Venting about Measure Y

49 Replies | Oakland, California

I am the owner occupier of a triplex in Oakland. I would like to renovate one of my units, redoing the electrical (because it's painfully out of date), and redo the plumbing in that portion of the house before it becomes a problem. Because I occupy the premises I am exempt from just cause ordinances (which I think is fair).

I gave my tenants 60 days notice, and have been working with an eviction attorney.
They tried to negotiate with me, they demanded $24,000 cash-for-keys (for a 1 bedroom). I told them I'd give them 2 months free rent and extend their move-out date by 30 days. They declined, so we filed for a court date on October 2nd.

The Oakland court's are legally required to give you a court date 20 days after filing, but they are overburdened and I likely won't get a date until end of November.

As you may know, if Measure Y passes in the upcoming Oakland election, it will strip me of this right as an owner-occupier. The new law will likely take effect on November 16th, and by the time I get the court I won't have this leg to stand on. I'll have to restart eviction proceedings, and will be out two months of rent.

I wish I'd started this process during the summer, but I was dealing with massive capex and could not afford to risk it (new roof and new windows because many where broken). Ugh!

@Dustin Hoffman just to put things in perspective, let me tell you a short version of my story.  I bought a condo, gave a rent increase, tenant fought it, RAP agreed with her, City supported her, I had to go to Alameda court and won, the City appealed, I fought in Superior Court and won, then she started some BS argument that the previous owner did not do the condo conversion correctly AND she wanted $220,000 cash for keys... I only paid $125,000 to buy the studio condo! What crazy, greedy person asks for nearly 2x the purchase price??? 

The entire process took a little less then 4 years a sh*t ton of money. But she will be out in December :-) 

Have you discussed this situation with Daniel Bornstein? 

I believe if the eviction process began before the Measure Y passes (assuming it does), you might be able to win. 

I've had a few, one-off chats with him in scenarios like this and he clarified/cleared up a ton. Can't recommend him enough.

@Dustin Hoffman I just paid $35K to vacate a 3bedroom in East Oakland, but I’m raising the unit rent from $1100 to $3000. 

How much of a rent increase will you get on the new tenant? $25K could still be worth it, if you’re getting a significant ($1000+ increase) 

Personally I’d offer them $15K to be out in 2 weeks, and raise that to $20K as a final offer if they did not accept. Your situation is a little different as you’re living there, but think about..what is $15K really, in the big scheme of things 

@Stephen G. Alan thinks that their 25k demand is a preposterous sum. He is somewhat confident we'll win in court if we make it to court in time. The thinks their defense could try and suggest that my triplex is a four-unit, but it only has three addresses and 3 leases. He said he received an update saying their defense is going to try and prove I don't live there but I have tons of mail and proof, so I'm not worried about that. 

His main concern is that if the new law passes and we get in after Measure Y passes we won't be covered by the owner-occupier exemptions, he seems certain of that.

Originally posted by @Dustin Hoffman :

@Saj Shah

Their rent is $900, it will be $1900-2000 after renovation. To me, right now, $15k is a lot to me. This is my first and only home.

 Understood. Congrats on your first purchase. Hopefully Y fails and you have yourself a nice piece of RC free investment property.

Sadly, Oakland is far too tenant friendly and almost all tenant protection ordinances have been passing with flying colors. 

Please vote no on 10 when you vote next month 

The building isn't RC free, it was built in 1917 and owner-occupancy doesn't get me out of RC.

I have a No on prop 10 yard sign, bumper sticker, and am giving out pamphlets to friends. Trying to educate my friends and advising them to read the proposition for themselves. The "Yes on 10" campaign is absolute drivel with no facts, very frustrating.

So, Arizona is just a stone's throw away. We are booming so much that most of us are praying for another 4 years for Jerry Brown. He's been fantastic!

Dustin, you might want to check out some of the stories we've been writing about Measure Y on Pretty much everything in Mayor Libby Schaaf's argument in the voters' guide on Measure Y is a lie.

If you end up having problems with the rent board let us know. 

Measure Y should not have been put on the ballot for many, many reasons. But Oakland homeowners are not organized, and the tenants groups, who seem to be allergic to factual data, are.

Well, measure Y seems to be passing, but I just got a call yesterday from my tenant's new landlord who was seeking a reference. I hear he's getting keys today.

I think having to go to a settlement hearing + possibly court later this month pushed him to get off his butt and find a new place.

With the passage of Measure Y, the OOC exemption goes away in Alameda County immediately, correct?  How does 10 allow you to be exempt in 12 months?  

Exempt from the rent control ordinance,  not just cause. Thus he can raise the rents in 12 months (I'm thinking) 

Ahh... ok.  Correct, it's 2 years after OOC.  I forgot, do you still have to petition or notify the rent board if you want to raise rent on OOC unit beyond CPI?

I just completed the petition on my place.  I got my exemption certificate early (I have it now) but it won't be valid until later this month.  The office over there is working on the petitions from August and September.  You should start filling your paperwork about 4 months before you'll need it. 

Also the certificate is only really necessary if your tenant disputes your notice to increase rent.  So assuming your tenant doesn't dispute you could go without it too.

It used to be located here:

I might have a blank copy of the download I made a few months ago.  Send me an DM and i'll try to get it to you

Very hard to find on their website, here's the link:

NOTE: This certificate must be filed annually to evidence continued owner-occupancy.

I have failed to do this for my entire first year of residency because I didn't know about it!
I even called the Rent Adjustment Program hotline like 10 months ago to ask if there was some kind of paperwork I needed to submit in order to verify occupancy and they just said "no". The tenant advocacy in this city is really beginning to sour my occupancy decision. 

There is a lot of "live and learn" going on here. I wish there was a better guide with consolidated instructions about all the hoops you need to jump through to assume all your property ownership rights in this town.