Mountain View tenant advocates dispute start date of rent control law, seek refunds

Tenant advocates are trying to force Mountain View landlords to refund considerable amounts of rent money collected for the period during which a court-ordered postponement of the city’s rent control law was in effect.

The tenants coalition in Mountain View is pushing the city’s Rental Housing Committee to publicize Dec. 23 as the effective date of Measure V, the rent control law approved by voters in the November 2016 election.

The California Apartment Association contends that April 5 is the true effective date, as reflected in a court order.

Tenants are expected to make their case for the earlier effective date during next week’s Rental Housing Committee, which meets at 7 p.m. Monday, July 24, at Mountain View City Hall.

While Measure V had been scheduled to take effect Dec. 23, a lawsuit filed by CAA led a Superior Court judge to postpone implementation of the law pending the association’s motion for a preliminary injunction. The rent control ordinance remained on hold until early April, when the judge rejected that motion.

In addition to establishing rent control in Mountain View, Measure V rolls back rents to levels collected in October 2015.

If tenant advocates succeed in moving the start date for Measure V back to Dec. 23, then landlords could be forced to refund the difference between the October 2015 base rent established by the measure and the rents paid for the period covering Dec. 23 through April 2017.

CAA is calling on members with property in Mountain View to attend Monday’s Rental Housing Committee meeting and be ready to speak out against the push for an earlier Measure V start date and rent refunds.

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