Letters to the Editor — New Concord rent rules are punitive

CONCORD, CA (Mar. 22, 2024) — The Concord City Council recently passed one of the strictest rental control laws in the state. In spite of testimony clearly pointing out the law’s flaws and unfairness, Councilmembers Laura Nakamura, Edi Birsan and Dominic Aliano pushed it forward.

All landlords, even those renting out their own home, will be punished for the transgressions of a few.

What about the grandma who needs to rent her home to pay for assisted living? What about your neighbor on military deployment or temporary job relocation? Regardless of the terms or length of the lease, they will owe the tenant two months’ rent plus $2,000 if they want to return to their home or sell it.

Following the new law is a complicated process. Grandma will need to register her home on a city rental database, pay an annual fee and upload copies of notices given to the tenant within seven days. Failure to follow the new law precisely will invalidate a notice to vacate and could subject grandma to fines and legal action.

With this punitive, anti-homeowner ordinance in place, you would be better off leaving your home vacant.

Bad for tenants, bad for landlords, bad for Concord.

Mike McDermott

It’s up to voters to change Concord rent policies

On March 5, the Concord City Council usurped the will of their voters and invoked a citywide rent ordinance that includes privately owned homes.

Along with the tried and true effects of rent control, the City Council refused to answer how they plan to finance the ordinance. Certainly, affected properties are no longer worth as much and will start to erode the city’s tax base and get worse over time.

So how are the taxpayers and voters expected to make that gap up? Pay more sales tax? Accept longer wait times for the fire truck when someone has a heart attack? Pay more insurance premiums as claims rise as urban decay sets in?
What do we tell our friends who can no longer rent in the city because all housing production has stopped?

By refusing to put the issue to the voters, the council put themselves on the ballot. Voters have a choice: continue the destructive housing rules or elect people who will repeal it.

Reed Robertson

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