Fresh From Court Win, Mountain View Green Lights Rent Control

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Mountain View is beginning to implement its new rent control and tenant protection laws.

Earlier this month a judge denied a request for a preliminary injunction from the California Apartment Association and landlords who claim Measure V, which was passed by voters last November, is unconstitutional and unfairly harms rental property owners.

Measure V - which is now in effect - limits rent increases to the consumer price index for certain properties. The law rolls back rents to October 2015 levels for tenants who were in their rentals before that time. It affirms the city's just cause eviction ordinance and gives power to the Rental Housing Committee to rule over disputes between tenants and landlords.

The City Council on Tuesday night approved the five new members and alternatives of the committee, which will be responsible for setting new rent levels and overseeing all things related to Measure V.

A coalition of legal counselors plans to hold a series of tenant education workshops beginning Thursday.

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"We know that folks have questions about what this new law means to them," said Stanford law professor Juliet Brodie, an attorney for the Mountain View tenants. "We just want to make ourselves available for information and help the city get this thing operational as smoothly as possible."

The city is also hosting a series of tenant and landlord workshops in May.

Around 14,000 tenants are protected by the new rent control laws, said Brodie.

The California Apartment Association and private landlords continue to challenge Measure V in Santa Clara County Superior Court.

“Obviously, we are disappointed by the court’s decision, but this is only a temporary setback in our efforts. The merits of our challenges have not been decided, which will occur in the next stage of the proceedings," said Joshua Howard, CAA’s senior vice president for Northern California, on the association's website.

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The CAA adds that it's important that Mountain View rental property owners follow the law as the case continues to move towards trial.

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