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Compromises needed in EPA, not a moratorium

Original post made by Diana Diamond, Palo Alto Online blogger, on Jan 9, 2008

One of the liveliest city council meetings in the area occurs each Tuesday night in East Palo Alto, where decisions are frequently made for political rather than practical reasons, and where emotions run strong and tempers frequently flare.

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Comments (7)

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Posted by Jeremy Loski
a resident of Ventura
on Jan 9, 2008 at 11:57 am

Page Mill Properties is a perfect example of "capitalism without kindness". Anyone who can run a spreadsheet knows that EPA is currently undervalued, but when a private company buys out 1600 *rental* units, filled with persons who are at best middle income, and begin to raise rents to a point where the current tenants are financially challenged, is just plain selfish, and not in the interest of our community.

In fact, we need to see rent control on this side of 101, as well. I have recently seen rather small, one-bedroom units in Palo Alto going for $1800-2100 per month. That's too much, especially given the fact that residential landlords who own property here are pretty much guaranteed a handsome return on their investment, solely from property appreciation.

My hope is that Page Mill properties loses in court, and that they are forced to fix the dwellings that they purchased, instead of using the misfortune endured as a result of the gross negligence of the prior landlord (who should be sued by East Palo Alto for violating tenets of lease agreements). The prior landlord should be made to contribute toward repair, no question.

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Posted by Citizen
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 9, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Jeremy - if landlords get such a great return on rentals, you should become a landlord. Lets do the math - a crappy beedroom, 1 bath house in midtown Palo Alto sells for only $1.2 million (roughly). If you borrow $1 million and put down $200,000, your monthly principal, interest and property taxes will be only $7550. Since you can rent this property for about $2750 a month, you should get rich in no time.

I also love your line "the prior landlord should be made to contribute toward repair, no question" - do you offer post-sale warranties when you sell your used car to someone else?

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Posted by Jeremy Loski
a resident of Ventura
on Jan 9, 2008 at 3:20 pm

Citizen, Let's get real here; this is about multi-dwell buildings, and the kind of renter abuse visited by slumlords. Slum lords like Page mill properties, and its predecessor.

As for the prior landlord, given the egregious condition of the properties, that landlord had been in long term violation of contracts (leases) with tenants. That landlord should be sued for damages, and/or have his/her name published in the newspaper. Shame on those who make a profit at the expense of those who are most vulnerable. The latter are the sickest portion of our society, and deserve to be called out.

Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 9, 2008 at 3:55 pm

Atlas shrugged.
Perhaps EPA taxpayers should offer to make up the difference between the owner's asking price and the tenant's idea of a fair rent. They may well, like Half Moon Bay, wind up paying it anyway. Or let the city buy the property at market and then set rents compassionately.

Like this comment
Posted by EPA
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 9, 2008 at 4:25 pm

Slumlords should not be welcome, ever.

Like this comment
Posted by R Wray
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 9, 2008 at 10:05 pm

Looks like the 3.2% limit on rent increases has been the problem all along. This is not capitalism; it's statism. And statism has never been "kind".

Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 10, 2008 at 2:05 am

"Slumlords should not be welcome, ever"
Slumlords are the absolutely certain result of rent control. Always. Through recorded history. Fountainhead was wrong. Check the record in Chicago and in Hunters Point-Bayview.

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