Mountain View, CA – May 18, 2017 – The Public Interest Law Project along with Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, Stanford Community Law Clinic, and Fenwick & West (Counsel team) secured an important victory for renter protection and affordable housing and obtained a complete victory in a lawsuit from the California Apartment Association (CAA) and a number of institutional landlords that challenged Measure V, the city’s new rent stabilization and just cause eviction measure.
Shortly after voters passed Measure V in November 2016, CAA sued to block the law from taking effect. The Counsel team stepped in to represent a group of Mountain View voters, tenants, and organizations.
“As a member of the Mountain View community, [we believe] it is important to protect the city where we work—and where many of our employees and clients live—from being subjected to unreasonable rent increases and unjust evictions,” said Patrick Premo, litigation partner and chair of Fenwick’s Pro Bono Program. “We were honored to help secure this victory, an important step toward ensuring all have access to affordable housing.”
“This is a complete victory for the City of Mountain View and a critical win for Mountain View residents, including the most marginalized in our community,” said Nadia Aziz, Senior Attorney at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley.
“Courts long ago held rent stabilization to be constitutional, and apartment owners have learned that the court’s will not bend the law to accommodate their desire to exploit an out-of-control housing market to reap unconscionable rents,” added Michael Rawson, Director of the Public Interest Law Project.
The Counsel team opposed CAA and the institutional landlord-intervenors’ motion for preliminary injunction. Together, the CAA and the landlord-intervenors had raised well over fifty challenges to Measure V, including many claims under the U.S. and California Constitutions.
The Counsel team argued against these claims, highlighting that rent control had been upheld by both the California and U.S. Supreme Courts. They also stressed the potential harm to Mountain View residents should the measure be enjoined pending a resolution on the merits. On April 5, 2017, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Elfving denied the preliminary injunction, preserving Mountain View’s new rent control laws. On May 5, 2017, the CAA dropped the lawsuit (and a similar challenge to rent control in the City of Richmond), informing members to comply with Measure V, and the landlord-intervenors followed in also dismissing their complaint. The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley is monitoring ongoing compliance with Measure V, and is responding to questions and complaints from tenants in Mountain View.
Learn More Here: Fenwick & West