RENT STABILIZATION BOARD
Regular Meeting

Monday, March 7, 2005
7 p.m.

2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Council Chambers, Berkeley, CA.
Broadcast Live - KPFB - 89.3 FM
BTV Cable Channel 33

AGENDA

1. Roll Call - 7:00 PM 

2. Approval of Agenda 

3. Public Forum 

4. Approval of the Minutes 

Minutes of the February 7, 2005 regular meeting.

5. Appeal Time Certain - 7:15 p.m.

a. Appeal T-4556; 1305 Ashby Avenue. (Continued from March 7th meeting.) This is a tenant appeal of a hearing examiner decision that awarded $282.02 for rent overcharges resulting from a water leak and several minor habitability problems. On appeal, the tenant makes a general claim that he was not given an adequate opportunity to present evidence. Following the first appeal hearing, the Board directed staff to review the record to determine when the landlord had notice of rust surrounding the drain in the kitchen sink. (The hearing examiner determined the degree of impairment for this problem, 0.09%, did not warrant a rent reduction.) Staff found that the landlord had notice of the rust since at least April 4, 2002, the date of the hearing on petition T-4218 previously filed by the tenant. Granting a 0.9% rent reduction from April 4, 2002 through July 31, 2004, in addition to the adjustment recommended by staff, increases the total overcharge award from $282.02 to $332.73.

b. Appeal T-4587; 2215 Bonar Street #H. This is a landlord appeal of an award of rent overcharges. A review of the record establishes that an initial rent of $800 was set for the subject unit in October 2001. The rent was subsequently raised to $950 and then to $1000 without Board authorization. On appeal, the landlords argue that they were entitled to raise the rent because the tenants had previously occupied the subject unit before moving to a different unit on the property for a short period of time. They claim that a new tenancy did not commence when the tenants moved back into the subject unit and, therefore, the rent was not restricted by the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, but could be raised to the prior rent ceiling. There is no factual or legal merit to this claim. For this reason, it is recommended that the decision of the hearing examiner be affirmed.

6. Action Items 

a. From Board Members, Committees and Executive Director

(1) Recommendation that the Board adopt a resolution in memory of Karl Linn to be presented at his memorial on March 20, 2005. (Commissioner Walden)

(2) That the Board adopt on first reading proposals to amend Regulations 701 [Security Deposits], 702 [Payment of Interest on Security Deposits] and 704 [Deduction of Interest from Rent] to clarify the procedures and interest rates payable on security deposits when the interest is not paid in December as required by B.M.C. section 13.76.070. [PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.] (IRA/AGA Committee)

(3) That the Board adopt on first reading proposal to amend Regulation 1271 to provide for tolling of limitation period for liability for rent overcharges where the tenant delays filing petition in reasonable reliance on landlord's misrepresentations. [PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.] (IRA/AGA Committee)

(4) Recommendation to adopt a resolution authorizing the Executive Director to transfer $200,000 from the AEPhi lawsuit settlement to the Housing Trust Fund. The $200,000 is to be used specifically for low-income housing development projects presented to the Board at its February 24th regular meeting. [PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.] (Budget and Personnel Committee)

(5) Recommendation to cancel March 21st regular Board meeting. (Executive Director)

(6) Rescinding Resolution 98-27, which allows two Board members to constitute a quorum of a committee. [PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.] (Chair Chong)

(7) Proposal to approve staff recommendation on the following requests for waiver of late registration penalties. (Executive Director)

Ministerial Waivers 

Waiver No.      Property Address
3218                 2316 Ward Street 
3219                 2122 9th Street 
3220                 1362 Hopkins Street 
3221                 2005 Vine Street 
3222                 1247-49 Cedar Street 
3224                 1933 Ashby Avenue 
3226                 2620 Piedmont Avenue 
3228                 2620 Dana Street 
3230                 2518 Etna Street

Discretionary Waivers

Waiver No.      Property Address
3214                 781 Spruce Street 
3217                 1109 Parker Street 
3223                 1901-1902 Vine Street 
3225                 1823 Delaware Street 
3229                 1360 Berkeley Way 
3231                 2535 Regent Street 
3232                 1780 Le Roy Avenue 
3233                 2413 Milvia Street 
3234                 901 Page/1425 - 7th Street 
3236                 1815 Berkeley Way 
3237                 3200 Ellis Street 
3238                 1324 Alcatraz Avenue 
3239                 1547 Prince Street 
3240                 1312 Alcatraz Avenue 
3241                 1439 Carleton Street 
3242                 2721 California Street 
3247                 2914-16 Ellsworth Street

7. Information and Announcements

Please Note: The Board may move Information Items to the Action Calendar.

a. Reports and information from Board Members/staff.

(1)Berkeley Municipal Code IX. Rent Stabilization Chapter 13.76 Rent Stabilization and Eviction for Good Cause Program updated December 2004. [PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.] (Executive Director) 

(2) Soft story community meeting of February 24, 2005. (Board Members and Executive Director) 

(3) Preliminary draft report on City of Berkeley Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development 2005-2010. (Executive Director) 

(4) Winter 2005 Newsletter. [PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.] (Executive Director) 

(5) Selection of Staff Attorney I. (Executive Director) 

(6) Mid-Year Budget Report. (Executive Director) 

(7) Lawful Rent Ceiling Notices. (Executive Director) 

(8) 2004 Annual Statement of Economic Interest. (Executive Director) 

(9) Community Budget Meetings. (Executive Director)

b. Committee meeting announcements and reports. (Committee meetings will be held at the Rent Board Offices located at 2001 Center Street, 2nd Floor, Law Library unless otherwise noted.)

(1) Budget/Personnel 

a. Minutes of February 4th meeting. 

b. Minutes of February 25th meeting. 

(2) Outreach 

a. Minutes of February 17th meeting. 

(3) Eviction - Next Meeting: Monday, March 14th at 6 p.m. 

(4) IRA/AGA 

a. Minutes of February 14th meeting. 

b. Minutes of February 28th meeting. 

(5) 4 x 4

c. Discussion of items for possible placement on future agenda material.

8. Adjournment