We’ve posted a number of articles lately that discuss how technology will disrupt the real estate industry. We looked at how autonomous vehicles will impact real estate, how people will make decisions about where to live and work now that technology has made it easier to work remotely, and how advances in healthcare will impact real estate in the future. For those willing and able to adapt to technology, there’s never been a more exciting time to be part of the industry.
By and large, there are few tenant protections in place in Santa Clara, CA – which is one of the reasons why the city has been attractive to real estate investors. The landlord-tenant laws are straightforward (and aligned with statewide policy); prospective buyers, owners and Santa Clara property management companies don’t have to worry about navigating the complexities of additional rent control policies implemented at the local level. The City of Santa Clara has traditionally allowed the market to self-regulate prices.
In late April, the San Jose City Council passed the “Tenant Protection Ordinance,” a broad range of tenant protections that includes requiring landlords to have “good cause” before evicting someone and requires San Jose landlords to pay relocation assistance if evicting tenants for no fault of their own. The new law took effect immediately.
While we certainly cannot predict the future, our experience in the real estate industry provides some insight as to how the tax reform plan President Trump released last week will impact rental property investors.
The City of Oakland’s Rent Adjustment Program (RAP) has been around since 1980. The regulations outlined in the Rent Adjustment Ordinance are intended to promote affordable, fair housing for Oakland’s diverse population. “We believe community begins with where you live, and we’re committed to fostering healthy relationships between property owners and renters,” the Rent Adjustment Program website states.
Even the most well-intentioned Oakland landlords and property managers sometimes find themselves squaring off with residents before the RAP Board, the authority that oversees the City of Oakland’s Rent Adjustment Program. There is no need to panic. The RAP Board is intended to mitigate landlord-tenant disputes fairly, efficiently and in accordance with the RAP guidelines. In fact, landlords and Oakland property management companies who carefully follow RAP regulations will find the process relatively straightforward.
Real estate industry experts have expressed mixed emotions about President Trump’s proposed changes to the tax code. The changes will certainly affect homeowners differently than they affect real estate investors.
He made a promise on the campaign trail to cut taxes for individuals and businesses alike—and last week, the Trump administration unveiled a tax reform plan that would do just that. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnunchin and National Economic Director Gary Cohn briefed reporters on the plan at the White House earlier this week. Although details about the plan remain sparse, real estate investors should be cautiously optimistic about what's known about the plan so far.
Head just northwest of Berkeley and you’ll stumble upon the small, charming city of Albany, California. The coastal community is home to fewer than 20,000 people but boasts all of the amenities you’d expect to find in a major metropolitan area. Albany’s Solano Avenue is becoming a destination unto itself. The quaint, pedestrian friendly main street is lined with dozens of ethnic bars, restaurants and shops that are a reflection of the diverse group of people who call Albany home.
Most Oakland landlords and property managers assume that they can only increase the rent at rent-controlled units by a specific percentage each month. Typically, that’s true. For a unit covered under the Oakland Rent Control ordinance where the original occupant still lives in the unit, a landlord may only increase the rent by the annual percent change in the Bay Area Consumer Price Index (CPI).