Suspension of rent control suggested

rent control

By the Daily Post staff

Mountain View’s Rental Housing Committee tonight (Dec. 14) will discuss whether it wants to look into suspending rent control because of the city’s vacancy rate.

Mountain View voters in 2016 approved rent control for apartments built before Feb. 1, 1995. The law limits annual rent increases to the consumer price index or 5%, whichever is less. But the law says that rent control could be suspended if the vacancy rate exceeds 5%.

Rental Housing Committee member Julian Pardo de Zela wants to board to put the idea of suspending rent control on a future agenda. The committee will talk about this tonight.

If the committee agrees to schedule a future meeting on suspension of rent control, city employees would do a survey to determine the vacancy rate.

Here’s the report to the committee and Pardo de Zela’s letter to the RHC.

Bruce England, speaking for the Mountain View Coalition for Sustainable Planning, said that if the vacancy rate is above 5%, it is due to “extraordinary circumstances related to the Covid pandemic” such as people losing their jobs or seeing their pay cut.

“And we can be reasonably certain the vacancy rate will return to its previous state once the pandemic is over,” England wrote.


  1. The law is the law. If the vacancy rate is above 5%, rent control should be suspended. It’s what the voters were promised. It doesn’t matter if there was a pandemic or a nuclear explosion, if the vacancy rate is above 5%, then rent control should be shut down for a year. If the city doesn’t obey its own laws, then why should they expect citizens to do so?

  2. Don’t suspend rent control – 2020 is different … look at 401k .. used to have 10% penalty and that was changed because of Covid … so the vacancy rate is due to covid not regular circumstances
    You greedy people – STOP TRYING to make hard working people pay more rent

  3. Tenants aren’t paying rent because of Covid. Where is a landlord supposed to find the money to pay gas, electric, water, garbage, the mortgage? Is the landlord supposed to let the property go into foreclosure.

  4. If they suspend rent control it will 100% be Mountain View voters’ fault.

    They put most of the (rent control-hating) city council back in power in November, so now they get to deal with homelessness … or, more realistically, watching their neighbors get homeless, while they cluck to themselves about how evil rent control is.

  5. Can someone clarify, if landlords lower their rents right now b/c times are bad, then if the economy picks back up again, are they stuck now at keeping rents at the lower level, unable to come back up to market? If so, that means a lot of them would rather have empty units than lower the rent. Seems like what really needs to happen (if this is the case) is for them to be able to lower rents now, with the option to return to whatever their previous level was as market conditions warrant.

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