RENT STABILIZATION BOARD
Regular Meeting

Monday, August 5, 2002
7:00p.m.

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

AGENDA

1. Roll Call - 6:00 PM  Closed Session      7:00 PM Regular Board Meeting

2. Closed Session - 6:00 PM

CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL - EXISTING LITIGATION (Subdivision (a) of Section 54956.9 of the Government Code)

Dezerega v. City of Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board [Meggs] Alameda County Superior Court Number 2001-032280

Berkeley Property Owners Association v. City of Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board Alameda County Superior Court Number 8319881

Hanerfeld v. City of Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board [Gillin] Alameda County Superior Court Number C824551

Hanerfeld v. City of Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board Alameda County Superior Court Number 2001-1029283

3. Announcement of action taken in Closed Session at Special Meeting of July 31, 2002.

The Rent Board met in closed session on July 31, 2002, pursuant to Government Code section 54957 [Public Employment Appointment - Executive Director] and took the following action: Directed staff to formally request that the City Manager ask the City Council to amend the Personnel Ordinance (Berkeley Municipal Code section 4.04.120) so as to provide that any employee in the career service promoted or transferred to the position of Executive Director of the Rent Stabilization Program shall be reinstated to his or her career appointment from which he or she was promoted or transferred if within six months of appointment to the position, action is taken to dismiss him or her, unless charges are filed and the employee is discharged in accordance with the Personnel Ordinance and rules.

The motion was made by Commissioner Hogarth and seconded by Commissioner Maldonado. Commissioners Maldonado, Spector, Siegel, Hogarth and Chong voted in favor of the motion; Commissioners Janowitz, Anderson, Harris and Alberti voted against. Motion passed: 5-4.

4. Approval of the Agenda

5. Ceremonial

Dedication of the August 5, 2002 Rent Stabilization Board meeting to the memory of Hank Henson, a long time Berkeley resident, tenants' rights activist and former staff member of Tenant Action Project (TAP), a Berkeley based non-profit which provided services for low-income tenants in Berkeley.

6. Public Forum

7. Approval of June 17, 2002 Minutes 

8. Appeals - Time Certain - 7:30PM

a. Appeal T-4027 - 2412 Piedmont Avenue. The landlord claims that the award of rent overcharges for poor maintenance and upkeep of his 49-unit rooming house is not supported by evidence in the record and alleges that the hearing examiner was biased against him. A review of the record establishes that the findings of the hearing examiner are supported by substantial evidence in the record and that there is no evidence of bias. For this reason, it is recommended that the decision of the hearing examiner be affirmed.

b. Appeal T-4126 - 2403 Grant Street, Unit G. The landlord appeals the hearing examiner finding that he collected rent in excess of the lawful rent ceiling and that he failed to submit any credible evidence to justify retention of all or a portion of the tenant's security deposit. On appeal, the landlord claims the tenant's rent overcharge award should be reduced because the tenant collected illegally high rent from several subtenants. The landlord also claims he is entitled to keep the security deposit because the tenant damaged the rental unit. There is, however, no evidence in the record to support these claims. For this reason, it is recommended that the decision of the hearing examiner be affirmed.

c. Appeal T-4197 - 2414 Parker Street, #1. The landlord appeals a finding that his actions constituted a policy, as defined in Regulation 1270(C), that reduced the number of tenants allowed to occupy the subject rental unit to a number below the base occupancy level. On appeal the landlord offers new evidence in an attempt to rebut the allegation that he only rents to students and re-alleges that he has good reason for refusing to accept a proposed new roommate. The evidence proffered could have been presented at the petition hearing and, therefore, will not be considered on appeal. Furthermore, the hearing examiner decision to reduce the rent by 50% is supported by substantial evidence in the record. For these reasons, it is recommended that the decision of the hearing examiner be affirmed.

9. Action Items

a. From Committees

(1) Second reading of amendments to Regulation 1242 to clarify and modify aspects of the appeals process including the requirements for filing an appeal, the effect of filing an appeal, the procedure for official notice and the length, timing and content of the parties' oral presentations. (IRA/AGA)

(2) Second reading of proposed amendment to Subsection (B)(3) of Regulation 1269 to provide that the minimum rent decrease for a rental unit that substantially lacks the affirmative characteristics of subdivisions (b) [plumbing/gas facilities], (c) [hot/cold running water] and (d) [adequate heating facilities] of Civil Code section 1941.1 shall be 20%. (IRA/AGA)

(3) Recommendation to adopt a resolution authorizing the Executive Director to modify the contract with Housing Rights, Inc. (HRI) for Fiscal Year 2002/2003, to increase the amount payable by $4,500 to cover the cost of preparing an instructional Repair and Deduct manual to be distributed to Berkeley tenants. (Eviction)

b. From Director

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

Waiver No.      Location
2852                 1213 Curtis Street
2853                 2411 Blake Street
2855                 2412 Atherton Street
2857                 2001 Channing Way
2865                 1940 Francisco Street
2866                 1644 Prince Street
2867                 2711 Forest Avenue
2869                 1526 Arch Street
2872                 1139 Oxford Street
2875                 1728-30 Derby Street
2876                 2600 Virginia Street
2880                 1108-10 Francisco Street
2884                 1939 Stuart Street

(2) Recommendation to adopt a resolution authorizing the Executive Director to modify the executive search contract with William Hawkins Company to pay an addition $905.63 over the $24,000 contracted amount as reimbursement for advertisements in The Recorder and Western City Magazine which were added by the Board after the contract had been negotiated and signed.

10. Announcements

a. Reports from Board Members/Staff.

b. Announcements of upcoming Committee Meetings:

(1) Budget and Personnel
(2) Community Education and Outreach
(3) Eviction
(4) IRA/AGA
(5) Student Outreach and Internship
(6) 3x3 City Council/RSB Housing Committee

c. Housing Update program televised live: Monday, September 9, 2002 at 5:30pm Host Commissioner Janowitz.

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

11. Adjournment

In memory of Hank Henson, Berkeley Activist.