A Brief History
The Berkeley Property Owners Association was formed in 1980 in response to the passage of the Berkeley Rent Stabilization and Eviction for Good Cause Ordinance, the most extreme rent control law in the United States.
BPOA's creation followed more than a decade of activism. Beginning in 1972, Berkeley housing providers challenged the very first rent control law in court, ultimately persuading the United States Supreme Court to declare it unconstitutional. By 1980, however, it was clear that a formal trade association could better meet the needs of the entire owner community.
Significant achievements during the eighties included successful court challenges (producing the Searle and Levin Zemel decisions), and legislative victories (the Petris bill, correcting historically low rents and other rent board abuses). City elections in 1989 brought the first and only "balanced" rent stabilization board in Berkeley's history. In the nineties, BPOA's focus again shifted to Sacramento with the passage of the Costa-Hawkins Housing Act. That law was shaped in part by BPOA's advisor, Greg McConnell, and ended extreme, Berkeley-style "vacancy control" statewide.
BPOA's membership has grown steadily since its founding, with more members today than ever before. Every year the laws governing rental housing get more arcane and abusive, and BPOA has become a one-stop shop for owners seeking answers.