Posts Tagged ‘building’

Can the Managers of the New 100 Van Ness Apartment Building Get Away with Making “Security Deposits” Non-Refundable? We’ll See

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Click on “Lease Now” to see this:

“*To reserve your new home, please click the “Get Approved” button above to complete our rental application and start the screening process. You will be required to submit a payment of $35.00 for the non-refundable Application Fee and the Security Deposit of $500-$1000 for the apartment is due within 72 hours by drop off or overnight mail. After three days from the date of application, the Security Deposit is non-refundable.”

Well, first off, “home.” Like, it’s not even a condo, man. How about “apartment” instead?

And second off, I ain’t never paid no nonrefundable application fee. What you do is ask how much the  credit / eviction check costs them and then offer to pay that. If that’s a no-go, then perhaps you shouldn’t move in? (I realize that building employees have to deal with flaky people all the time, but I’m not the flaky people category, I don’t think.*)

What really grinds my gears is the idea of any building manager talking about any kind of “non-refundable” deposit. Such a deposit does not exist under California law.

Check it:

(m) “No lease or rental agreement may contain a provision characterizing any security as “nonrefundable.”

You want to quibble? Fine, quibble, but this non-refundable status is agin the law, agin the law I tells you!

Most people in Cali can market apartments without prima facie violations of Cali law. So why can’t you, 100 Van Ness? Why can’t you?

Just asking.

Oh what’s that, what’s $35 to somebody who thinks moving into the Outer Twitterloin at $4000 for a one-bedroom is a good idea? All right, well, maybe it’s not a good idea to move into this building. Realize that most of the non-BMR people are probably not going to renew after their first year (just like at the abysmal “luxury” Fillmore Center apartments near Japantown, where you can pay thousands and thousands per month in rent, and for what). So, why are so many people going to move out of 100 VN after just a year? Think on that. Part of the reason might have to do with dealing with the 20-somethings in “building management.” Are they going to come in and say, uh oh, you walked on our cheap, brand-new hardwood flooring in high heels so here’s a bill for $7,000 for reflooring? Maybe. (Stuff like that happens just around the corner of 100VN all the time.) And there’s the nabe, which might wear you down over the months. OTOH, maybe this building is a dream come true for you, right next to Van Ness Station and not too far from the Civic Center BART Station. Fine, be my guest. Enjoy. But the same 20-something chicas who don’t understand why it’s not kosher to expropriate four-figure “Security Deposits” in the Great State of California just might not be aware of all the other laws what protect you.

Oh, what’s that, it’s OK to retain a “holding deposit?” Well, we aren’t at that point yet, because you all labeled it a “Security Deposit.” I’m now satisfied that you all don’t know what you’re doing. Welcome to Cali, 100VN Management. It’s going to be a bumpy ride…

END OF LINE

*Like the last time I bought a car, I didn’t even test drive it. No salesperson neither – the “big guy” had to assign a salesperson to me at the end of the sales process in order to “get the transaction to go through.” This sales process took about seven minutes. Later on, the salesperson had to “orient” me. I asked for the 30-second version of his 20-minute spiel. It was basically this: “Never press this button.” And I’ll tell you, that was good advice. I had already figured the downsides of pressing the button and if I hadn’t, then I would have figured things out fast, like during the times that I pressed that button by mistake. In any event, what he meant was, never press this button unless you know what it does and the conditions are right for it.  The point is that I’m not a flake so I never pay no nonrefundable application fee and you shouldn’t either. Sometimes, like back during Dot Com 1 in the late ’90’s, landlords would harvest thousands of dollars in application fees for just one unit over one weekend. Did the LLs actually run the checks potential tenants paid for? Nope. That’s what made it a scam. A nice, four-figure, income tax-free scam. These days, they charge you $35 to run a check that costs them even less than before, like a few bucks max. Oh well.  

Two Views of the Refurbished AAA Building – 100 Van Ness is Now Move-In Ready – Studios Start at $3090 per Month

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

That was the windup, and here’s the pitch, for our old AAA car club building / brand-new apartment building:

100 Van Ness combines elevation with elegance offering highrise living with sweeping multi-million dollar views. Our amenity filled Rooftop Terrace elevates 374 feet above ground creating panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, Twin Peaks, and everything in between! This world class building is conveniently located within walking distance to public transportation, shopping, dinning, and entertainment.”

(Remember, these aren’t just million dollar views, they’re “multi-million dollar views,” whatever the Hell that means.)

(And remember, 100 Van Ness is a “world class building” – it’s all they talk about at Versailles these days, I’m sure…)

Now, why do they charge $3090 (and up!) per month for small studios? Well, so you can subsidize the rent of all your new BMR neighbors, so that people who lived in SF longer than you auslanders can pay just $1139 a month for much larger two-bedrooms. It’s the Circle of Life, or something.

Oh, and even tho this building be old, there’s no rent control, having to do with the date on the Occupancy Permit. So maybe you’ll get a $1000 a month rent increase after you first year’s lease is up, who knows.

Anyway, the refurbishment looks pretty much done these days. The current view from the south:

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And from the north, with City Hall, with the highest classical dome in the Western Hemisphere (yes, classical, highest, Western, if those are the parameters, SF wins the contest) in the foreground:

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And where’s the closest gro sto? IDK. One supposes the “ghetto Safeway” at Church and Market, but I’m not sure.

What Does RPD Burn in Golden Gate Park? – Is All This Smoke From Wood, Leaves, or Trash?

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

In my thoughts I have seen, Rings of smoke through the trees, but IRL I seen RPD making mad smoke by burning stuff in a wooded area east of the Conservatory of Flowers:

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From this chimney:

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See?

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So, RPD burns stuff in Golden Gate Park? Didn’t know that.

Advice for San Francisco Newcomers: What’s “Rent Control?” It’s Something You Might Want – Not Now, But Next Year

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Or not. It’s hard to say how much rent control would benefit you next year once your lease is up.

But these days, there’s a ton of SF newcomers who are just figuring out the big benefit of RC.

Check it:

“Unfortunately most residents can’t afford to stay longer that 1 year. We’ve been living at Argenta for 10 months and have been very happy with the apartment. But we began to suspect that things weren’t quite right with management shortly after moving in. People we met in the elevator, lobby and our floor were all saying the same thing — rent had been raised to ridiculous heights and they were moving out. Over the last 10 months we have watched many of the tenants on our floor leave because of the rent increase.”

So that’s what you get with your brand-new building – a huge rent increase after your first year.

Generally speaking, older buildings have rent control and newer buildings do not. One exception is federal land, like Treasure Island and The Presidio. In those places, you can live in an older building but still get with huge rent increases.

Of course, it always pays to check.

Here’s a test – can you tell which places are rent controlled?

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You see, it’s hard.

Choose wisely.

Know Your Giant 400-Foot Tall Windmills of Solano County: Presenting Bud and Bud Light

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

These things are huge.

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First there was just one giant billboard extolling the virtues of Budweiser, and now there are two.

Well played, Budweiser.

Mandatory Christmas Merriment, Nob Hill

Monday, December 29th, 2014

Yes, you vill celebrate Weihnachten the way ve tell you to, yah?

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Put one of these on your balcony, or else…

Western Addition Update: Entrance Wound, McAllister Street, NoPA – You Can Paint Over the Bullet Holes, But They’re Still There

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Redolent of Brooklyn DA Goodman, I am concerned over the possibility of another gang war, lately, in the NoPA part of the Western Addition. We’ll see.

All the action seems to take place on Divisadero, or within a half-block of Divisadero, as here.

Four dollar toast, 40 cent bullets:

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Better Know Your Middle Richmond District: The All-Brick “First Slavic Baptist Church” at 1300 Balboa Near Park Presidio

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Oh, so that’s what that is:

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Click to expand

A not very Richmond District-looking building…

ATTENTION RESIDENTS OF THE NEW “NEMA” BUILDING: A Massive Rent Increase is Coming Your Way – ‘Cause No Rent Control

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

But don’t take my word for it, listen to one of your neighbors at 8 Tenth Street, 94103, via the Yelp:

“Please read this if you are considering any non-rent control building in San Francisco. I wish someone had told me this when I moved to the city and chose Nema. Please consider this advice.

If you have visited Nema, you probably can tell that the management, amenities and staff are outstanding. You may also notice that everyone living in the building has just moved from another city or state. Here’s why:

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you rent in a non-rent control building, unless you can sign a multi-year lease. Could you afford a double digit rent increase? 50% rent increase? Is your income doubling next year? It seems far away now, but you will probably want to renew your lease. Now is the time to make a good decision about housing, not next year because you will be paying much more then.”

So basically, buildings built AFTER rent control came to San Francisco in 1979 don’t have no rent control. (The relevant date is printed on your landlord’s Occupancy Permit, but if your crib went up in 1980 or later, don’t even bother checking.)

That means that your friends renting units in older buildings will face a maximum annual rent increase limited to 60% of a certain Cost of Living Index dealing with the Bay Area. That means one-something percent per year.

OTOH, if you moved into the NeMA at $1950 per month last year (as some did, 2nd or 3rd floor, lousy view* – Unit 324, for example**) and your lease is coming up, consider that there are no units available now for less than $2800 (I’m srsly – some studios go for $4000+)

Are you, the NeMA renter, looking at a 40% rent increase soon? 

If not this year, what about the next year too? How long will it take to have a 40% increase for your unit, you know, cumulatively?

Sooner than you think Auslander.

Sooner than you think, Outlander.

Why don’t websites aimed at tourists and newcomers tell you this? Well, because they’re on the take from … The NEMA!

I assign this story to the San Francisco Chronicle – this one writes itself. (This would be a good CW Nevius, I’m seriously.)

*Compared with the rest of the units in the Nema.

**This was not a BMR (Below Market Rate) unit reserved for those people making less than $38,000 per year, no no. Those places went for around $950 per month. I’m talking about market rate units back when market rate was $1950 per month for the least desirable apartments at NeMA – that was all the way back in 2013. 

Shocking: The Term “New Market” Has Become Normalized Already – Here’s “NEMA” Right Next to SOMA No Big Deal

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

I give up, NEMA is here to stay. All it took was one little weather station high (nine stories) above Mid Market:

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How should the NEMA people celebrate this climate-related milestone? What would they say?

WEATHER, NOT PLEATHER

FORECASTS, NOT WHORECASTS

CLIMATE SAVVY, NOT SHABBY

You get the idea. (Like similarly, I could almost write one of Frank Chu’s signs after seeing so many over the years.)

Do you know that at least two people moved into the NeMA for less than $2k per month? (No, not the Below Market Rent people-some of those are paying  high thtee figs, I’m srsly.) Granted, these were studios on low floors, but still, people pay more than that now for bedbug-infested cribs across the street and a bit to the northeast in the actual Tenderloin.

So Nema tenants, brace, brace, brace – your massive rent increase is coming, soon, FYI.

Leaving you with:

CRESCENT ROLL, NOT RENT CONTROL