San Jose City Council Votes to Expand Funding for Landlord-Tenant Mediation Services

Stacy Winship
June 28, 2017

Rents in San Jose are on the rise, as a result, is seems like disputes between residents and their San Jose property management companies seem to be on the rise as well.

It’s an unfortunate reality of today’s market, and something that many landlords and San Jose property managers have experienced firsthand. After all, nobody likes being told that their rents will be going up – particularly if they’ve experienced rent increases year after year.

Sometimes disputes between residents and San Jose property managers can be resolved easily. Sometimes, tension escalates and it helps to have an independent mediator. But springing for a mediator isn’t cheap, so parties sometimes avoid this route altogether, even if could otherwise be really useful.

In an effort to help, two elected officials in San Jose asked the city to add $150,000 to the city’s annual budget to expand landlord-tenant mediation services. And on Tuesday, June 13th, the San Jose City Council agreed to do so (see Resolution No. 78203).

According to a memo prepared by San Jose City Councilors Sergio Jiminez and Don Rocha, the mediation services are invaluable, and not just for resolving rent disputes. Mediation also “builds safety and security by guiding property owners, landlords, and tenants to address chronic problems in their neighborhoods such as nuisance behavior, property neglect, absentee landlords, and even on-going criminal activity,” they say.  

Rent growth has increased demand for mediation across all 10 council districts, the councilors write. Funding “is very dire,” and the city’s contribution is needed to match a Citi Community Development grant in the amount of $150,000. Matching dollars will help to sustain the mediation services provided to residents, landlords and the San Jose property management companies engaged on their behalf.

The City of San Jose has provided landlord-tenant mediation services for a decade now, and it is a program that has helped countless residents and San Jose property managers resolve disputes. Mediation can be initiated by any party, and provides a neutral forum for the parties to overcome their differences.

We’re glad to see the City expand funding as part of its FY18 budget process, and suspect these services will be in even greater demand since the Council voted in April to ban no-fault evictions and strengthened the local rent control ordinances. Adjusting to new housing policies can take time, and mediation will benefit residents, landlords and San Jose property managers alike as everyone gets used to the new regulations.

Learn more about when to use San Jose’s landlord-tenant mediation and arbitration services.

Think you qualify? Any San Jose property manager, landlord or resident interested in taking advantage of the city’s mediation and arbitration services should contact theRental Rights and Referrals Program to learn more.

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