Regular Meeting

Monday, November 17, 2003
7 p.m.

2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Council Chambers, Berkeley, CA.
Broadcast Live - KPFB - 89.3 FM
BTV Cable Channel 33


1. Roll Call - 7:00 p.m.

2. Approval of Agenda 

Please Note: The Board may rearrange items to accommodate time certain items.

3. Public Forum

4. Approval of the Minutes

Minutes of the October 20, 2003 regular meeting.

5. Appeal - Time Certain - 7:30 p.m.

a. Appeal RWN-1395; 2709 Derby Street. This matter was before the Board on June 16, 2003. The issue on appeal is whether the property is exempt from the Rent Ordinance because the owner uses the property as her principal place of residence and shares kitchen or bath facilities with the tenants. (Berkeley Municipal Code Section 13.76.050.G.) On October 15, 2003, the Board received a statement from the petitioner stating that she does not oppose the appeal. A review of the evidence, including the documents submitted with the appeal, shows that appellant's claim of residence is believable. For this reason, staff recommends that the Board reverse the hearing examiner and find that the property is currently exempt from the Rent Ordinance. This decision will not adversely affect the other tenants and will not preclude them or the Board from challenging the exempt status of the property at some future date.

b. Appeal T-4327; 1735 Berkeley Way, #3. (Continued from October 2, 2003.) The tenant appeals the hearing examiner decision that found that rent adjustments were not warranted for an alleged problem with the on-site clothes dryer and for a problem caused by tree sap dripping onto the tenant's car when it is parked in the tenant's designated parking space. Upon review, the record establishes that the tenant made a prima facie case that the clothes dryer was not working properly. The landlord did not adequately rebut this showing. A $30 per month reduction is recommended from September 2002 until the problem is corrected. With regard to parking, if the tenant has incurred damages from the dripping resin, his remedy is to pursue a civil action against the owner of the adjoining property. Accordingly, there is no basis for granting a rent reduction for loss of parking.

c. Appeal T-4378; 2314 10th Street, Unit A. Appellant appeals a hearing examiner decision ordering him to refund $578.41 of the $700 security deposit he held for petitioner. On appeal, appellant claims the amount of the security deposit to be refunded should be reduced by the sewer service and refuse removal fees appellant paid during petitioner's tenancy. However, the responsibility for paying these fees was never expressly assigned to petitioner as required by Regulations 1269.5 and 1269.6. Therefore, the security deposit may not be used to reimburse appellant for these costs. It is recommended that the refund be reduced by $23.25 to compensate appellant for one half of the cost of cleaning grease from a stove and vent that were overlooked in a walk-through inspection conducted prior to the return of the unit to appellant. In all other respects, the decision of the hearing examiner should be affirmed.

6. Action Items

a. From Committee and the Executive Director

(1) Possible cancellation or change in location of the December 1st Board meeting (Executive Director)

(2) Proposal that the Board adopt a resolution to revise Rent Stabilization Program's fee schedule to correct and update Resolution Number 02-01. [PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.]

7. Information and Announcements

Please Note: The Board may move Information Items to the Action Calendar.

a. Reports and information from Board Members/staff.

(1) Tenants' Rights Week Activities

(2) October 22nd Notice of Apparent Lawful Rent Ceilings 

(3) Updated Citywide Market Rent Medians through September 2003 

(4) November 10, 2003 Letter from City Clerk Sherry Kelly Concerning Proposed Amendments to the City Charter

(5) Copy of November 18, 2003 Council Report Correcting Language in the Ellis Bill Implementation Ordinance 

(6) Special holiday hours at the Rent Board

b. Committee meeting announcements and reports. (Committee meetings will be held at the Rent Board Offices located at 2001 Center Street, 2nd Floor, Law Library unless otherwise noted.)

(1) Budget/Personnel 

(2) Outreach 

(a) Unapproved minutes of October 27 meeting. 

(3) Eviction 

(4) IRA/AGA 

(5) 3 x 3

c. Discussion of items for possible placement on future agenda material

8. Adjournment