March 05, 1996
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF
THE SAN FRANCISCO RESIDENTIAL RENT
STABILIZATION & ARBITRATION BOARD,
Tuesday, March 5, 1996 at 5:30 p.m. at
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70, Lower Level
I. Call to Order
President L. Becker called the meeting to order at 5:40 p.m.
II. Roll Call
Commissioners Present: L. Becker; Hayden; Marshall; Nash; Wasserman.
Commissioners not Present: B. Becker; How; Lightner.
Staff Present: Grubb; Wolf.
Commissioner Gruber appeared on the record at 5:45 p.m.
III. Approval of the Minutes
MSC: To approve the Minutes of February 20, 1996.
IV. Consideration of Appeals
A. 4041 Irving St. Q001-36R
The tenants’ petition alleging a substantial decrease in housing services was denied by the Hearing Officer upon second remand because the unit that the tenants reside in was still under construction and not habitable as of June 13, 1979. Therefore, the property was found to be exempt as new construction under Section 37.2(p)(5) of the Ordinance. On further appeal, the tenants maintain that the landlord failed to meet the burden of proof because the original Certificate of Occupancy, which was destroyed by fire, was not furnished.
MSC: To deny the appeal. (Hayden/Marshall: 4-0)
B. 941 Capp St. Q001-34A
The tenant’s petition alleging substantial decreases in housing services was granted and the landlord was found liable to the tenant in the amount of $1,740.00 due to the loss of storage and garage spaces. The landlord appealed the decision, asserting that the value of services that had previously been provided by the tenant should be offset against the amount of the rent reductions granted. The landlord’s appeal was accepted and the case was remanded to the hearing officer on the record for clarification on the issue of valuation of services previously provided by the tenant. In the remand decision, the hearing officer upholds the prior decision, finding that the use of the storage and garage spaces was not provided solely in exchange for the tenant’s services, and that additional consideration was paid by the tenant. The landlord appeals the Decision on Remand, asserting that the tenant continues to utilize one garage and one of the storage spaces; and that the tenant only paid $900.00 in rent for the months of July, August and September, 1995, rather than the $970.00 stated in the hearing officer’s decision.
MSC: To deny the appeal; the parties shall make any necessary adjustments as to sums owing, if any. (Marshall/Gruber: 4-0)
C. 1170 & 1172 Florida St. Q001-35A
Two tenant petitions alleging substantial decreases in housing services were granted, in part, and the landlord was found liable to the tenants in the amounts of $2,700.00 and $3,832.35 due to serious rodent and cockroach infestations in the units. On appeal, the landlord asserts that the Board has no jurisdiction over these matters, as the tenants’ petitions were filed seven months after they had vacated the subject units; and that the one-year limitation contained in Rules Section 10.10(c) should apply because the tenants failed to prove extraordinary circumstances or long-term verifiable notice to the landlord, claiming that the written notices that they had given to the landlord were destroyed in the fire that necessitated their having vacated the premises.
MSC: To deny the appeal. (Hayden/Marshall: 4-0)
D. 2914 San Bruno Ave. Q001-37R
The tenant’s petition alleging substantial decreases in housing services was dismissed as frivolous by the hearing officer because the tenant failed to provide the Rent Board with a copy of the judgment in a pending unlawful detainer lawsuit, despite repeated contacts by Rent Board staff, and her agreement to do so. On appeal, the tenant alleges that "family problems" prevented her from furnishing the requested court documents in a timely fashion. A copy of the Settlement Agreement reached with the landlord is submitted with the appeal.
MSC: To deny the appeal. (Gruber/Hayden: 4-0)
In addition to correspondence concerning cases on the calendar, the Commissioners received the following communications:
A. A letter from Dr. Jean Lust regarding Rules and Regulations Section 6.14.
B. The office workload statistics for the month of January.
C. A letter from Teresa Wellborn objecting to the policy of allowing only the imputed interest rate on capital improvement costs when the source of the funds is a variable rate loan and, therefore, no actual rate of interest is established.
VI. Director’s Report
Executive Director Grubb reported as follows:
A. Mayor Brown wishes to be informed of any occasions when the Commissioners leave the State, and asks that they furnish a phone number where they can be reached.
B. The Commissioners’ Statement of Economic Interests are due by April 1st, and are subject to a $10 per day penalty for late filing.
C. The Department’s Supplemental Budget Request will be going before the Budget Committee of the Board of Supervisors on March 13th.
D. Mr. Grubb provided the Commissioners with an accounting of their per diem reimbursement totals for last year as their 1099 forms have not yet been distributed.
VII. Old Business
The Commissioners continued their discussion of possible amendments to Rules and Regulations Section 6.14 in order to conform that section to the new requirements of state law mandated by the Costa-Hawkins Bill (AB 1164), which took effect on January 1, 1996. Commissioner Hayden distributed a draft proposal which incorporates some of the thinking and language contained in drafts previously distributed by Commissioners Marshall and Lightner. Discussion of this issue will continue at the meeting on March 19, 1996.
VIII. Remarks from the Public
Robert Pender of the Tenants’ Network addressed the Commissioners regarding Proposition 199 on the March 26th ballot, which would remove rent control protections for residents of mobile home parks. He also reminded the Board that he is a candidate for the Democratic Central Committee. Miguel Wooding of the Tenants’ Union suggested that the Board use the passage of Costa-Hawkins as an opportunity to strengthen Rules Section 6.14, in that acceptance of rent now constitutes a waiver, except as specified pursuant to the legislation, whereas Section 6.14 as currently written requires the passage of 60 days before waiver occurs.
IX. Calendar Items
March 12, 1996 - NO MEETING
March 19, 1996
8 appeal considerations
Old Business: Costa-Hawkins Bill (AB 1164)
President L. Becker adjourned the meeting at 7:15 p.m.