A California appeals court rejected a Berkeley landlord’s “transparent attempt to circumvent the provisions of local rent control.”
After the landlords, Jason and Karen Mak, gave a 28-year-long tenant a 60-day eviction notice in 2012 in order to move into the unit themselves, they instead rented it for twice what the rent-controlled tenant had paid.
The First District Court of Appeals last week upheld the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board ruling that limits the rent on one of four units in a city complex would be held to what the prior tenant had been charged.
The prior tenant, Elizabeth Burns, had lived there for 28 years, paying roughly $1,078 a month. After receiving the Mak’s 60-day notice she agreed in writing to vacate in exchange for paying no rent for two months and receiving a cash payment.
The Mak’s had send they planned to live in the rent controlled unit, one of the grounds for eviction from rent-controlled housing.
But they never moved in and in March 2013, they rented the unit to Alexander and Andrea Ziem for $2,400 per month. The Ziem’s went to the Berkeley rent board to ask that their rent be limited to $1,078 that Burns had been paying.
The appeals court upheld the rent board’s limit on the Ziem’s rent saying the city rule was a reasonable regulation of evictions to “create an administrative deterrent to discourage landlords from serving less than good faith owner move-in notices.”
Case: Mak v. City of Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board, No. A143671