Even though tenants filed a petition with the Rent Board, which determined that Cox was only entitled to increase rent for each unit by $137, some of the tenants also filed a lawsuit against him. A court awarded the renters $1.7 million in damages for legal fees and moving costs, since the rent increase forced most of them to move out of the building (see “Oakland Landlords Put on Notice,” 3/30/2011). Although the tenants eventually settled with Cox out of court, the case prompted the rent board to take a closer look at debt service. According to Connie Taylor of the Oakland Rent Board, the board voted to eliminate landlords’ ability to transfer debt-service costs to tenants in 2009, but the recommendation, which needed approval from the city council, stagnated in City Hall for nearly two years. Eventually, the board revisited the recommendation, and in April 2012, voted to amend it to allow a 7-percent cap on debt-service transfers. In June of this year, both proposals finally came before the Oakland City Council’s Community and Economic Development Committee.
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Rent-A-Center Donates $20,000 to Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan
The donation comes on the heels of a recent donation of 10 refrigerators earmarked for partner agencies of the food bank. The Detroit-based food bank is one of eleven across the nation sharing in $250,000 worth of Rent-A-Center funding for hunger relief this year. The donation is in addition to the grassroots hunger-relief campaign being staged across Rent-A-Centers 3000-plus U.S. stores throughout September. Dubbed “Soup to Nuts” and in support of Hunger Action Month, this virtual food drive leverages Rent-A-Center stores as collection points for cash donations. The donated funds will be distributed to food banks across the country at the conclusion of the month-long campaign.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.fool.com/investing/businesswire/2013/09/23/rent-a-center-donates-20000-to-gleaners-community-.aspx