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San Jose Council Keeps 5% Increase For Rent-Controlled Apartments

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- The San Jose City Council voted 6-5 on Tuesday night to maintain the current 5 percent annual rent increase for apartments under the city's Apartment Rent Ordinance without landlords being able to bank any unused percentage points to another year.

The meeting ended around midnight, according to David Low, a spokesman for San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

Voting in favor of the proposal were Liccardo, Chappie Jones, Lan Diep, Devora Davis, Tam Nguyen and Johnny Khamis. Voting against were Sergio Jimenez, Raul Peralez, Magdalena Carrasco, Sylvia Arenas and Donald Rocha.

The Council debated for a few hours after a contentious public comment session that lasted several hours.

With the Council voting to maintain the current rate without banking, landlords won't be able to roll over an unused percentage increase from one year to the next. They'll have to use the full 5 percent as the law allows for apartments built before July 22, 1979, if they wish to increase rent to the maximum allowed under the ordinance.

The other option that didn't pass was to modify the annual rent increase maximum for apartments under the ordinance to 100 percent of the regional consumer price index with a 2 percent floor and 8 percent ceiling and to allow what the city calls a "maximum allowable rate form of banking with a limit of 5 percent in one year."

The public comment for the vote featured raucous comments from landlords and tenants alike, some attacking each other while others choosing to berate Liccardo and councilmembers.

The Council declined to further explore the question of whether to add duplexes to the Apartment Rent Ordinance.

Low said Liccardo's preference on the issue is the fixed rate that passed, which Liccardo thinks provides a simpler and more understandable way for tenants to plan for increases in the future.

© Copyright 2017 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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