City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to pass stronger rent laws, limiting annual rent increases to no more than 10 percent for tenants and imposing a 70 percent cap on costs of building developments passed to tenants.
Advocates for both tenants and landlords came to a resolve after Vice Mayor Reid encouraged both parties to mediate and come to a mutual agreement after a Feb. 25 Community and Economic Development meeting. The agreed upon resolution was presented to the council on Tuesday before the vote.
“I’m very pleased with the things that happened, and have the deepest appreciation for everyone involved,” said Vice Mayor Larry Reid. “The compromise is a viable working victory for both landlords and tenants.”
Proposed by Councilmember Libby Schaaf and seconded by Vice Mayor Larry Reid, the motion was passed with seven ayes and one excused from Councilmember Desley Brooks who was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.
Reid went on to acknowledge James Vann, Greg McConnell, Luke Blacklidge, Marc Janowitz, Michele Byrd, Connie Taylor, Rich Illgen, and Councilmember Schaaf.
Schaaf pointed out that the 10 percent cap is not limited to just capital improvements, but applies to all rent increases. Her proposal also required that rent refunds be paid with interest.
“What the Council passed let every family know that they will never get an increase of more than 10 percent in a year or more than 30 percent over five years,” said Councilmember Schaaf in an interview with The Post.
“It was a great victory for tenants and a great victory for consensus building in Oakland. Everyone was surprised and encouraged that landlord’s and tenants could reach so much consensus on how to protect our families and make Oakland’s neighborhoods stable,” she continued.
The council also unanimously passed to eliminate debt service increases and the final adoption of the ordinance will come before the council on April 1. The council will conduct a final reading of the rent regulation on April 22.