Germany's Merkel Snatches Rent Control From Rival Before Election
by Erik Kirschbaum
June 10th, 2013
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is advocating vacancy control in rental properties, limiting the rent increases on vacated properties to 10% above what the previous tenants paid. She admits that she stole the policy from the Social Democrats in advance of the election there.
Wells Fargo Settles Complaint on Foreclosed Homes
by Danielle Douglas
, Washington Post
June 6th, 2013
Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $42 million to settle claims that the bank failed to maintain their foreclosed properties in minority communities, while taking better care of foreclosed properties in majority white communities.
Security Deposit Rules in Leno Legislation
by Carolyn Said
, San Francisco Chronicle
May 23rd, 2013
State Senator Mark Leno has proposed legislation that would provide greater protections for tenants seeking the return of their security deposits. Landlords would be required to pay interest on deposits, and would face mandatory damages if they were found to have withheld security deposits wrongfully. TT Executive Director Dean Preston is quoted in the article.
Mortgage Bankers Slam Proposed Tenant Protections
by Chip Mitchell
, WBEZ 91.5
May 1st, 2013
Mortgage bankers oppose legislation proposed by Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City Council that would provide tenants relocation assistance or a long-term rent-controlled lease after the property is foreclosed.
City Buckles Down on Landlords
by Marion Renault
, Minnesota Daily
April 11th, 2013
The Minneapolis City Council is attempting to craft and ordinance that would force landlords to maintain their properties without revoking the landlords' licenses. Revoking the license closes down the building and forces tenants to move. Some investors who bought foreclosed properties, in particular, are having problems maintaining their buildings.
Tioga Apartment Tenants Dispute Eviction Amid Embezzlement Accusations
April 10th, 2013
Tenants at the Tioga Apartments in Merced are disputing their "pay or quit" notices, stating that they have receipts showing that they paid the rent. Merced police are investigating possible embezzlement by an employee of the building management company. Tenants Together is assisting the tenants.
Tioga Apartment Residents Told to Pay Up or Get Out
by Joshua Emerson Smith
, Merced Sun-Star
April 9th, 2013
Tenants in a Merced apartment building are being served with "pay or quit" notices demanding payment of rent they don't owe. The problem may be that one of the building's managers was allegedly embezzling funds from the management company.
Critics Question Investment Fund's Sacramento Rental Venture
by Hudson Sangree and Phillip Reese
, Sacramento Bee
April 8th, 2013
Critics are concerned that Blackstone, one of the large investment groups in the US, in Sacramento's single-family rental market will have negative consequences for the housing market there. TT Executive Director is interviewed for the article.
Investor Frenzy Over Housing Has Peaked
by Nin-Hai Tseng
April 5th, 2013
Large investors--hedge funds and the like--are no longer buying foreclosed houses as rentals, as prices have risen for foreclosed properties. Small investors are still in the market, however.
Ordinance Could Pit Renters Against Homebuyers
by Thomas K. Pendergast
, SF Bay
April 1st, 2013
A proposed San Francisco ordinance would allow TIC (tenants-in-common) owners to convert their units to condominiums and permanently remove them from rent control protections.
Whose Housing Recovery?
by Darwin Bondgraham
, Dollars and Sense
March 28th, 2013
Investors are purchasing thousands of houses across the country, and this may not be good for the housing market in the long run.
Irish Foreclosure Wave Risks Housing Recovery
by Joe Brennan
, Business Week
March 19th, 2013
Irish bankers are foreclosing on buy-to-let investors there at a faster rate. One problem with foreclosure and eviction in Ireland is the cultural taboo resulting from the forced evictions during the Irish Famine of the 1840s.
Poor & Disabled Fight LA Court Closures
by Matt Reynolds
, Courthouse News Service
March 15th, 2013
A number of community and legal service groups are suing the Los Angeles Superior Court to stop the closure of courthouses in various Los Angeles cities, as this will make it difficult for low-income, elderly and disabled tenants to file and defend against court actions.
Superior Court Facing Lawsuit Over Courtroom Closures
by Christina Villacorte
, Pasadena Star-News
March 13th, 2013
Legal advocates are suing Los Angeles Superior Court over its decision to move eviction cases to one of only five courthouses in the county. The advocates argue that low-income, disabled, and elderly tenants would not be able to travel to those courthouses from other areas of the county, thus preventing them from defending themselves.
R.I. Pols to Talk Tenants' Rights Bill
by Michael Gagne
, The Herald News
March 11th, 2013
Rhode Island politicians are discussing a "just cause" eviction bill for tenants in foreclosed properties there. Last year a similar bill passed the Rhode Island House of Representatives, but failed in the State Senate.
Minneapolis Woman Moves into Vacant, Foreclosed Home
March 9th, 2013
With the support of local activists, a homeless Minneapolis woman has moved into a vacant, foreclosed home there. The community groups are hoping that this will encourage the re-use of foreclosed properties as affordable housing.
Down the Rabbit Hole in a Rental War
by Charanina Alexander
, New York Times
March 8th, 2013
Tenants in a New York apartment building get caught between two "owners" of their building. New York City's Housing Court was able to help them keep their homes.
Fresno Assessor Mailed More Than 2,000 Foreclosure Fact Sheets
by BoNhia Lee
, Fresno Bee
March 6th, 2013
Fresno County is one of only two counties in California where the government warns tenants that the property in which they live may be going into foreclosure. The Fresno Assessor provides information for both homeowners and tenants in distressed properties.
LA County Courts Plan Will Hurt Poor Tenants, Advocates Say
by Hailey Branson-Potts
, Los Angeles Times
February 28th, 2013
The decision to reduce the number of courts hearing eviction cases will have a detrimental impact on low-income tenants, as they will have to travel long distances to the court hearing their cases. In some cases tenants would have to take public transportation from the San Fernando Valley to Santa Monica for a hearing.
Condomania and the Campaign
by Bill Boyarsky
, LA Observed
February 23rd, 2013
With the improvement in the housing market, developers are once again trying to convert rental units to condominiums. One factor in encouraging condo conversions is the development of new public transit stations.
Mayor Attempts to Resolve Rent Dispute
by Ekene Ikeme
, Alameda Sun
February 22nd, 2013
Government officials in Alameda are concerned about rent increases for low- and moderate-income tenants in a building there. But there's little they can do, as Alameda has no local rent legislation.
Arkansas Law Jails Tenants Who Don't Pay Their Rent
by David Ferguson
, The Raw Story
February 9th, 2013
Human Rights Watch has condemned the landlord-tenant laws in Arkansas that allow landlords to have tenants jailed if they do not pay their rent or move within 10 days of receiving notice. HRW notes that, in addition to being fundamentally unfair to tenants, landlords frequently abuse the law, in collusion with corrupt public officials.
For Some Landlords, Real Money in the Homeless
by Joseph Berger with Nate Schweber
, New York Times
February 8th, 2013
A New York landlord is encouraging his long-term tenants to leave their single-room units to enable him to collect $3,000 a month for housing New York City's homeless. The City pays for these units, rather than construct new low-income housing.
Out of Place
by Rebecca Bowe and Dylan Tokar
, San Francisco Bay Guardian
February 5th, 2013
Many long-term San Francisco tenants are being driven from their homes by Ellis Act evictions, which allow landlords to then sell their properties as TICs.
Christie Blocks Foreclosed Homes as Affordable Housing
by Joe Tyrell
, NJ Spotlight
January 30th, 2013
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has again vetoed legislation that would enable municipalities to buy foreclosed properties and maintain them as affordable housing. Governor Christie wants to use foreclosure relief monies to plug holes in New Jersey's state budget.
Local Woman, 99, Fears Sudden Eviction
by Brooke Self
, Desert Dispatch
January 24th, 2013
A Newberry Springs woman faces eviction after her landlord, who had a reverse mortgage on the property, died. She is 99 years old, and California's Department of Aging has been unable to find her replacement housing.
Malden Residents Rally Against Foreclosure
by Dominic DeSiata
, Gate House News Service
January 19th, 2013
Tenants in Malden MA are working to prevent a former homeowner from being evicted from their home by Fannie Mae. Another unit in the building is occupied by tenants, and the former homeowner is willing to pay rent. This violates Fannie Mae's stated rules, which allow both former homeowners and tenants to remain in the property while it is up for sale. City Life/Vida Urbana is working with the tenant group.
Rent Activists Hit Greuel and Garcetti
by Patrick Range McDonald
, LA Weekly
January 17th, 2013
Two candidates for Mayor in Los Angeles have been criticized by tenant activists for their lack of commitment to protect the rights of tenants and affordable housing.
Controversy Oven Rent Control, Renters' Rights
by Jovanka Beckles
, Richmond Pulse
January 8th, 2013
The Richmond City Council will be looking at the Housing Element of the General Plan, which includes proposals for rent control and "just cause" eviction. Fifty percent of Richmond residents rent their homes.