Grand Jury criticizes Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board

Berkeley voters passed a rent stabilization law in 1980, and the law now covers 19,000 rental units in the city. Photo: Tracey Taylor

A highly critical report by the Alameda County Grand Jury has found that the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board is a “self-sustaining bureaucracy that operates without effective oversight and accountability.”

This rent board pays Jay Kelekian, its director, $183,000 a year to oversee a $4 million budget and manage just 21 employees – which is more than the city Berkeley pays its director of public works, who oversees 326 employees and has a $90 million annual budget, according to the report.

“The executive director makes an exorbitant salary that comprises nearly 5% of the entire budget of the agency,” according to the report. “The Grand Jury finds this unacceptable and concludes the board needs to reprioritize services and to reduce costs, not only in its administration but in services to the citizens of Berkeley.”

The rent board also pays its board members an “excessive” $500 a month and provides health benefits, according to the report. BRSB also spends $50,000 a year on a Sacramento lobbyist.

The Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board is able to pay its administrators so handsomely because it imposes some of the highest rental registration fees in the state, according to the report. Berkeley assesses landlords $194 per rental unit, compared to Oakland’s assessment of $30 per unit, and San Francisco’s $25 per unit assessment. While Santa Monica assesses landlords $156 per rental unit, it also permits landlords to recoup those costs from tenants by levying a $13 monthly fee. Berkeley, in contrast, does not allow landlords to recoup their costs, according to the report. Property owners can only assess tenants $4 a month for a total of $48.

A comparison of Berkeley managers’ salaries shows that the Rent Board Director oversees a smaller budget and staff than other directors. Source: Grand Jury report (see note at bottom of story about this chart)

“The Grand Jury was struck by the lack of controls over the increase in the registration fee,” read the report. “The landlords pay the fee for services primarily benefiting tenants. This allows the BRSB to maintain its operations with minimal external controls.”

The report said a fairer way to finance rent control would be to allow for a larger pass-through of registration fees to tenants.

Officials at the Rent Stabilization Board strongly disagreed with the Grand Jury report and said it was more of an opinion of what Berkeley’s rent control laws should be, rather than what voters put in place in 1980. Officials also said that the complaints investigated by the grand jury are eerily similar to those outlined in a June 2011 letter sent to the Berkeley City Auditor by Sid Lakireddy on behalf of the Berkeley Property Owners Association. The BPOA has opposed Berkeley’s rent control laws since the 1970s.

“We would have welcomed a critical, fact-based analysis of the Rent Board’s charge under the City Charter: the administration of the Rent Stabilization and Eviction for Good Cause Ordinance,” Lisa Stephens, the chair of the board wrote in a rebuttal letter. “Unfortunately, this Grand Jury missed such an opportunity. Instead, it has issued a report that ignored significant evidences substantiating the effective enforcement and reasonableness of the administration of Berkeley’s rent and eviction laws, choosing to mask a disagreement about what type of rent control law Berkeley should have under the guise of criticism of administrative issues. Even more troubling for a report from a public body is the reliance on inaccuracies, innuendo and “perceived” problems, to give a veneer of plausibility to its conclusions.”

Stephens’ letter points out that the Rent Stabilization Board is accountable – to voters. It is also transparent since its meetings are broadcast. Berkeley’s rental registration fees are in line with those in cities that have a similar rent control laws, like Santa Monica, East Palo Alto and West Hollywood, she said. And, contrary to the grand jury report, Berkeley landlords can pass on their assessment fees and have raised rents accordingly, said Stephens.

She also said that the $183,000 salary paid to the executive director is similar to that paid in other cities and that the $500 monthly stipend paid to board members has not increased in more than 25 years.

Comparable rent registration fees, 2011, by city. Source: Grand Jury report

Berkeley voters passed a rent stabilization law to regulate residential rent increases in 1980, and the law now covers 19,000 rental units in the city. In 1982, residents voted to make the Rent Stabilization Board an independent entity not responsible to the city council, according to the report. Nine board members serve four-year terms on the board and regulate rents and evictions on the apartments constructed before 1980. The city of Berkeley processes the Rent Stabilization Board’s payroll and processes its hiring through its Human Resources Department, but has very little other oversight.

The grand jury report also criticizes the Rent Stabilization Board for imposing overly punitive fines. If a landlord is even one day late in paying his or her assessment, there is a 100% fine, which is much higher than other city-imposed fines, according to the report. When hotels do not pay their transient occupancy tax, they are levied a 10% fine, according to the report.

The report also suggests that the Rent Stabilization Board is overstaffed for its size and relies too heavily on hiring local lawyers rather than consulting with the City Attorney. Berkeley has 19,000 rental units compared to Oakland’s 58,000 units and San Francisco’s 170,000 units. Attorneys in 2010 filed claims in small claims court against 140 properties and filed liens against 40 properties, according to the report. Some attorneys on the payroll are even doing non-legal work.

“We found that some attorneys were being used to do jobs not requiring legal training. In addition to having a staff supervisor, there is an “attorney of the day” assigned to the BRSB. The Grand Jury learned the current workload does not justify the number of lawyers, exacerbated by the BRSR’s justification that the attorney of the day’s job is to advise other staff to not give legal advice. Additionally, the number of hearings has declined over the years, causing the Grand Jury to question if there is a better use of public funds in this staffing situation.”

The report suggests the BRSB ask the city of Berkeley’s Human Resources Department to do an audit to determine appropriate staffing levels.

Stephens said in her rebuttal letter that the BRSB staff size has decreased ever since the state passage of vacancy decontrol. At one time there were 36 employees, but now the level hovers around 19-21 employees, she said.

“Due to the foreclosure crisis and the increased incentive that vacancy decontrol created to evict long-term tenants, the need for the Rent Program’s services has increased,” wrote Stephens. “We receive over 10,000 client contacts a year.”

The report also details some other concerns, such as the way in which the BRSB hires new employees based on friendship rather than qualifications. It also suggested that the board could make do with fewer employees.

The Alameda County Grand Jury report on the BRSB begins on page 63.
The rebuttal issued by the BRSB is here.

Note: This chart in this story titled “Berkeley Manager’s Salaries” has been changed from its original post. The first chart included inaccurate numbers about the size of the annual Berkeley Public Library Budget, claiming it was $128 million instead of $19 million. The chart now in the story has been cropped to remove that inaccurate information, which was included in the Grand Jury report.

Screening fee protection for renters proposed [04.26.11]

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  • Charles_Siegel

     “millions upon millions of American voters who view rent control as an
    illegal taking of an owner’s property rights. If that wasn’t the case,
    rent control would be a national policy, not a local nuisance.”

    I have no doubt that millions of Americans view zoning as an illegal taking of owners’ property rights and also view the fact they I can’t use my back yard as a toxic waste dump as an illegal taking of my property rights.  When a country has 300 million people, it is bound to have millions of extremists and one end of the spectrum or another. 

    Of course, the courts have found that rent control, zoning, and regulations on toxic waste dumps are not illegal takings of property rights.

    “Proximity to the University is an extremely valuable societal asset
    which the reality of market forces, not amateurish social engineering,
    should allocate.”

    There is one way to broaden hardlyaguest’s perspective.  Let’s hope that, at age 80, he or she is a renter on a fixed income and loses his/her home because of rising rents.  The suffering will be unfortunate, but the increased empathy for others will make it worth while.

    (Note on my own position.  I have always supported rent control with vacancy decontrol and with rent increases that are large enough that the law doesn’t cause a hardship for landlords.  Without any rent control, people are forced out of their homes by the “reality of market forces” which hardlyaguest seems to believe are infallible.  With rent control that is too harsh, rental units are lost.)

    Incidentally, does anyone know the percent of Berkeley’s population that are renters and homeowners – today and, say, 40 years ago.

  • hardlyaguest

    ” Let’s hope that, at age 80, he or she is a renter on a fixed income and loses his/her home because of rising rents.”

    So ‘Full Life Care’ is now part of the rental package? Sweet!

  • Cyberjaya

    Here is a bief summary of misdeeds (there is even more from others
    that I am glad to put you in contact with):

    Berkeley Rent Board Report missing many elements.
    1. Ignoring judges’ reprimand
    2. Making false statements collecting money for false services,  then
    refusing to return it after client won case.
    3. Rulings that dead people live places on video of hearing.
    4. Rulings that a person who had not been in the US for 12 years that
    Berkeley was their primary residence, paid no US taxes.
    5. Rulings that person who is in prison for 6 years that Berkeley was
    his primary residence.
    6. Ignoring over whelming evidence and breaking laws to rule for tenants.
    7. Trespassing in private homes without a search warrant looking for
    evidence this happened to me 3 times.
    8. Counter claims by different rent board parties to the detriment of
    petitioning parties.
    9. Potential (not substantiated) ” Sexual favors in change for services”
    10. Disbarred attorney’s and rent board members colluding in cases
    before hearings, they also happened to be friends.

    I have official evidence to back up statements for some.They also plan to charge fraternities $85 anual rent board fees, others get charged $194 

  • Igor Tregub

    Dear “Cyberjaya,”

    As the chair of the Rent Board’s Budget and Personnel Committee, I read of your allegations with interest. I would have thought that the seriousness of these types of allegations – especially if they happened during my term – would have allowed me to be briefed about it. They, if true, are so far from the professionalism that I have witnessed from our staff that I would really need to recalibrate myself. Would you please provide me with some evidence to back up your claims? If you wish to provide it to me privately, you can email me at

    Having been intimately involved in the process of working with Cal’s fraternities, I can provide some factual clarifications to your allegation there. First off, only those fraternities that rent out 1 or more rooms to non-members are asked to register with the Rent Board. However, due to the short nature of a summer lease to a non-member (generally, no longer than 3 months), they are asked to pay $50 per room, rather than the $194. I am not sure where your $85 figure comes from. The reason we are forced to ask fraternities for registration fees is that they were not specifically listed – the way that student cooperatives, for instance were – in the voter-approved 1980 ordinance. Our hands are tied, but if someone wanted to make a modification to the ordinance on a ballot, they could do so. The Rent Board can only enforce what the voters approved.

    Thank you for the opportunity to provide you with some factual data on this matter. I would be very interested in receiving a factual basis or evidence for the other allegations on which you have commented.


  • WBHM

    My Mom Died in 2011, i had to sell her Home She was renting in Berk. that she LIVED in for 50 years,

    there were Tenants there who were ALL on Month to Month, (30 day) no long term leases, and had all been there less than a year, they had all agreed to vacate in the Summer.

    She passed in April, i had to step in as Executor and sell the Property as i could not keep up Mortgage on my Mom’s House with my small salary.

    THE DAY SHE PASSED, the House was No Longer Rent Board EXEMPT, and i could only evict those who were breaking one of the 11″Just Causes for Eviction”

    That is Fine, i am a Renter Myself and agree that Renters need rights too, HOWEVER…

    I had to sell or Lose my Mom’s House to Bank of America.

    I explained to all there what was happening and asked them to Vacate in 100 days.

    The House was in Probate.

    All the Tenants there said that was Fine and they would leave.

    I could not asked them to Leave in 30 days, because it was not Owner Occupied anymore.
    but i didnt want to any way because that is not enough time to find a place.

    As an incentive i told them all that i would pay their PG& E and Water till they left.

    I was not Owner until it was out of Probate, but that didnt matter, Everyone was going to leave.

    And since it was in probate, we had time, so i told them to stay until they found a place.
    (my Mom had always talked about a will but never did it, so it Had to go into Probate)

    Some of the Tenants there were Friends of a Friend, etc…

    But there was this one Guy who came in AFTER my Mom passed, i had rented to him in order to keep up Mortgage payments. He Also said,”No Problem……”

    Then He CHANGED his mind, he went to the Rent Board and found out His “Rights”

    Nevermind that he came in on a Handshake, telling Me that a month to month was just Perfect for Him as he was just wanting to be near Berkeley because He was Studying to be a Pastor at The Berkeley Seminary. He was happy he could bring His 2 cats along with Him, and that he Only asked for a 60 day Heads up.

    Well after the Rent Board was done with Him, he was able to Stay and i had to sell around Him, that was Hard, not many Buyers want to Deal with a remaining Tenant.

    Never the less, i Did it, but in Order to do this i HAD to pay the Tenant 20 THOUSAND Dollars to leave so i could Sell!!!!

    I am NOT kidding, this was all within His “Rights”

    What if my Mother was under water with Her Loan?

    well Fortunately she was not and me and my Brother will get some Inheritance from the House we both grew up in.

    Now if my Mom had more than ONE Property, i could understand, but a Mom and Pop Home?

    I Hope that one Day they change the Laws, this Person who did this was Not Disabled, or Elderly

    and was working, and came into the Situation knowing PERFECTLY well was was going on and KNEW it was just a Temporary Situation.

    So my Friends, what this comes down to, is basically; LEGAL EXTORTION.


  • puhleeze

    I am NOT kidding, this was all within His “Rights”

    You said that you would have been forced into default if it were not for your ability to attract a new renter. So one question is whether you obtained a new renter in a fair way.

    You said that you yourself knew and understood the just-cause provisions of Berkeley ordinance. You said that you sought a renter who would, in spite of his or her rights, leave on 60 days notice.

    You allege that you got a “handshake” from this tenant to that effect. Whether your counter-party understood the agreement to be a contract or something less we may never know. We know that in the end you wanted to treat it as a contract.

    You also say that the tenant was ignorant of his rights at the time.

    By implication, you withheld materially significant facts from your alleged counter-party to this “handshake”.

    In short, you describe actions you took that (according to you) misled a tenant to (according to you) verbally enter into an illegal (i.e. unenforceable) contract. Now you complain that, as a result, you had to pay a large settlement.

    You say that you settled the matter for a figure in the ballpark of what it would have cost you to attempt an eviction that, as I infer you were advised, given the situation you described, would have had little chance of success.

    As a reward for such incompetence as executor, your and your brother’s inheritance is reduced by a corresponding amount.

    Cry me a river.

  • WBHM

    I did not know about the Berkley Rent Board OR the “11 Just Causes for Eviction”
    until i moved here after her Death and tried to take up the job of running the House. I have been in Texas since 1984.
    I was so un awares of what would happen After my Mom died, that i didnt understand
    why the Rent Board was calling me and telling me that i had to REGISTER the rooms, i DID register them after i rented to him and it was at that point i found out about the Rules. I HAD NO IDEA ABOUT ANY LAWS FOR THE RENTER or THE LANDLORD.

    And as for making cheap shots about my Executorship, NOT COOL, i have never done anything like this before, it was put into my Lap by my Mother having a Massive Heart Attack, is not a job i wanted, but one i had to do with NO Experience being a Landlord, i have always rented.
    Regardless of my lack of Detail, you have a Bad attitude to some one who is Grieving the Loss of their Parent, believe me, it is Horrible.

    I said Handshake, because THAT is what we did, AFTER He signed a Lease there was no “IIlegal Contract”, i had rented to him long distance , i was in Texas and we did it all by phone, so when i got to Berkeley, we finally met and shook hands….

    As i said, i did NOT know about the Laws, till AFTER he was in my Mom’s House…..i see you pick apart all i wrote, so that is MY fault for not being more clear, i found out later that this Guy had an Alias, and he had done it before, only i did not know until 3 days before the House was Sold, a Renter that had left 2 months before, came forward.

    And Dont give me this “Cry a River” Crap either, if your Mom had Died and you had to deal with all that ensues after that you would know more about how to try and look at things differently, this Tenant i found on Craigs List, his references all checked out, his financial situation was solid. I had NO IDEA THAT SELLING ONES HOUSE WAS NOT ONE OF THE 11 JUST CAUSES FOR EVICTION, i found that out Later, or by Golly, you’d better believe i would have not let this Stranger into my Mom’s House. Like i said, every one there was a friend of a friend, BY THE WAY, i did NOT Charge him Last, just FIRST and 200 Dept. Furthermore, i only charged him $550 per month for rooms that my Mom was charging 700 for, i just wanted to give people a break. Others there even had a Rent of 400 to 600 per month, depending on the size of the room.

    If i had ANY Fault, it was being TOO nice and too in experienced
    He told me that he understood that the house was going to be for sale and that that was cool, he just wanted to get out of the place he was in, it was a bad situation and he wanted to be in Berkeley eventually so a Temp place would be fine while he looked for something more permanent. Both He and I did NOT know that selling the home did not fit into the 11 just causes, but it didnt matter because he came in knowing that it was and said no problem.
    I rented to him, because i needed help making Mortgage until Probate was over.
    I NEVER let him in under False pretense. Not that i expect you to view my situation differently now that you have heard more detail, it is my Guess that you are a Renter and Not a Landlord.
    Having said all that, it is NOT THE MONEY that Bothers me, it is the Fact that He Broke his promise to me, where as i kept mine to him (100 days).
    Here is the part one might want to take into consideration, in the middle of all this He actually met me in the front yard and told me not to worry, that he WAS looking for a place, it’s just that he liked it at my Mom’s House, i told him that i had recently found out (AFTER i had rent to him and one other) that House was in need of repairs, and the new owner would no doubt have to renovate and maybe NOT continue renting to people, you know, keep it as a primary residence (which it ended up being when it was sold) He said, okay, and he knew that it was just temporary, can i use you as a reference? SURE i said, and one night i was up at midnight and wrote him a GREAT letter of recommendation, he said he had possibly found a place that was close to his School.
    I was all a lie, he he gotten an attorney and the rent board, what he was doing was buying more time, so by the time i had put it on the market and had to sell around him, at that point he would have been there an Entire year, and would be ENTITLED to a Big Settlement.
    I am Disabled and in a Wheel Chair, i only make 880.00 a month, i was having a real hard time keeping up Mortgage on my Salary. So i was between a Rock and a hard Place and had to continue to Rent.
    All the other Tenants there left, found places, and Never asked for Money that did Not belong to them.
    In fact, they left me with a PG& E bill of $670.00 and a water bill of $450.00, but since i had told them that i would pick it up and pay out of my inheritance, i did not Gripe…
    oh and one MORE thing!!!
    One lady who lived up stairs, had a hard time finding work, so i told her to keep 2 months rent and help it move out. it Hurt my budget to do that, but the way i looked at it, i had a pay check and she did not.
    I am raising my 2 small children on my own, and yet still found a way to Help others.

    So before you go painting me as the Big Bad Landlord, Dont.


  • PragmaticProgressive

    I’m sorry for your loss.

    I am no fan of the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board. However, your situation is a good illustration of why it is not always a good idea to choose an adult child to serve as Executor of an estate. By your own admission, you lack the expertise to handle the assets in this estate and it has cost the estate sizable sums of money. As Executor, you are personally liable for that performance and if the other heirs are unhappy with your actions, you may called to account for it. If there are still ongoing issues, you might seek professional counsel so that you don’t keep getting in over your head. The fact that your tenant is a jerk is really beside the point — you need to protect yourself.

  • WBHM

    Thank you for your compassion.

    Well the House is Sold now and not my responsibility anymore, it is my sincere desire that the New Owner fixes it up nice and is Happy there, the House was Cosmetically neglected and needs a face lift. The Buyer said he wanted it for His Home so that is Great! He also Specializes in fixing up old Homes.

    The New Owner made an offer and took the House with 2 tenants in it, the difficult one included, but after the Tenant complained that another Tenant had stolen his Measuring cups etc.. the Buyer was not happy, he thought he was going to have a clean Estoppel, but the Tenant had SCRIBBLED All over it.

    The Buyer asked for a reduction of 20 Thou since the Tenant had told the ebclc lawyer that is what he wanted in order to leave.

    Thus i had to go down 20 Thou on the Sale price, sign the Tittle Co. statement that included this payment go to the Tenant, etc…

    I went to an Estate Attorney the very month my Mom Passed in 2011 and he said to me; “Well first we need to find an Executor/Administrator.” “Oh,” i said; “I thought that you would do that”

    I was upset, about losing my Maw and had to go back to Texas.

    He said that i could do it and he went to the Courts and made me Official.

    Well as far as Assets go, i am not clear on what you mean, i kept track of EVERYTHING that my brother and i spent on the House, Bills and anything that pertained to the Estate of my Mother, down to the Penny, i used to do payroll.
    COUNTLESS HOURS on the Phone with Bank of America Home Loans, THAT was Fun! Arrrg.

    Travelers House Ins. did not want to Insure a Deceased Person, so i went through HELL trying to Find a Company to Insure the Home, but i succeeded.

    I think where i was Not a good Admin. is because i have a hard time telling someone “NO”

    I was too soft in some places and hard nosed in others, for example, the Lady that was upstairs at my Mom’s house just stopped paying me Rent in Oct of last year, when i pursued it, she said, later, later, later, the gave me a sob story about how she did not have enough clients, she was a Massage Therapist, anyway, i felt sorry for her and told her to keep 2 months rent, instead of trying to pay me, just keep whatever she made and use it to move out, i was being pressured buy my Realtor and Estate Attorney to get every one out before we sold, but they NEVER helped me.

    I tried to tell them that it wasnt that easy in Berk to just Evict, and i could use a little Help. They should have known that, they work here. (in Berk)

    I WAS able to evict her as Executor since she was not paying Rent, which of course IS one of the 11 just causes, but i felt that she needed a break, she was having problems in life bla bla bla.

    She was a friend of a Friend, but i had Just met her, so i really did not owe her Anything.

    In fact the Tenant who recommended her was Very Angry at her for staying and sandbagging, i told him nevermind, that she promised she would leave….

    she told me she would,…. in sept. oct. nov. dec. jan. etc…

    Well she ended up asking ME for 3 thousand dollars, but i told her the House would not be mine anymore and to take that up with the New Owner

    Last thing i heard she was still there as of the End of Jan. but i dont know any more, it is not mine to worry about.

    I payed ALL my Mothers Bills with the Estate Money, Her Dentist, Berk Rent Board,
    Mortgage, Credit Cards etc.
    And i am now Administering all funds to those who she thought needed help in life, (cash Gifts to friends and Family)
    i am doing her Taxes, so i believe i am doing an okay job, just not with People.

    My Estate Attorney, i feel left it ALL to me, he did Not step in till the End and did some Faxing, a few phone calls Etc..

    Oh Well, lesson learned.

    My Mom just wants us to be happy, so i am trying to Let go. It’s Hard tho,
    many Memories in that House.


  • WBHM

    Okay,now i understand what you meant by Assets, i was soo wrapped up in my own self defense…

    You are correct, but i thought and thought about this, the Estate Attorney was Not an Eviction Attorney, and the Realtor was not Experienced in Berk rent control laws, so when they pressured me to have this Tenant evicted, they didnt know this could not happen until it was out of probate and i was owner, so i should have found a different Realtor? or a different Attorney? No, because it would not have mattered.

    Both the Realtor and Estate Attorney kept telling me: “You need to Get Everyone OUT”

    How??? i said to them.

    Just DO it!! was the response, finally i learned the Straight Dope, unless he was not breaking one of the 11 commandments, i COULD NOT.

    I had to tell my Realtor and my Estate Attorney that we had to SELL AROUND this Guy, they did not want to, but what choice did i have?


    I could not keep getting Money from my Realtor.

    See the Reason that my Estate Attorney told me to sell while in Probate, was because that since my Brother was not able to Deal with all the Details of the Paper work that we should sell while IN Probate.

    This is True, my Brother is Drinking Himself to DEATH since Mom Died.

    Anyway, what the Estate Attorney meant was, since brother was unable to even leave his house, let alone attend a meeting of any kind, brother would be difficult to have around at Time of Probate Ending…this ALSO is TRUE, brother is a MEAN Drunk and curses everyone out.

    Perhaps i should have waited till it was out of probate, become Owner, then Moved in and waited the required amount of time, then evict instead of emptying the House and then trying to sell, only Probate was taking a Long Time and there was not enough money from rent to pay Property Taxes, it was getting Sticky.

    Anyway, Attorneys point was, as Admin.Sell now, less Hassle later, but in order to sell, i had to empty the House, but after i emptied the House, HOW would i pay Mortgage?

    Well the Attorney said he would get me a Bridge Loan…..

    So told him, LOAN FIRST, empty House Later, He said go ahead, we can do this Simultaneously.

    I fully believed him to produce….

    IT DID NOT HAPPEN…months and months of looking for a Loan, months and months of Him Not returning my Calls.
    I was 2 months behind on Mortgage.

    Then Finally my Realtor Stepped in and Loaned me money to pay the Mortgage!

    Hooray! ( i paid him back of course)

    So if it weren’t for my Realtor, i would have been screwed and possibly lost the House, now i ask you, isn’t the Estate Attorney supposed to Help me so that does Not Happen?

    i don’t know.

    Any way this all Mute because i pulled it off.

    See, if the 2 Tenants had left when i asked them i could have sold the property extremely quick as Berkeley Property is in Big Demand, i would not have been strapped for cash, because i could have sold it Fast, but by the other Tenants leaving (when asked) the 2 remaining Tenant’s Rent was NOT ENOUGH to make Mortgage.
    They did not want to leave and therefore put me in a situation of sorts.

    Now, one might say, WOW you had a Bad Estate Attorney, but how could one know from the Start?

    So you see, i accept All Blame where I am concerned, but i was Left to Deal with Berkeley Rent Board Laws on my Own, NO help from my Estate Attorney, and my Realtor had to get Help from ANOTHER Realtor who DID know the Laws and simply said to us all; “Pay Him off, you will not be able to get him out due to the circumstances…pay him off”

    Well we made the Tenant an offer of 5 Thousand Dollars to be paid by my Realtor

    ( to be paid back by me of Course) and the Tenant said that he did not want any Money, he simply wanted to STAY, he “Liked” it there.

    That did not make sense of course because the New Owner would be able to evict him, as it would be Owner Occupied Later.

    So what was really Happening, was the Tenant was Playing Dirty Pool.

    He was trying to make us all crazy all so the Pay Off Price would Go up.

    And that’s is what ended up Happening, the Lawyer at the Rent Board and the Lawyer at the ebclc told this Guy that he could ask for 20 Thou.

    And so he did.

    S0 much for “Not wanting Money”

    I was upset of course, not so much because of the Money, but that i had been played.

    So it looks like the “Professionals” , Estate Attorney, Realtor, were not so Good at their jobs Either, and THEY do this for a Living… Not I.

    I lost 20 Thou on the Deal, but was it REALLY ALL MY Fault?

    the Blame i accept is letting this Guy in, but who could know he would do this?

    the other Tenants ( except Massage Lady ) were Honorable People and simply went and found other Lodgings, they did not feel like they were “Owed” something, they knew they were on a Periodical Lease when them came in (when my Mom was still there).

    It was JUST the Passing of my Mother that CHANGED the Rules, and therefore Entitled this Tenant to Financial Gain.
    He said he had no problem with it being Temporary, but when he found out he could get money, he Abused the System, yes, thats what he did.
    I must remind all, that he KNEW it was Temporary and thus regaurdless of the Laws changing, after my Mom’s Death does not mean he is Justified, NOBODY took advantage of HIM.
    Like i said before, he had a job, was not Disabled or Elderly.

    Also, arent Pastors supposed to Help People in their Time of Grief?
    instead of Cause MORE?

    Just thought it would help me to get this story out.

    Thanks all,


  • One must also consider the misleading reports submitted by Board members Lisa Stephens and Stephen Barton, Ph.D. They submitted a report which states, in part:

    “Market rents in Berkeley’s rent stabilized apartments reached all-time highs in 2012 according to the latest “Quarterly Market Median” rent report by Berkeley’s Rent Stabilization Program. The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment was $1,850 a month, up 8.8% from 2011, and the median rent for a one-bedroom was $1,325, up 6.0% from 2011.”

    What is troubling is that the amount of pay and benefits received by this do-little Board, they didn’t even bother to provide a comprehensive report detailing the actual facts. For example, this skimpy report, if you can call it a report, does not provide information regarding the out of pocket amount paid by the tenant; what portion is the subsidized housing; If utilities are included; and the average square footage, as a one bed room can be one room only. Bottom line, this Rent Control Board should be renamed Berkeley’s Boondoggle.

  • bgal4 provided you with good information. Ever heard of the saying “If you are in a hole, stop digging?”

  • No one could have said it better. Thanks!

  • Sir, your statement is reprehensible. How can you, a public official, criticize the Grand Jury for doing their job. If you are an attorney, apparently you fail to understand that the Grand Jury goes where the evidence take them. For you to even suggest that their investigation has “no nexus” is a paltry back door way of supporting the BRSB, and stating that the Grand Jury is out of line.

  • Based upon everything that you have stated, you are not impartial. You make statements, and as soon as someone call you on it, pointing out the irregularities, you change your story. Again “quit digging.”

  • “I have a feeling you don’t like me” is a classic example of ad hominem.

  • guest

    Bored, papchoppers?

  • guest

    Replying to 6 month old threads is a classic example of boredom

  • guest

    >replies to 6 months old thread
    >expects response

  • guest

    Whoa! my bad: NINE month old thread

  • At least spell my name correctly.