With median one-bedroom rent prices hovering below the state average of $1,750 per month, Costa County’s largest city is still welcomely affordable, but rising rents have sparked concerns.
Bay Property Group believes that successful property management entails a solid understanding of laws and regulations that are germane to owners.
In our last post on Hayward’s Residential Stabilization and Tenant Protection Ordinance, we said that after some soul searching, Hayward will likely usher in a new regulatory regime. We now pivot to Concord, a city that has flirted with rent control since 2016, when tenants’ concerns led to a series of public meetings on the need for added protections.
In a deliberate approach, an Ad-Hoc Committee on Rental Housing was formed in January to take a hard look at what Concord’s rent control policies may look like, taking into account the viewpoints of tenants and landlords.
That committee made the following recommendations:
- Modification of the city’s Residential Review Program. Under the program’s existing guidelines, tenants who are staring at rent increases that exceed 10% in a 12-month period can seek non-binding conciliation and mediation services through a housing counselor retained by the City and if there is a deadlock, the tenant can call upon the Rent Review Panel to seek non-binding arbitration.
- Extending property owner notice requirements for rent increases
- Requiring rental property owners to offer leases of one year
- Relocation assistance for tenants were also discussed, along with “just cause” eviction protections
After City Council has heard the committee’s recommendations, Bay Property Group can report that the city has rejected “just cause” eviction controls, but the city has warmed up to the possibility of adjusting the trigger for mediation, perhaps rent increases of 7% + CPI in 12 months.
Minimum Lease Terms
With no dissent, City Council also signaled the intent to require landlords to offer a 12-month lease, although the tenant may opt for a month-to-month agreement or negotiate a shorter lease.
Bay Property Group has always encouraged open communication between landlords and tenants and have facilitated in this free flowing dialog, yet an Administrative Law Judge may have the final word when parties cannot agree on a rent increase. That’s because Concord is considering binding arbitration, meaning once a ruling is handed down, it is binding.
Concord city staff has some legwork to do in terms of producing documents and information in anticipation of a future council meeting – the date is up in the air, but the council will meet before 2019 closes out. As part of our ongoing commitment to keep rental property owners informed, Bay Property Group will of course follow developments in Concord and throughout the Bay Area closely.