"If people are buying [property] they can't afford, because they need to suppress other people, it's like I can build this widget as long as I use slaves to do it. If you buy a plantation and it requires slavery, yeah it sucks when we finally outlaw it." - Leah Simon-Weisberg, Commissioner & Golden Duplex Tenant
In 1982 (and again in 2018), the Berkeley voters agreed that living on property with your tenant, creates a relationship similar to having a roommate. An owner and tenant are likely to share common space, interact regularly, and create a more personal relationship.
The Golden Duplex rule says that if an owner of record on December 31, 1979 lived on the property and an owner of current record lives in one of the units, then the unit rented to the tenant is exempt from rent control and does not have Berkeley eviction protections.
In 2018 - in coordination with Councilmembers, community members and builders - the voters agreed to extend the protections of a Golden Duplex owner to anyone who built and rented out an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). Community feedback told us that an owner was more likely to rent out the ADU if they were exempt from rent control and the Just Cause ordinance.
These type of personal living arrangements tend to lead to lower rents and more stable housing for tenants. Commissioner Simon-Weisberg is fond of saying that "owners are regularly evicting Golden Duplex tenants." Time and time again we have asked for proof on the matter, and she refuses. With an eviction rate in Berkeley of less than .01%, we ask how that can be possible?
With these exemptions, an owner can more easily make decisions about their property and who lives with them. If the relationship sours, the owner can give the tenant proper notice to vacate -- just as they would if they were renting out a room in their home. Rent Board commissioners are proposing to take away an owner's right to choose who lives on the property with them.
Despite the fact that single family homes, condos, Golden Duplexes, some new ADUS, and buildings built after 2005 are not subject to rent control due to the Costa Hawkins Rental Act of 1995 (a state law), the Rent Board would like those rental housing providers to pay a fee to register their units and come under their watchful eye. This would mean that owners would be required to report information about their tenancies including rental amount, tenant contact info and what is included in the rent. This will allow them to track your rental and contact your tenant with information about Rent Board services.
We've made incredible progress in the fights. On May 21 (and then again on May 29), over 100 property owners attended the Rent Board's Zoom meeting. We spoke our truth, telling the Rent Board commissioners the impact of over-regulation on small rental housing providers.
We need to keep speaking the realities of being a rental housing provider! (see how-to in Step 2 & 3!) Ask other property owners you know to join you in the fight. Pass this website on to others.
We caught the attention of Berkeley media who has reported on our efforts to kill this harmful legislation!
The proposal is being placed on the July 28 City Council meeting. We need you to IMMEDIATELY contact City Councilmembers and the Mayor to encourage them to not move the proposal forward to the ballot. During a state of emergency is not the time to try to sneak legislation under the nose of the voter.
It can make a difference when the public shows up en masse. Attend the City Council meeting, July 28 at 6:00 pm. Check here for updated information on the Zoom link to attend. You will have a chance to express your opinion when the agenda item comes before the Council. Follow the Mayor's instructions to "raise" your hand on Zoom, if you want to speak. Be prepared for a long evening. There is a lot on the agenda! (But it's via Zoom - so you can do other things while waiting your turn to speak!) MEETING LINK IS HERE :https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83653444287. If you can't afford to wait for the item to come up, email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be added to our NOTIFICATION LIST. We will email or text you when the item comes before Council.
Ask the City Council not to advance this ballot measure during a time of community emergency. There is NO data showing that this ballot measure needs to advance right now. Not sure what to say? Check out our talking points!
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