News and Views

Complaints of repairs undone and evictions undeserved prompted consumer investigator Jim Strickland to speak to metro tenants of a local corporate landlord. Waypoint Homes rents thousands of single family homes across metro Atlanta, and that number will more than double after a merger with another rental giant. This fact did not sit well with local tenants, who call Waypoint Homes an absentee landlord at best. The Better Business Bureau's d+ rating for Waypoint comes with an alert for a pattern of complaint.
  • Beyond California
  • Housing conditions/habitability
  • Eviction
Bruce Nicholson and Lisa Daspit thought they had found the perfect house. They spotted it from the car -- a bright yellow bungalow with white trim, partially hidden from the street by an array of palm trees on the lawn -- while exploring a favorite neighborhood in Margate, Florida, outside Fort Lauderdale. The couple had dreams of owning their own home, and this single-family rental offered both the time to save and the space to grow. They called the number for Waypoint Homes posted on the sign out front and moved in shortly thereafter, excited to make the house their own.
  • Rent increases
  • Housing conditions/habitability
  • Eviction
Sonoma County is experiencing a second wave of fire victims: renters. Many are being evicted because their homes are now needed by the landlords, for themselves or someone else to live in. "It would have been easier if everything was just gone, and we started over," Jeff Larcher told KTVU, in the Santa Rosa house he has rented for 12 years. Larcher, his wife and two children, must vacate the 3 bedroom home by January 5.
  • Eviction
  • Sonoma
A coalition of Los Angeles affordable housing advocates and labor unions isn’t happy about one of Downtown LA’s newer high-rises. In a letter to the city’s planning director, Vince Bertoni, they accuse Level Furnished Living, home of LA’s “most expensive” penthouse, of operating as an “unpermitted hotel.” The letter calls upon the planning department to open an investigation.
  • Demolition/conversion of rental housing
  • Los Angeles
The I-Team investigated the "Billion Dollar Landlords" and the tenants who say they're being bullied by them. There are allegations that the landlords are quick to threaten evictions and slow to repair. The complaints include problems with overall living conditions, repairs, and billing disputes, as well as quick eviction threats. In a joint investigation the ABC7 I-Team and ABC News are exposing complaints connected to the new trend of "Billion Dollar Landlords."
  • Beyond California
  • Housing conditions/habitability
  • Eviction
November 15, 2017
In 1981, Minneapolis was facing an affordable housing crisis. Rents had risen 61 percent in the five years since the repeal of Nixon-era rent controls; they were expected to increase another 10 percent the following year. A number of condominium conversions had decreased available units, and the city’s vacancy rate had fallen from 4 to 3.4 percent. With rent increasing as much as 7.6 percent in just a few months, tenants found that they could not survive.
  • Rent control
  • Beyond California
November 15, 2017
Supervisors London Breed and Jeff Sheehy announced a plan Tuesday to offer legal service to renters who are served eviction notices. It’s pitched as a right to civil counsel — similar to that which individuals accused of a crime receive.
  • Civil Gideon
  • Eviction
  • San Francisco
America needs more affordable housing. That is a fact. How to fund that housing, however, has Republican tax writers in the House at odds with those in the Senate. It all comes down to a type of tax-exempt bond that funds about half of all affordable housing development. The House tax reform bill eliminates the bond — the Senate bill retains it.
  • Affordable housing
Instead of amending the city’s rent control law, Councilman Tam Nguyen said housing officials should focus on creating more affordable housing — and stop “pounding” on the landlords. But Councilman Raul Peralez argued that new housing developments take years to approve and build — and Nguyen last year voted against an affordable housing project in his district on Senter Road. “When you’re talking about a city that has 4,000 homeless people — waiting 10 or 15 years to get those homes can’t be the only solution,” Peralez said.
  • Rent control
  • Santa Clara
Voters in Portland, Maine, rejected a ballot measure last week that would have established a rent stabilization program in the small coastal city, capping off months of debate over how to address rising housing costs.
  • Rent control
  • Beyond California
Palo Alto’s city council voted against further discussion of new measures that would address the housing affordability crisis in the city even as soaring rents have displaced community members like teachers, first responders and service industry workers. While cities around the peninsula have passed rent control or approved new affordable housing projects to address the problem, the Palo Alto City Council voted 6-3 on Oct. 16 against studying stabilization measures after hearing passionate testimony from 60 members of the public.
  • Rent increases
  • Rent control
  • Santa Clara
A San Francisco woman appears to have made history as the first person to successfully fend off an Ellis Act eviction through a jury trial. On Thursday, a jury found that Betty Rose Allen would not have to vacate her Noe Valley apartment, where she’s lived for nearly 40 years, after a lengthy and acrimonious legal battle with the building’s owners.
  • Ellis Act
  • Eviction
  • San Francisco
Ben Hernandez and his family have spent the past five weeks in hotels, unable to find a place to rent after wildfires destroyed more than 5,000 homes in Sonoma County, including their three-bedroom tract house in northwest Santa Rosa. “It’s looking more and more like we might have to stay with relatives,” said Hernandez, who works in maintenance and construction. His homeowners insurance is paying for the hotels, he said, but the company “is only going to give you so much housing money” toward a future when the family can rebuild in Coffey Park.
  • Rent increases
  • Sonoma
Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch has heard plenty of complaints about sky-high rents and hotel prices in the aftermath of the region’s devastating fires. But a report of a big dollar amount alone doesn’t necessarily constitute a violation of the state’s price-gouging law. “As of this moment we have received over 60 reports of potential rental price gouging,” Ravitch wrote Thursday in an email.
  • Rent increases
  • Sonoma
Amid soaring housing costs and a tight rental market, tenant advocates are urging the San Jose City Council on Tuesday to limit increases for rent-controlled apartments to inflation levels. Currently, landlords can raise rents in the 44,359 apartments subject to the city’s rent-control ordinance by no more than 5 percent a year. Tuesday’s proposal would limit increases to the area’s consumer price index, a variable rate determined by the federal government and considered an inflation gauge.
  • Rent control
  • Santa Clara
People didn’t really believe it. It was just so outrageously racist,” says Keith Paschall II, an Indianapolis-based community organizer and artist. “We were all just taken aback,” says Derek Hyra, a researcher on neighborhood change. They’re talking about an ad on the back of last month’s Urban Times, a local Indianapolis publication.
  • Beyond California
Two years ago, tenants of the apartment building at 1038 Second St. reported large rent hikes, evictions and onerous lease conditions. With rent control on the table, the council convinced the former property owner to cap rent increases at 10 percent. Tilden Properties, a Walnut Creek real estate investment and asset management company, bought the 117-unit building in December 2016. Residents told the council in August that the firm planned to raise rents by up to 20 percent and refused to make repairs for longtime tenants.
  • Rent increases
  • Contra Costa
Alice Norton, a 73-year old resident of Seaside Mobile Estates, stands on her patio with a handful of her neighbors. A look of grave concern is drawn on her face. Seated nearby is attorney David Brown – also a Marina city councilman – who has come to hear her out. Norton is facing eviction from a home she inherited from her mother and the park’s owners have been refusing to accept her rent check since spring. She owns the home itself, but not the land it sits on.
  • Eviction
  • Monterey
November 9, 2017
Last January, a woman in Lakewood, Ohio, ran to her neighbor’s house, bleeding from her face with a broken nose and concussion from a vicious attack by her boyfriend. With her neighbor’s help, she called the police, who took her to the hospital. Three days later, the city wrote the woman’s landlord: “Your tenant had a visitor over to the residence where he assaulted her. He was charged with felonious assault. This activity qualifies the property as a nuisance.”
  • Eviction
For Sharon Ditmore, the signs of the holidays showing up in this city devastated by fire are both comforting and depressing. Ditmore lost her home in the working-class neighborhood of Coffey Park and has been living in a friend’s guesthouse. She can’t help but think back to the Thanksgiving gatherings she enjoyed with family members in the home she and her husband had rented for nearly 30 years.
  • Rent increases
  • Sonoma

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