Oakland – Oakland City Council member Nikki Fortuno Bas (District 2) has recently announced plans to develop and pursue a draconian Tenant’s Opportunity Purchase Act (TOPA) ordinance.
The illegal seizure of private property, and if passed will in turn seize the rights of property owners – including all single family homes – to sell their property on the open market.
HOW TOPA TARGETS HOMEOWNERS WHETHER OR NOT YOU ARE RENTING YOUR HOME!
Proponents say Tenant’s Opportunity Purchase Act is another “tool” to protect low income tenants from displacement by granting them first right of refusal to negotiate a purchase with the owner prior to the building hitting the open market. However this is far from the truth!
Enacting Tenant’s Opportunity Purchase Act would be the biggest violation of private property rights Oakland has ever seen. Oakland has already some of the strictest rent control in the state. Now the council proposes to push the limit even further: Not only does the Oakland City Council and Non-Profit Special Interests want to control rents, the purpose of this ordinance aims to control how owners are able to sell their property, to whom they can sell, and control the PRICE owners can sell their property for.
Hundreds of small time owners have already been crippled by the regressive nature of Measure Y, forcing many to sell due to fear and financial duress.Homeowners who had hoped to rent their homes for retirement income or while they worked out-of-state now realize they can no longer reclaim their homes without paying large owner move-in fees and possibly incurring large legal fees if challenged. Now this ordinance attempts to punish all property owners even further, at the expense of our city’s future and for the gain of third party special interest groups.
A brief summary of features of TOPA enacted in DC and SF and likely in Oakland (final ordinance details to be announced at City Council)
Allows for the sales price of the property offered to tenant(s) or their third-party assignees to be set by the City through a “city trained [appointed]” appraiser.
Prevents a property from going on the market for sale until every renter waives his or her rights in writing, creating lengthy, unpredictable time periods in which a sale, or lack thereof, can be controlled by the tenant or the tenant’s third-party
assignees. Buyers will walk forcing you to sell below market.
Any property purchased through this ordinance would then grant the city the power to convert purchased properties to “permanently affordable” standards by controlling its future renters, rent levels, and allowable property value for 99 years.
Allows tenants to SELL these rights to a third party “non-profit” organization or tenants group for each potential sale of property, enabling these & “non-profits” to acquire discounted property, then gain the benefits, regulation exemptions, and tax benefits not available to the private sector.
Yes you read this correctly if properties are owned by the non-profits they are exempt from rent control in the city. BAIT AND SWITCH FOR TENANTS TOO!
Third-party assignees are afforded a potential exemption from these
permanently affordable housing requirements.
Any owner who is found in violation of the regulatory process could be fined $1000/per day per unit.
Owners may not be able to exit the rental business and use their property for other purposes without first offering the building for sale to tenants.-Applies to any size building including single-family residences.
This ordinance is not a progressive way to promote ownership opportunities for existing tenants. There is currently no law that prevents nor discourages a sale between tenant and owner. Oakland has existing organizations that offer financial education and help facilitate home ownership for low-income residents.
Built an ADU in your back yard? Renting out a room in your house? You’re held hostage to TOPA!
This proposal is simply a blatant attempt to facilitate the seizure of private property through a coercive set of regulations. We cannot let this action by the city council fly under the radar.
PLEASE DON’T SIT THIS OUT! MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD!
It is imperative we tell the Councilwoman Bas and the rest of the city council, in as many ways as possible, that we completely oppose any form of TOPA in OAKLAND.
Zennie62Media note: Nancy Sidebotham’s post does not necessarily reflect the views of Zennie62Media, Inc., or Zennie62Media CEO Zenophon “Zennie” Abraham.
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