Comment du Jour: “Daly needs to be run over by a Muni bus”

Clearly this guy [San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly] lives in a cloud (according to most property owners), but somehow he remains in office. Our comment du jour comes from “Live Smart” in our recent post Daly goes after rental property owners…yet again.

Daly needs to be run over by a MUNI bus.

Well said, and we couldn’t agree more [statement retracted]. However, we do not wish that he actually gets run over, but like your choice of figuratively stating how you honestly feel. We’re sure you’re not alone.

15 thoughts on “Comment du Jour: “Daly needs to be run over by a Muni bus””

  1. Well I don’t agree, and I think the “wish” is in poor taste.

    There are three issues here:

    1. Working families being evicted because of OMI and thrust into a volatile rental market with little warning. It’s one thing if it happens to adults, it’s another when it happens to children. If the elderly are a protected class (not just renters either – elderly owners were the main consideration behind prop. 13 – so any whining about rent control is going to be lost on me), then I can see the arguement that children should be too.

    While a protected tenant depresses the price of a property somewhat, it does not bring it’s value down to zero, and from all available evidence, properties with protected tenants are still selling. Furthermore, if the owner has owned it for a long enough period of time, they are being sold at a substantial profit.

    So I can see the societal benefit of giving children some housing stability at the expense of owner profit. Putting the brakes on profit for the beneift of society is one of the primary functions of goverment. Would you want a coal burning plant built in golden gate park? No. Well then.

    2. Harassing tenants. Really, is anybody here pro harassing tenants? Why on earth would you be for something like that? A Landlord has a number of ways of of harassing tenants without ever actually crossing the boundaries of criminal law. I don’t see any great societal drawback to creating some penalties for abusing people who are in your care, and who you profit from. The pro-RE crowd here always whines about renters “if you don’t like it… move!”, well it seems fair enough to say that back to potential landlords: if you don’t want to work within the rules, don’t buy the property.

    3. Two unit conversions. Someone made a point on the other post that Daly was trying to depress ownership. I think that’s a fair point, but not in the way that you mean. I don’t think he’s trying to depress family ownership, I think he’s trying to depress investor ownership. A *lot*, if not *most* multi unit buildings are bought by investors. They buy em, chop em, convert em, and sell em, at a profit (I believe Paco is our resident expert on the subject). This depletes renting stock, and creates more condos. If the city wanted more condos, they would remove the lottery completely, and presto we would be a city of condos in short order. Obviously, there are some good reasons for putting some constraints on the number of condos we have in the city. Daly is, correctly I believe, noticing that the “Convert to condo for profit” crowd is focusing on two unit buildings. He’s trying to put the brakes on that. Not surprsingly the people who profit from said condo conversion (developers, real estate agents, etc.) are vehemently opposed, to the point that they are “figuratively” wishing bodily harm on the man. That’s how it looks to me at least.

    I know I am probably the only one here is going to think like this, so have at me, but I wasn’t going to let this lie without putting my two cents in.

    [Editor’s note: As stated, we don’t wish ill will upon Daly (or anyone for that matter) figuratively or literally, but we applaud the reader for telling it so bluntly how they feel, and not sugar coating their emotions like most would.]

  2. This is a very powerful statement.

    Muni is famous for killing pedestrians. And if you check Chris Daly’s pet projects (click on the links on his page), he spend COUNTLESS HOURS asking for a stupid name change of a stupid street among others – but he’s not going on a eating strike to get essential changes to Muni rules…. The only actiion I would actually praise him for.

    like resquesting Muni drivers to have a driver’s licence for one (obviously most of them have not)?

    (for the readers out of SF – there is a law in San Francisco about Muni [= the bus lines] called “except Muni”. So under many traffic lights, under no right turns signs, under no parking signs etc – there is a “except muni”. This translate into: muni drivers NEVER respect the traffic regulations, and add “except muni” under each and every sign. So NEVER EVER EVER cross a street based on your little green sign if a bus is coming across and thru a red (as RED) light – because you’ll be the next casualy)

    As usual, Chris is only making a lot of noise and is waving the dark waters – but there is no way he would actually get his hands dirty and CLEAN the water. That’s so beyond his league. That’s the difference between a wanabee like Chris and a hero like Harvey.

    (BTW did you notice that Chris was – for once – agreeing with his fellow Sup to put D on the ballot – D, the cursed prop that would have erased all the hard work by Harvey?)

    Anyway… I dont wish anybody’s death either. I only hope some brain cells would stop electing him (and his likes). But getting hit by a Muni line … could be a logical and ironical consequence from not addressing the Muni problem FIRST AND FOREMOST (duh! what good is it to have free housing [without parking] if you cant have reliable transportation to work???) (when the next prop to force the landlords to buy a car and pay the gas for their tenants?)

  3. “The only actiion I would actually praise him for.

    like resquesting Muni drivers to have a driver’s licence for one (obviously most of them have not)?”

    Is this a joke? You are undermining your entire argument by suggesting that Muni driver’s don’t need a driver’s license.

    Not only do you need a license, you need a class C license, and a clean driving record.

    http://agency.governmentjobs.com/sfmuni/default.cfm?action=viewclassspec&ClassSpecID=8547&Agency=474&ViewOnly=Yes

    Having a license does not mean you will never have an accident. And it stands to reason that the more time you sepnd driving, the more likely it will be that you have an accident. Let’s make you drive a large vehicle for 8 hours straight, day in and day out, for years on end. and see if you never have an accident.

    I’m not saying MUNI couldn’t be improved upon, that’s obvious, but let’s stick to the facts (and the topic), not your crazy anti-daly fantasy.

  4. The pro-RE crowd here always whines about renters “if you don’t like it… move!”

    I disagree.

    let’s say. I’m a owner/landlord – not (and never) in SF because of stupid laws.

    I have units empty because the laws are such a pain, it’s not worth renting.

    I have units with market rent. I have units with protected tenants (think 25% or less of market rent). As of april, I even accepted a new lease from a new protected tenant.

    I do not have a problem with being a landlord to protected tenants. However, I’d like to point that some of the units were bought with their tenants, and the units were a disgrace to the landlord AND the tenants. And within a year, we agreed with at least one tenant to raise the rent in exchange for extra needed work on the unit – the previous landlord was only making his math: income minus property taxes minus income taxes = zero – so my spending is zero on that unit. I couldnt sleep till we updated some urgent stuff.

    What I mean is that Chris is certainly NOT living in a protected unit with 1975 rent AND 1975-last-update-on-the-unit. What good is it to pay $300/month less in rent when you need to pay $300 in heating bills? (because of leaking windows)

    The laws he should concentrate on are about energy cost. PGE and water and city incentives to change the windows, install water efficient shower heads, toilets, washing machines etc … and actually translating into REAL $$$$ to the tenants.

    The laws he should concentrate on are about decency of living conditions – but that’s so beyond him.

    When he’ll realize that the rental units are a DISGRACE to the city and that the rental units are mostly the ugliest and most horrible places to live in, and when he’ll realize that HE’s creating the canyon between rat-leak-cold-units renters and clean-warm-cozy-units owners, then we’ll talk. Until then, I personnaly blame him for part of the realestate problem of san francisco: not enough GOOD units for rent (good meaning a good landlord [let’s just say his target at bully-landlord is one single entity], good decent place, and enough units on the market so the prices go down, and/or stay reasonable in the tenant market)

  5. These rules will make it EXTREMELY difficult for people with children to find rentals (or even married people).

  6. I’m unable to phrase things so eloquently, but as I said before, most of Daly’s policies sound good in theory, but they backfire. Adding something like “harassment” sounds good, but what does that mean? How will that be defined in his proposition? Say a tenant stops paying rent? Can the landlord be sued for harassment for calling them, knocking on their door, cutting off utilities? I’ve said this before, but know a nice, working class guy with a couple of kids who rented out a legal in-law to an elderly lady who immediately stopped paying rent and refused to leave the apartment. He ended up spending 20k in legal fees over the course of a year while the lady had free legal representation from the tenant’s union. Tenants aren’t always victims. Many know how to manipulate the system at the expense of the property owner, who isn’t always wealthy. Daly’s policies invariably assume that landlords are in the wrong.

    All the extreme tenant protections and horror stories (some true, some not) contribute to making rentals disappear. Once again, I can name at least 20 units on on my block (both in-law and full apartments) that were rented pre-2002/3, but have since either vanished from the market or have tenants facing eviction. A building near me recently sold with protected tenants, and the buyers have a legal team working to evict them. My own building will likely be Ellised when it sells.

    I’m not the savviest guy, but how does essentially punishing people for owning rental property work to benefit this city? SF needs landlords, and it’s not going to get any new ones. The rental stock we have now is pretty much all there is and ever will be. Some of that is going to disappear unless we come up with a way to financially justify creating new rental stock… and, in part thanks to Daly, etc, there’s no reason to do so.

  7. “I have units empty because the laws are such a pain, it’s not worth renting.”

    Sophie, again you are coming up with a fantasy hypothetical. With occupancy rates currently around 96% I can tell you that there aren’t a whole lot of SF landlords sitting on empty units because “it’s a pain”.

    I don’t know enough about you, or your situation to address your building, and as to why you might choose to sit on empty units. I can only say that buildings that are in decent neighborhoods, and are well cared for will get good tenants who will pay decent rent.

    My dilapidated flat in the haight burned down in the 90’s because the slum landlord didn’t give two whits about the building, and didn’t even put in smoke detectors.

    My current flat is beautiful, and is lovingly cared for by the landlord who lives in the building.

    Some rental stock is bad, some of it is excellent. You get what you pay for. I think the city is best served by encouraging, and where reasonable, mandating that landlords behave themselves.

    “Adding something like “harassment” sounds good, but what does that mean? How will that be defined in his proposition? Say a tenant stops paying rent? Can the landlord be sued for harassment for calling them, knocking on their door, cutting off utilities? ”

    In my early twenties I used to work as a desk clerk at a large SRO hotel. Evictions were a monthly occurrence there, and I saw plenty of them.

    There is a clear process for evicting tenants who aren’t paying their rent. If you follow the process, and don’t get personally involved, you aren’t going to be successfully accused of harassment. And the tenant will be gone within two months. It’s that simple.

    “I’ve said this before, but know a nice, working class guy with a couple of kids who rented out a legal in-law to an elderly lady who immediately stopped paying rent and refused to leave the apartment.”

    Well you can’t move in to a building and get away with not paying rent immediately unless there is something seriously wrong with the building. If she just stopped paying rent, and didn’t have any legitimate gripes, she would have been gone within the space of 60 days: she would have gotten her 3 day notice, and then an unlawful detainer notice, there would have been a hearing within five days and she would have been gone.

    The fact that your friend had to spend $20k and a year on the case is certainly a strong indicator that the legal system saw some problems with how your friend did business as a landlord. He might have made a msitake in his dealings with her (such as shutting off her utilities), or he might have had code violations in the building. Trust me, if it’s an open and shut case, she would be gone very quickly.

    “Tenants aren’t always victims. Many know how to manipulate the system at the expense of the property owner, who isn’t always wealthy.”

    Agreed, but it’s not as easy to manipulate the system as you are implying. Somewhere along the line you have to have a legitimate issue, or you will be out on your ass, with an eviction on your credit report. If landlords consistently check credit reports, then this is a manageable problem. Unfortunately there is no way (that I know of) for renters to check a landlord’s credit report to see if they are a bad landlord.

    I would say that on balance, abuse is more likely to flow downhill: the powerful will abuse the less powerful. That’s why we have to have laws to protect those who are less powerful.

    Your last paragraph is at odds with itself. You complain that rental stock is dissapearing, but how does allowing two unit buildings to turn into condos add to the rental stock? Short answer, it doesn’t.

    To the extent that it’s happening (and the evidence you provide is anecdotal, I would like to see a more empirical analysis) people aren’t giving up on being landlords because being a landlord is hard, they are giving up on being landlords because other options (condo conversion, TIC conversion, etc.) are more profitable, or because the landlord overpaid for the building in the first place by buying at the peak of the market, etc.

  8. I do believe these tenant protection laws will result in landlords being very careful in the tenant selection process, and only be willing to rent out to a renter that has a favorable profile. That in turn will make it more and more difficult for families and elderlies to find places to live.

    A friend owns a duplex and she rents a flat out. Her selection profile was ’20 something, good education, upwardly mobile, and has a strong likelihood to move out in a few years’. She refused to rent out to families, elderlies, etc., and eventually rented out to a Wharton MBA even though it took her one or two months extra.

    As long as the influx of ‘yuppies’ continue in the high-tech and bio-sciences area, the tenant selection process will find the desired demographics to rent to. And the tenant protection laws will have this weird Logan’ Run effect when it comes to selecting tenants.

  9. Chris Daly is responsible for the declining number of families living in San Francisco and the quickly vanishing middle class. He has one interest – that’s in publicizing Chris Daly. He doesn’t speak for the citizens of San Francisco – not his own constituents or the average person in this city. Government for the people, by the people my ass! He’s a press hound and an embarrassment to our cities government.

    This is a man who when questioned in an open forum, screamed, cursed and stormed out of a Bd of Supervisor Meeting. In essence – “give me my ball, I don’t like the way you are playing, I’m going home.” He wastes my time and tax money chasing Gavin Newsome around and smearing drug abuse allegations as opposed to trying to make this a better city.

    News flash – preventing 2 unit buildings from skipping the condo lottery – this will effect FIRST TIME home buyers — and who are they — young people – young couples who want to make a life in this city. So take away that option and you know what you get — RENTERS who get married, have kids and then move out of the city as they are priced out. The 2 unit building gives these young people and couples the opportunity to build equity, condo convert and buy up. It’s called capitalism and it’s been around in this country for a few hundred years.

    Thankfully Mr Daly will term out shortly – not soon enough – but we won’t have to deal with another election in which he’s on the ballot. I’ve e-mailed his pedantic, egomanical ass on several occasions — it’s rather fun to give him a hard time and hear his side of the story. He’s still bitter about being evicted from a Potrero Hill rental 10 years ago. Funny thing — my wife and I were evicted from an apartment in Potrero Hill 10 years ago – the owner was in the process of condo converting. While we were bummed we had to leave our great garden apartment, we recognized that this man was trying to fulfill his American dream and we happily moved on to our next rental property.

    Chris.Daly@SFGov.org – ask Chris to leave now and save us the countless headches!

  10. missionite,

    One questions though… “With occupancy rates currently around 96%” — don’t you think owners pulling rental units out of market is the reason that occupancy rate is so high?

    There is no way that rent control is a positive thing for the rental inventory, is there?

  11. John,

    Occupancy rates have been very stable within a couple points of 96% since I moved here in 1991. During the first dotcom boom they got as high as 99% though.

    Unfortunately they don’t tell you anything about rental inventory size. There must be someplace to find rental inventory size, but I haven’t found it yet.

    to the extent that owners are pulling rental properties recently, has, in my opinion, more to do with the profitability of converting to TIC’s and condos then any fear of rent control. Even under rent control you still get to raise the rent by the CPI every year (2% this year), and the fact is most renters in SF don’t stay in an apt for more then a couple years anyway. By and large Landlords in SF are doing quite well.

  12. I’d LOVE to see some hard numbers about rentals.

    Missionite. I disagree. Buying a 50K or 100K unit to rent it out – is merely an expense hoping to have some income. Not more than buying a Lexus and hoping to have a reasonable trade-in in 2 years.

    Buying a property in SF to rent it out is a VERY HEAVY financial burden, and I dont see myself spending 500K (about 4K a month in mortgage) for a unit I hope to rent around 2K tops.

    This becomes a heavy red line in a budget – even if you know for sure that 20years from now, you can sell to pay medic school for your kid AND make a profit on your 2K a month investment of your money.

    The problem is not large landlords stock of units which were payd 10-20K a piece in the 70s, but how to give incentive for the SanFranciscain to buy the unit across the street to rent it out…. or to buy a 2 units and rent one/ keep one as a starter home for himself.

    A starter buyer *could* financially buy the 2 units (there are many 2 units that are comparable to many SFH), but if you remove the hybrids and other scam mortgages options AND you cannot garantee some *reasonable* income on the rental – then why should that person even WANT to be a homeowner/landlord? (by reasonable, I target the free riders who simply dont pay as well as the minimum raise – which should be DECENT for both renter and landlord. 2% = 22% in 10 years. while inflation was 32% in the same last 10 years)( 2% = 48% in 20 years while inflation was 82% in the same last 20 years)

    Re my own units. Everytime we talk with professionals they try hard to make me change the target, split into smaller units which are higher in return sqft, and which force people to move out either because they had no intention to stay OR they outgrow the unit (spouse, kids etc). And I dont agree. yes it’s profit, but no, it’s not fair to remove permanently a large family friendly unit from the market, because those units are ESSENTIAL to the local economy. However, to be honest, I disagree to the split in high return stamp post units only because we are a family, and I somehow want to own a few units that are ready-for-me-to-move-in with my kids, theirs toys and our junk. So tell me I’m selfish – or just that I have a vision way past next month rent checks.

    But to come back to business, SF is NOT giving any incentive to honest hard working normal people to rent out ONE unit that reprensent a large portion of their whole life/savings/financial assets. And that’s a large problem today, and will get only worse with time.

    DUH!… maybe we should unionise the nano (1 unit) and micro (1 building of less than 4 units) landlords! ;-) maybe then, I’d considere doing what is right instead of what is $$$: buy and rent out, instead of going moral/ethic free stock market.

  13. I’d LOVE to see some hard numbers about rentals

    just fishing for info

    “Rental Housing Market

    In 2003, there were 353,506 total housing units and 322,335 occupied housing units. Of the occupied housing units, 197,638 (61%) were renter occupied.”

    ( http://sfgov.org/site/bdsupvrs_index.asp?id=29738 )

    and “about 25.000 units are currently empty as in: not owner occupied but not for rent either”

    that’s what. about 8% of all units, condos, sfh etc are EMPTY???

    In Paris, any unoccupied unit for 24 consecutive months is taxed one full month of rent (market rate) per year (then 2 months/year) (in addition to any property tax, garbage tax and other building or occupancy normal taxes). + 10% administrative fees.

    ——–

    one more quote: “you dont rent out a legal in-law, you only rent out illegal units and you condo-convert legal units for more $$$”. Again – how can this system be so messed up that prefered and logical rental units are the illegal ones?

  14. So it appears Daly got the hint about the oncoming bus, and decided not to move forward with this initiative.

  15. News flash – preventing 2 unit buildings from skipping the condo lottery – this will effect FIRST TIME home buyers — and who are they — young people – young couples who want to make a life in this city. So take away that option and you know what you get — RENTERS who get married, have kids and then move out of the city as they are priced out.

    ============================================

    peter

    Best Apartments in San Francisco

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