Planning Commission claims to have produced at least some of the affordable housing required by the state. But of the 40 units mandated in the last Housing Element, only 23 were built. Of those 23 units, 12 were secondary units intended for an au pair or family members of the homeowner.
|SF Sues SRO Hotel Owners for Housing Violations|
by Kate Conger, San Francisco Examiner
May 12th, 2014
San Francisco's City Attorney is suing two landlords for failing to maintain their properties and forcing tenants to move to new rooms within their properties to evade the provisions of the City's rent control and just cause eviction laws. Some of the properties receive transitional housing funds from the City.
|Tenant Evicted 'Because He Wanted Hot Water'|
by Patrick Collinson, Guardian U.K.
May 2nd, 2014
A tenant in Britain is being evicted because he asked the landlord to repair a malfunctioning boiler. The landlords were previously in the news for evicting all of their tenants who received state rental subsidies.
|Deutsche Bank Loss May Spur Eviction Suits of Trustees|
by Karen Gullo, Bloomberg News
May 1st, 2014
The California Supreme Court refused to overturn a lower court ruling that prevented lenders from evicting tenants in foreclosed properties in violation of state and federal law. Deutche Bank argued that the foreclosure extinguished the tenant's lease.
|Little-Noticed AB 1513 Puts CA Tenants at Risk|
by Andrew Szeto, Beyond Chron
April 24th, 2014
AB 1513 would permit landlords to evict tenants without a court hearing. Ostensibly to enable property owners to evict squatters, the legislation would enable unscrupulous landlords to evict legal tenants without hearing.
|City Should Better Fund Eviction Defenses|
by Tim Iglesias and Adrian Tirtanadi, San Francisco Chronicle
April 15th, 2014
An editorial argues that the City should fund defense lawyers for tenants in eviction lawsuits. A tenant who loses an eviction case faces more life consequences than one who is convicted of a misdemeanor.
|Tenants Sue Brooklyn Landlord Claiming Discrimination|
by Michael R. Sisak, Associated Press
April 15th, 2014
Tenants in a Brooklyn building have sued their landlord, claiming that the landlord has failed to maintain the property and illegally evicted African-American tenants in order to replace them with white and Asian tenants. New York's Tenant Protection Unit (a state agency) has subpoenaed documents from the landlord, asserting that they have been flagrant violations of landlord-tenant laws.
|Protesters Block Google Bus, Plan March Against Evictions|
Bay City News Service
April 11th, 2014
Protesters blocked Google buses picking up employees in San Francisco for the trek to Silicon Valley, claiming that the influx of tech workers is encouraging landlords to evict long-term tenants. One Google lawyer is using the Ellis Act to evict the tenants in a San Francisco building he recently purchased.
|In Silicon Valley, a New Investment: Eviction|
by John Gittelsohn and Heather Perlberg, Business Week
April 7th, 2014
Low-income workers in East Palo Alto have to contend with Equity Residential, one of the largest property investment firms in the country, and often are threatened with eviction from their rent-controlled homes. But affordability problems exist even in low-cost areas of the US.
|New Law Makes It Tougher to Take Advantage of East Palo Alto Tenants|
by Bonnie Eslinger, San Jose Mercury News
April 2nd, 2014
Legislation protecting the rights of tenants to organize and protecting tenants from harassment has been passed by the East Palo Alto City Council. Seventy percent of the rental housing there is owned by one company, Equity Residential.
|How the Media Protected Leland Yee|
by Randy Shaw, Beyond Chron
March 31st, 2014
Leland Yee is the third pro-landlord Democrat to land in serious legal trouble. But Yee's ethical problems should have been obvious to anyone who was paying attention.
|When a Rent Hike Is Really an Eviction|
by Danny Westneat, Seattle Times
March 18th, 2014
Elderly tenants are being forced from their homes in Seattle, as landlords increase rents beyond what they can pay. One tenant's rent increase will make her rent greater than her income.
|SF Supes, Tenants Rally for Compensation for Ellis Act Evictees|
March 17th, 2014
Legislation has been proposed that would require that landlords evicting under the Ellis Act pay more compensation to tenants who are evicted. Landlords would have to pay the difference between the controlled rent and market rent for an equivalent unit for two years.
|A More Secure Credit Report?|
by Malia Spencer, Portland Business Journal
February 11th, 2014
A Portland start-up is working with Experian to develop a credit report that would enable tenants to protect private information while still allowing landlords to check their credit. Many tenants now hand "steal my identity kits" to strangers in order to rent an apartment.
|Watch Out, Shady Landlords: Renters Have New Ally in Congress|
by David Dayen, Salon
February 7th, 2014
Rep. Mark Takano is calling for hearings on the effect that Wall Street landlords are having on the markets in which they invest. Riverside County, which Takano represents, is one of the regions hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis.
|U.S. Becoming a 'Renter Nation' Says Olefson|
by Kevin Chupka, Yahoo Finance
February 6th, 2014
A real estate attorney argues that the advent of the Wall Street landlord may encourage Congress to enact legislation to protect tenants. The real estate industry is dependent on the burdens of renting to encourage homeownership.
|Campos Unveils Ellis Act Fix|
by David-Elijah Nahmod, Bay Area Reporter
February 6th, 2014
The Board of Supervisors will discuss legislation that would require landlords who evict under the Ellis Act to subsidize evicted tenants' rents for two years after the eviction.
|Why Some Chicago Apartments Don't Need a Security Deposit|
by Dennis Rodkin, Chicagomag
February 5th, 2014
Some Chicago landlords, faced with security deposit regulations that protect tenants and punish landlords for illegally withholding deposits, have decided to switch to non-refundable "move-in fees." Non-refundable fees are illegal in California.
|Senator Rod Wright Overplays His Hand|
by Dean Preston, Beyond Chron
February 4th, 2014
Senator Rod Wright, convicted on eight felony counts, introduced legislation that would convert certain felonies to misdemeanors. Wright has been a strong opponent of tenants rights in the Legislature.
|West End Senior Fights Eviction|
by Jennifer Thuncher, Vancouver Courier
February 4th, 2014
A Vancouver senior is being evicted from her apartment, allegedly so that a manager can move into the property. However, there are several other vacant units in the building.
|Landlord Forced to Pay Up|
by Kevin Herrera, Santa Monica Daily Press
February 3rd, 2014
A Santa Monica landlord was forced to refund rent overpayments and permanently reduce the rent on one of his units after he illegally evicted the former tenants.
|The Housing Conundrum: To Own or Not to Own|
by Philip Brasor and Masako Tsubuku, Japan Times
February 3rd, 2014
A couple in Japan discuss their decision to purchase a house. One reason for doing so is that the government there encourages homeownership by making renting a burden, particularly for the elderly.
|Bill Would Ban Nuisance Laws, Allow Calls to Police|
by Dennis Owens, WTHM
January 16th, 2014
Legislators in Pennsylvania are moving to ban local nuisance ordinances, which require eviction of tenants after a limited number of police calls, after a young woman was attacked by her ex-boyfriend and then pleaded with neighbors not to call the police. Neighbors did call the police and the local government did try to evict the victim.
|New Renter Rules Move Forward|
by Ben Bromley, News Republic
January 14th, 2014
Tenants and landlords in Baraboo WI will be cited if police come to a property more than three times in a single year. Other communities are being sued for passing such ordinances because they do not provide equal protection (homeowners do not face similar restrictions), and the ordinances might prevent tenant victims of crime from calling police.
|Damage Deposit Laws Give Landlords Unfair Advantage|
by Paul Chiswell, Calgary Herald
January 14th, 2014
A Canadian attorney argues that having security deposits held by third-party trustees is fairer to tenants, insuring that their deposits will be returned in a timely manner, and without requiring that the tenant engage in a costly legal battle.
|Confronting the Speculators|
by Rebecca Bowe, San Francisco Bay Guardian
January 14th, 2014
San Francisco tenant activists are compiling Ellis Act eviction records to expose serial evictors, speculators who buy buildings and then promptly try to evict tenants under the Ellis Act.
|Rohnert Park May Sell Properties for Apartments|
by Jeremy Hay, Press Democrat
January 12th, 2014
Rohnert Park may sell some properties purchased for affordable housing to market-rate housing developers. Affordable housing advocates oppose the sale, noting that the City would have to purchase other properties to develop the required affordable housing.
|SOMA Family Battles Fourth Ellis Eviction Attempt|
by Jen Fieber, Beyond Chron
January 10th, 2014
A San Francisco family is fighting another attempt to evict them from their home using the Ellis Act. This is the fourth time that a real estate investor has purchased the property and then promptly attempted to evict the family.
|Tenants Bring Class Action Lawsuit against Central Valley's Biggest Slumlord|
by Mike Rhodes, IndyBay
January 9th, 2014
A class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of tenants in properties owned by JD Homes, claiming that the landlord is not maintaining the properties. In addition, the lawsuit claims that the landlord has purchased foreclosed properties in some Fresno neighborhoods, contributing to blight in those areas as well. Tenants Together and Bet Tzedek Legal Services filed the lawsuit.
|Yuba County Needs Affordable Housing|
by Eric Vodden, Appeal-Democrat
January 6th, 2014
California Rural Legal Assistance criticized Yuba County for failing to seek relationships with affordable housing developers who would build affordable housing in the County. CRLA noted that low-income tenants in the County often live in substandard housing.
|On the House: Worsening Conditions for Apartment Renters|
by Alan J. Heavens, Philadelphia Inquirer
January 5th, 2014
Tenants in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are suffering the effects of the failure of the federal and state governments to develop sufficient affordable housing--high rents and poor conditions. Sixty-three percent of Pennsylvania renters could not afford a modest apartment without spending more than thirty percent of income for rent.
|The Shocking Reality of Rental Housing|
by Larry Oaks, Huffington Post
January 3rd, 2014
While the housing crises in New York City and San Francisco are well-known, tenants throughout the country face affordability problems. In boomtown Phoenix, there is a shortage of 130,000 units for low-income families there.
|Concord Landlord Faces Housing Discrimination Lawsuit|
by Lisa P. White and Jennifer Modenessi, Contra Costa Times
December 26th, 2013
Both the State Department of Fair Employment and Housing and tenants at the Huntington Arms Apartments are suing the owners of the property for discrimination against families with children. Tenants Together has been helping the tenants at the property to organize.
|How Bank of America's Secret CEO Office Led to Foreclosures|
by Aimee Picchi, CBS News
December 16th, 2013
Bank of America is again being accused of forcing homeowners into foreclosure, this time by contracting out modification document collection and analysis to at least one entity that didn't even open the mail and falsified records.
|Where Do San Francisco's Evicted Go?|
by Julianne Hing, Colorlines
December 13th, 2013
Many long-term tenants forced to move as a result of Ellis Act evictions are forced to leave San Francisco. A significant minority become homeless.
|Skyrocketing Rents Hit 'Crisis' Levels|
by Diana Olick, CNBC
December 9th, 2013
Rents have increased so much that half of all tenants pay more than 30% of their income for housing, and a quarter pay more than half of their income on rent.
|Communities of Color Face Unexpected Foe in Foreclosure Prevention|
by Rachel Goodman, ACLU
December 5th, 2013
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Popular Democracy have filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to force the agency to release information on the Agency's refusal to support the use of eminent domain to rescue underwater homeowners in predominantly minority communities.
|How Wall Street Has Turned Housing into a Dangerous Get-Rich-Quick Scheme--Again|
by Laura Gottesdiener, Huffington Post
November 26th, 2013
Wall Street investment firms have purchased more than 200,000 foreclosed houses, rented them out, and is now securitizing the assets and their rental streams into bonds to be sold to investors. There is now some evidence, however, that the investor groups are not maintaining many of their properties properly, which could reduce the value of the securities.