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SENIOR CITIZENS TENANTS' RIGHTS ASSOCIATION
Serving Alameda and Contra Costa County, Northern California

Mission

The Mission of the SENIOR CITIZEN'S TENANTS' RIGHTS ASSOCIATION is to enhance the quality of life for all senior residential renters, to be a leading force for positive social change and to bring value to our members through information, advocacy and the delivery of quality products and services.

Our Mission includes the support of federal, state and local initiatives having as their objective the financial, social and legal interests of Senior Americans who rent their apartments.
Our Mission also includes working with other organizations and individuals dedicated to the well being of renters including advocates in government, industry and the private sector.

The 2011 Agenda of the SENIOR CITIZENS' TENANTS RIGHTS ASSOCIATION

The SENIOR CITIZEN'S TENANTS' RIGHTS ASSOCIATION believes that senior residential tenants have the right to safe, affordable, non-discriminatory, and abundant housing opportunities. We further believe that senior renters have basic rights in their relationships with landlords that need to be protected.

Currently in the United States there are hundreds of state and local laws purporting to protect the rights of residential renters.

While the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development has developed standards regarding the rights of tenants in federally supported housing, the federal government has left it to the states and localities to protect the interests of tenants in private or state supported housing.

An examination of the public record indicates that tenants throughout California continue to be denied their rights to fair and just treatment in their relationships with landlords..

Because of this, the SENIOR CITIZEN'S TENANTS' RIGHTS ASSOCIATION supports the passage of a federal and/or state law upholding the rights of senior tenants in private and public housing throughout Alameda County and elsewhere. As such, we will create a ten-point "Tenants Bill of Rights" to be adopted at the local level and to serve as the model for additional legislation.
According to this directive senior residential renters have the right to:

1) A written rental agreement in a language understandable to the tenant;
2) A right to privacy and dignified treatment ;
3) Equal representation in public and political policy forums and to not be discriminated against due to their tenant status;
4) Expect that their landlord is conducting its business in a fiscally responsible manner and that they are not jeopardized by irresponsible business activities of the landlord;
5) Expect that their residences and grounds are safe and habitable, and that any defects be corrected prior to occupancy and that any defects after occupancy will be repaired in a timely manner upon proper notification to the landlord;
6) Be treated like a homeowner in private commercial transactions, including evictions, and not be discriminated against because of their tenant status;
7) Notice for any order to vacate and to be provided with a reasonable amount of time to do so;
8) Full refund with interest of any security deposit as well as maintenance of security deposits in a legally separate escrow account;
9) Expect and demand that their civil and constitutional rights will not be compromised by their tenant status;
10) Third party resolution of any disputes.


We also support the Creation of Tenants' Ombudsman Offices

SENIOR CITIZEN'S TENANTS' RIGHTS ASSOCIATION supports the creation of Tenants' Ombudsman offices in Alameda County, or any area where they do not currently exist. The purpose of these offices will be to serve as a central point for residential renters to officially voice and register complaints about specific landlord and housing abuses leading to enforcement action.

SENIOR CITIZEN'S TENANTS' RIGHTS ASSOCIATION recommends that the office of Tenants' Ombudsman be an administrative and quasi-judicial function of either the Governor's office or Attorney General's office. Along with the creation of the office of Ombudsman, SENIOR CITIZEN'S TENANTS' RIGHTS ASSOCIATION recommends legislation and regulations that would allow the ombudsman to mediate landlord and tenant disputes and bring civil or criminal action or sanctions, including fines, penalties or imprisonment against abusive landlords and their employees who fail to provide for safe, clean and habitable facilities, or who misrepresent anything to tenants in order to effect a rental(s), if warranted.

All too often, landlords and their employees get away with actions contrary to existing law and regulations in their relationships with tenants. SENIOR CITIZEN'S TENANTS' RIGHTS ASSOCIATION believes that effective enforcement at the local and state level is needed to protect the well being of senior renters.


SENIOR CITIZENS TENANTS' RIGHTS ASSOCIATION


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