By Lynda Carson – October 24, 2016
Oakland – With the announcement by Zillow that the median rent in Oakland is presently $3,000 a month, it reveals that strong rent control protections are needed more than ever to curb the voracious appetite of greedy landlords, speculators, realtors and Wall Street investment firms taking advantage of renters with their over market rate rentals in the Bay Area.
In Oakland Measure JJ is on the ballot in November and if voted into law it will help to protect renters by strengthening existing renter protection laws. Voters are urged to vote YES on Measure JJ to help stabilize communities in Oakland, and slow down greedy landlords involved in price gouging and eviction-for-profit schemes.
In Alameda mass evictions have been occurring due to a lack of strong renter protections, and the Alameda Renters Coalition is urging voters to vote against Measure L1, and to vote for Measure M1 as the way to protect renters and stabilize communities in their city.
Activists are urging voters to vote on Measure L as a way to stop landlords involved in mass evictions, price gouging and eviction-for-profit schemes in Richmond. Measure L makes the landlords accountable for their actions when engaging in price gouging. If passed by the voters in November, Measure L would help to stop the mass evictions taking place in Richmond that are condoned by Mayor Tom Butt, and Councilmembers Nathaniel Bates and Vinay Pimplé.
Not all landlords in the Bay Area are fond of renter protections including rent control and just cause eviction protections, especially some of the most notorious landlords.
As recent as Monday October 24, 2016, it was reported by the Palo Alto Weekly that the owner of the Stanford Garden Apartments and his son were arrested for harassing the tenants at the rent controlled building at 1735 Woodland Avenue, in East Palo Alto. Reportedly, the owner and his son, Auria Malek Salehi, were arrested for breaking the windows of the cars of the tenants at the Stanford Garden Apartments and for damaging some of their other property in an effort to frighten tenants out of the rent controlled apartments so the rents could be raised. The landlord has been charged with felony destruction of property according to the report.
Records reveal that the Stanford Garden Apartments at 1735 Woodland Ave is owned by Nemat Maleksalehi. This is the same wealthy landlordNemat Maleksalehi, aka Matt Madison or Matt Malek, who went to prison for ripping off the Department of Housing And Urban Development (HUD) a number of years ago in a huge scam. In a plea agreement for ripping off HUD, Nemat Maleksalehi ended up agreeing to “18 months imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release, a $400 special assessment, and he agreed to pay a total of $1,406,255 in restitution.” According to public records, Nemat Maleksalehi was released from prison on 1/17/2003.
Renter Protections On The Ballot In Other Bay Area Cities This November
In the City of San Mateo, renters and activists collected more than 11,000 signatures to place a renter protection ballot measure on the ballot for November 8 that includes rent control and just cause eviction protections. Activists are urging the voters in San Mateo to vote on Measure Q as a way to stabilize communities and protect families from displacement.
In the City of Mountain View renter protections are also on the ballot. Activists and renters are urging voters to vote on Measure V to protect over 14,000 households, including families, teachers and nurses from rent price gouging and eviction-for-profit schemes. Activists are urging renters to vote for Measure V, and to vote against a weak renter protection measure placed on the ballot by the City Council.
Renters and activists have also had a fierce battle in Burlingame over renter protections and activists are urging voters to vote for Measure R in November. If passed by the voters Measure R will provide rent stabilization and just cause eviction protections to help stabilize communities, stop mass evictions and protect families from displacement of their housing due to speculators, realtors, and greedy landlords.
Renters need strong renter protections to protect them from notorious landlords in the Bay Area who are involved in mass evictions including Nemat Maleksalehi, and Scott Sternberg, James Kilpatrick, Matt Sridhar, Danny Haber and Alon Gutmon.
Renter protections will be on the ballot in 6 cities during November in the Bay Area. No matter how hard the landlords and the California Apartment Association are trying to stop the renters movement, tenant advocates across the Bay Area are urging renters to vote on strong renter protections during the upcoming November elections in the cities of Richmond, Oakland, Alameda, Burlingame, San Mateo, and Mountain View. The activists are urging people to vote “no” against any weak proposals placed on the ballot by the City Council in Alameda, and Mountain View.
Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com