RENT STABILIZATION BOARD
Regular Meeting

Thursday, February 20, 2003
7 p.m.

2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Council Chambers, Berkeley, CA.
Broadcast Live - KPFB - 89.3 FM
BTV Cable Channel 25 and
CTV Cable Channel 78

AGENDA

1. Roll Call - 6:00 p.m. Closed Session; 7 p.m. Regular Meeting

2. Closed Session - 6 p.m.

Item 1. CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL - Existing Litigation (Subdivision (a) of Section 54956.9 of the Government Code)

Berkeley Property Owners Association v. City of Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board Superior Court No. 831986-1

Item 2. PUBLIC EMPLOYEE APPOINTMENT (Pursuant to Government Code section 54957) Title: Chief Counsel

3. Approval of Agenda

Please Note: The Board may rearrange items to accommodate time certain items.

4. Public Forum

5. Approval of the Minutes - Minutes of the February 3, 2003 regular meeting.

6. Appeals - Time Certain - 7:30 p.m.

a. Appeal T-4293 - 2821 Hillegass Avenue, #3. In this case, petitioner sought a rent reduction on the grounds that her upstairs neighbor was destroying her quiet enjoyment of her rental unit. The hearing examiner cited McHugh v. Santa Monica Rent Control Bd. and reasoned that resolution of disputes between neighbors was not reasonably necessary for the Board to accomplish its primary purpose of regulating rent ceilings in the City of Berkeley. Therefore, the Board lacked jurisdiction to hear the petition. Petitioner appealed the decision. Petitioner also filed a civil action against her neighbor in the Alameda County Superior Court. On appeal, staff recommends that the Board affirm the hearing examiner or, in the alternative, defer to the court's jurisdiction.

b. Appeal T-4297/RWN-1382 - 910 Grayson Street. The tenant appeals the hearing examiner's decision claiming that the landlords are ineligible for the 1982-1996 general adjustments (AGA's), that rent reductions granted for habitability violations are too small and that the rent overcharges were calculated incorrectly. Review of the record reveals that petitioners did not challenge the landlord's eligibility for the 1981-1996 AGA's and the finding of eligibility is supported by substantial evidence. It is recommended that several rent reductions for habitability problems be increased, but the method of calculating rent overcharges is correct. Therefore, it is recommended that the decision of the hearing examiner otherwise be affirmed.

7. Action Items

a. From Committees

(1) Second reading of proposal to amend subdivision (A)(2) of Regulation 1013 to clarify that the "initial rent" for a rental unit is the market rent established by the parties at the commencement of the tenancy and that where the rental agreement includes period for which the tenant pays reduced, discounted or "free" rent, the monthly market rent is calculated as the average of the monthly payments made during the initial term of the agreement or during the first twelve months of a month-to-month tenancy. (IRA/AGA)

b. From Executive Director

(1) Proposal to approve staff recommendation on the following request for waiver of late registration penalties.

Waiver No.   Location
2909              2430 Hilgard Avenue
2925              1912 Woolsey Street
2932              2233 McGee Avenue
2933              3008 Dana Street
2940              2804 Martin Luther King Jr. Way

8. Information and Announcements

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

a. Reports and information from Board Members/staff.

(1) Mailing of Apparent Lawful Rent Ceilings. (Executive Director)

(2) Update on the status of Conference on Rent Stabilization. (Executive Director)

(3) Update on status of challenge to Measure EE (Executive Director)

b. Committee meeting announcements and reports:

(1) Budget/Personnel

a) Agenda of February 18 meeting.

(2) Combined Student and Community Outreach - Next meeting: Monday, February 24 at 6 p.m., 2001 Center, 2nd Floor Law Library.

(3) Eviction

a) Agenda and draft minutes of January 27 meeting.

b) Agenda of February 19 meeting.

(4) IRA/AGA

a) Agendas and approved minutes of January 23 meeting.

b) Agenda of February 13 meeting.

(5) 3x3

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

9. Adjournment