IN THIS EDITION:

Pandemic or not, housing providers always have been shouldered with the core responsibility of ensuring rental units are maintained is in a habitable condition. Failure to do so may impede future efforts to recover possession of the unit or seek rent debt. As discussed in our recent whitepaper.

  • Berkeley has done some soul searching in reinforcing tenant protections. We asked our friends at the Berkeley Property Owners Association to give their take, and they don't couch their words.
FROM THE DESK OF DANIEL BORNSTEIN
We do not want landlords and property managers to get a false sense of bravado believing that come springtime, there is any guarantee to transition tenants out of the rental unit for nonpayment of rent, or that rent debt can be recovered.

If there are substandard conditions in and around the rental unit, we need to think smartly and strategically about this and anticipate what may lie ahead on the other side of COVID-19. 

There is nothing in any state or local edicts that tamper with California’s implied warranty of habitability, and this adds a new dimension to an already confusing set of rules. We discuss these considerations in this PDF.

Finally, we share the remarks of our friends at the Berkeley Property Owners Association about recent developments in Berkeleysphere. 

As we nearly close the curtain on what has been an incredibly difficult year for everyone, we wish you a blessed holiday season and urge compassion and outreach to tenants who have fallen on tough times.
"Fear mongering."

That's how the Executive Director of the Berkeley Property Owners Association (BPOA) characterizes the City's recent meetings in attempts to strengthen tenant protections. Ellis Act evictions will likely be banned, but this prohibition is akin to chasing a ghost - there have been no such displacements during the pandemic, and there is no throng of Berkeley landlords looking to exit the rental business anytime soon.

More concerning to BPOA is the City going down a slippery slope of imposing increased fines for good landlords accused of myriad violations who may become the target of enterprising tenants' attorneys, regardless of the merits of the case.

We are awaiting a final iteration of Berkeley's modifications to its ordinances and will surely keep you in the know.
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