Posts Tagged ‘rent’

Now You Can Rent a Car at Fell and Masonic: Our SFMTA Sells Off Fell Street Parking Spaces to Getaround Inc.

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Here’s what’s new from our federally-subsidized Getaround rental car company:

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So you can no longer park your car in these spaces, oh no. They’ll tow it away…

All the deets:

Dedicated parking: We have sweet parking spots all over town (in some cities). We can set you up with a dedicated parking spot.”


The NeMA “New Market” Building People Boast About Their Mysteriously High Yelp Rating – But Uh Oh, Still No Rent Control

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Here’s the boast:

“NEMA residents, we appreciate you. Did you know? NEMA’s 4.5 stars is the best rating of any San Francisco apartment complex on Yelp. ‪#‎CHInspired ‪#‎liveNEMA”

And here’s the Yelp page.

Hey NeMa, can I ask who’s posting all the five-star shill reviews? Nobody in your employ, you say? But how do you know that? 

Hey NeMa, do you really spend your time aggressively getting Yelp to take down non-five-star reviews so that you can boast about your then-higher Yelp rating? 

Hey NeMa, what do people say about you after they leave you in light of the absence of the price control aspect of San Francisco rent control?

Just asking.

Reader Notes:

Here are the reviews from the bottom of the barrel.

And here are the ones what don’t factor into NeMa’s high Yelp rating, for whatever reason.

And see if you can find any trace of this one:

“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.”

This person’s thoughts are Down The Memory Hole, it seems?

Wow, the NeMA Building People are Back with “Jasper” – But is Frisco REALLY “Starved for Highrise, Luxury Rental Housing?”

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Well, here it is – the people behind the bizarre New Market Building campaign are back:

“When Miami-based real estate developer Crescent Heights started to market the two Mid-Market apartment towers next to Twitter’s headquarters two years ago, the complex’s splashy website featured psychedelic signage for hippies and hipsters.

Crescent Heights’ follow-up act to Nema is the 400-foot, 320-unit Rincon Hill tower known as Jasper, at 45 Lansing. Its branding took on a different flavor. This time, potential Jasper renters got to see a black-and-white video of a bespectacled little girl talking up the building’s refined tastes.

“It’s for people who know good things when they see them,” she says in a high-pitched voice. “It’s like when you saw Star Wars for the first time — it changed everything.”

It’s a different kind of pitch because 20-somethings probably won’t be knocking down the leasing office doors to rent in Rincon Hill — a neighborhood that’s full of condo towers, not rentals. But that’s OK.

The neighborhood, on a hilltop near the Financial District, is set to lure in a professional class that Crescent Heights knows is starved for highrise, luxury rental housing.”

All right, here’s the pitch:

But What’s The Rent? – A 65 Square-Foot Studio Trailer Gets Parked on Market, to “Activate” the “Street Scene”

Friday, July 10th, 2015

This is what it looks like:


Sam Whiting explains here in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Art studio on wheels moves down Market Street

Mmmm, no comments? Perhaps this attempt at a paywall is working too well.

But all right, here’s the SFGate version – surely the rabble will chirp up with comments like, “Well, what’s the rent?” Or maybe, “Smallest Studio in the Twitterloin, 0 bdrms, o bths, reclaimed wood?” 

Art studio on wheels moves down Market Street

Nope. Just one comment. This is the least amount of NEMA-mocking I’ve ever seen, when the topic of the NEMA is raised:

“So, if Studio One were to break down, would it be NEMA-towed?”

Get it? Nematode – cause like “worms,” right? (Oh, I don’t get it, oh well.)

Hey, speaking of NeMA, there’s still no rent control there, so giant rent hikes are coming your way. It will happen like this:

“We looked at what we’re charging for new rents and what the rent trends are in the market. We came up with the following renewal offer by lease terms…”

And then BAM! You get hit with a 24% (or whatever) rent increase (on top of an already high rent) after just one year. Speaking of which, here’s what one Yelper recently had to say about the NEMA. So many details!

I’ll tell you, lots of SF newcomers move into buildings without knowing that rent control won’t apply to them. And they don’t know the first thing about rental deposit refunds until they hit for charges that they don’t have to pay and that they shouldn’t pay. IMO.

And I’ll tell you, I don’t work for SFGov, so it’s not my job to “activate” the “New Market” “Streetscape” with umpty-up art displays. IMO. SFGov should focus on the basics.


Media Corner: Mansplaining How to Calculate the Percentage Increase of Your Rent – It’s Easy!

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Here’s what kicked things off:


Now I’ll tell you, I wouldn’t even dream of mentioning slight errors such as these to our touchy, touchy local press corpus. I mean, if they liked numbers, they’d have gone to bidness school and gotten an MBA, right?

Anyway, beloved gadabout Todd Lappin went there, right here.

“Math factcheck please: What is the % increase from 2145 to 8900?”

Well, let’s fix this sitch once and for all:

Here you go – it’s easy!

IMO, people oughtta say “a big increase” if that’s what they mean – there’s no reason to be so precise if you’re going to get it wrong, right?

You Want a Challenge? Try Making Money off of This Empty $18K Per Month Building on Fulton at Masonic

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

This brokedown palace has been empty for what, four years now?

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Be my guest, sign a lease and then show us all how to make money out of The Great Money Pit of the Western NoPA.

Do it, do it.

How is This Official SFGov SFMTA Red-Painted Parking Space Labelled “CAR SHARE” If It’s Only for Avis RENTAL CAR?

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Help me out here, Gentle Reader. This formerly public parking space is now a private parking space, one that’s being rented out to Avis Rent a Car System, LLC, aka the Avis Budget Group.

But Avis isn’t actually “sharing” cars with you, it’s renting cars to you, right?

Is this what they call “framing?” Why is the SFMTA “framing” issues for Avis this way? Was Ron Conway involved with this? David Chiu?

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I don’t get it.

So, just as soylent green is people, Zipcar is Avis, and CAR SHARE is CAR RENTAL, right?

What am I missing here?

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…


*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.

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.