March 2015 News for Berkeley Property Owners & Housing Providers

Next Members Meeting
Saturday March  7th, 2015

Leasing Workshop
with Sam Sorokin, Managing Partner
of Premium Properties

Refreshments: 9:30am   Meeting: 10:00am  sharp

St. Johns Presbyterian Church
2727 College Avenue
in Berkeley, 94705.
Fireside Meeting Room

See the Event Calendar for Details

Where Does the Money Go?

President's Report

 The last time I looked at the budget carefully (a few years ago) I believe the it was around $3,800,000. The Rent Board manages 21,000 units so, at $194 per unit, that should simply result in a budget of a tad over $4,000,000. However, of those 21,000 rent controlled units, many belong to non-profits or are Section 8 and managed by Berkeley Housing Authority, or are owner occupied and, for one reason or another, exempt from the registration fee.  The figure previously used at budget meetings was that approximately 18,000 units pay a registration fee, which should mean that their revenue is a little under $3,500,000...So, where is the other $700,000 coming from? Is this other source of income a reliable one that can be depended on moving forward?

Now, without raising the registration fees, the budget is $4,245,000. We know the Rent Board lends out staff to other City of Berkeley departments and then collects for time spent on other City issues. So, does this mean  the City is paying the rent board an additional $700,000 for services? The only other known source of revenue is registration fees, which should be $3,600,000 even on the high side. Is it fair that the Rent Board is now using our tax money on top of our registration fees to fund its activities?

This extra $700,000 in the Rent Board’s budget equates to approximately 4.5 full time employees. The Rent Board currently employs 21.5 employees. The amount the rent board spends on the employees is $3,432,400. So that means that average employee is costing the Rent Board $159,646 including benefits.

But that is the average employee. The median household income in Alameda County in 2011 was $67,558 and that number is lower when just looking at the statistical area comprised of Berkeley, Oakland and San Leandro.

In addition, the Rent Board is giving away grants to the tune of $290,000 this year. This is the money that presumably goes to the Eviction Defense Center and the East Bay Community Law Center. Then there is $145,000 which is spent on public outreach. This presumably covers the fancy newsletters and brochures that are being mailed out on a regular basis.

READ ON

The New Non-Smoking Brochure and
Lease addendum are available
online for members in our  
Forms Library

If you are not a member yet and would like to see a list of BPOA-maintained forms along with brief descriptions, you can do so here.

Too Much Stuff?
Some Tips on Helping Tenants
Who Hoard

Low Income Landlords? 
Find Eviction Help Here

 

THE ALAMEDA COUNTY GRAND JURY HAS ISSUED A REPORT EXCORIATING THE BERKELEY RENT STABILIZATION BOARD
....(and the League of Women Voters Agree!)

 Click for the full report:

HERE
It begins on page 63 and runs to page 74.

 

The Report concludes with the following recommendations:

  •  Recommendation 12-10:
    The Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board must reduce the high rental unit registration fees.
  • Recommendation 12-11:
    The Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board must allow landlords to pass through a larger proportion of the registration fee to tenants.
  • Recommendation 12-12:
    The Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board must ask the city of Berkeley Human Resources Department for a thorough position-control audit to evaluate the number of staff, the classifications and workload.
  • Recommendation 12-13:
    The Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board must ask the city Human Resources department to provide more comprehensive salary comparisons regularly and use them in setting salaries and benefits, including those of the executive director and the board members.
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EVENTS

March 07
Professional Management Workshop

April 04
Do I Need a Permit for THAT? and other turn-over questions

View the Calendar...

The Forms You Need

One of the advantages of being a member of BPOA is having access to a wide array of useful forms, some of which have been created just for our members. For example, The BPOA RENTAL AGREEMENT F09 is specific to Berkeley and includes lead, asbestos and sex offender language. You can view the complete list of available forms here, but only members can download.

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November 18, 2014
An Open Letter to the Rent Board

November 02, 2014
Gentle and effective with Hoarders

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