Concord considers eviction and rent controls
Is the glass half empty or half full for rental property owners in Concord? Landlords score victories but some items are concerning while other items on the agenda are up in the air.
Concord’s long discussion on rent control and tenant protections has recently come to a head when the Concord City Council convened a special meeting to weigh recommendations from the Ad-Hoc Committee on Rental Housing, giving us a window into what Concord rent control will look like.
Just cause eviction measure derailed
Council members burned the midnight oil in the June 19 meeting, well represented by engaged rental property owners who scored at least one win in their column. In a 3-2 vote, the city rejected proposals to impose eviction controls.
Changes to Residential Rent Review Program afoot
The council also retreated from calls to make rent increases of 5% the trigger for Concord’s Residential Rent 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.
City staff will study the possibility of making a more modest adjustment to the trigger for mediation - the most popular idea floating around is 7% + CPI in 12 months.
More ominously, Concord is considering binding arbitration. Translation: when landlord-tenant disputes arise, the buck stops with an administrative law judge, who will issue a ruling that both parties are bound to comply with.
Tenant relocation assistance
With some hesitation, the council also agreed to study a potential relocation-assistance program when a tenant’s lease is not renewed without a just cause, a term yet to be defined by any ordinance but would be hashed out. As a baseline, the relocation payment amount being discussed is $5,000 or two times the average monthly rent for a comparably sized unit in Concord.
Minimum lease terms
Concord City Council has voiced unanimous support for creating minimum-lease term rules. If adopted, the landlord would be required to offer a 12-month lease to the tenant, although the tenant can elect for a month-to-month agreement or negotiate a shorter lease.
Where we go from here
Moving forward, city staff will produce requested documents and information before the council for their consideration before 2019 closes out. While final decisions have been made and there are many wrinkles to be ironed out, Bornstein Law commits to keeping you in the know - follow us on Facebook or subscribe to email alerts.