News

New year brings new protections for California renters

The year 2020 could bring a happy – or at least happier – new year for California renters, with new protections going into effect for tenants this year.

As of Wednesday, Jan. 1, new laws limiting the ability of landlords to increase rent or evict certain tenants go into effect, as well as laws forbidding landlords to discriminate against renters using public housing vouchers.

Assembly Bill 1482, signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in October along with 24 other housing bills, imposes a statewide rent cap on apartments that are at least 15 years old. Rent increases are capped at 5 percent plus inflation, a provision set to sunset in 2030.

Also, the new law protects long-time tenants who are evicted without just cause. Tenants who have occupied a rental unit for at least 12 months must be compensated with relocation payments or waivers equal to a month's rent if evicted without just cause.

Under "just cause," a tenant can only be evicted for certain reasons, for example, not paying the rent or violating the lease. The new law applies to long-time tenants evicted without just cause.

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Also going into effect Wednesday is Senate Bill 329, which prohibits landlords from discriminating against renters who use Section 8 or other government subsidies to pay all or part of their rent.

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New year brings new protections for California renters

Uploaded: Wed, Jan 1, 2020, 3:51 pm

The year 2020 could bring a happy – or at least happier – new year for California renters, with new protections going into effect for tenants this year.

As of Wednesday, Jan. 1, new laws limiting the ability of landlords to increase rent or evict certain tenants go into effect, as well as laws forbidding landlords to discriminate against renters using public housing vouchers.

Assembly Bill 1482, signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in October along with 24 other housing bills, imposes a statewide rent cap on apartments that are at least 15 years old. Rent increases are capped at 5 percent plus inflation, a provision set to sunset in 2030.

Also, the new law protects long-time tenants who are evicted without just cause. Tenants who have occupied a rental unit for at least 12 months must be compensated with relocation payments or waivers equal to a month's rent if evicted without just cause.

Under "just cause," a tenant can only be evicted for certain reasons, for example, not paying the rent or violating the lease. The new law applies to long-time tenants evicted without just cause.

Also going into effect Wednesday is Senate Bill 329, which prohibits landlords from discriminating against renters who use Section 8 or other government subsidies to pay all or part of their rent.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

Mikey
Castro City
on Jan 2, 2020 at 2:39 pm
Mikey, Castro City
on Jan 2, 2020 at 2:39 pm

Recognized as a state wide issue, Mountain View can lead by example. This is no longer just restricted to our city. This approach reaffirms the crisis for renters is real. City Council needs to step it's game up.


Gary
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Jan 2, 2020 at 3:05 pm
Gary, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Jan 2, 2020 at 3:05 pm

True. Rent gouging is a statewide issue as there is a government-crafted shortage of housing. But it is especially problematic here - which is why most voters (not most councilmembers) resorted to local rent control for older apts in November 2016 (Measure V). When you see the City Council (majority) ballot arguments advocating changes to Measure V (arriving in mailboxes in early February), you might wonder if Councilmembers previously opposed to rent control have changed their minds. More likely, they have just adjusted to the new reality of statewide rent control and, indeed, cite it as a reason to amend Measure V. The vote on the landlords' "sneaky repeal" of Measure V has been postponed until November 3. It could be withdrawn by the two official proponents at least 3 months before the election. But it could be withdrawn conditionally now - the condition being passage of the Council-proposed changes on the March 3 ballot. But evidently, there is no plan to withdraw the proposed "sneaky repeal" - not now and not ever.


Dan Waylonis
Registered user
Jackson Park
on Jan 2, 2020 at 5:02 pm
Dan Waylonis, Jackson Park
Registered user
on Jan 2, 2020 at 5:02 pm

"Rent control produces the desired outcome of more housing at lower prices", said no economist ever.

The more the city and state meddles, the more likely that SF becomes the "new" norm for housing: shortages, overpriced, chronic homelessness, and plenty of excuses from the government that they need just a few more regulations to get it just "right".


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 2, 2020 at 5:18 pm
The Business Man, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Jan 2, 2020 at 5:18 pm

In response to Dan Waylonis you said:

“Rent control produces the desired outcome of more housing at lower prices", said no economist ever.”

And yet since 1995s Costa Hawkins, the housing crisis has been steadily getting beyond critical. The facts are that the “free market” or “supply-side” markets do not provide enough housing.

Constant demand of gifts by local governments to provide any housing has stalled all the housing projects.

Where is the proof that private housing suppliers are more efficient and respond more effectively than public housing projects? I see no proof. And the fact that we are in this situation is even more proof.

It is time to cut off any public money to private housing projects and to provide public housing projects through eminent domain. This “competition” will force the private housing scams that the state has suffered since 1995. You said:

“The more the city and state meddles, the more likely that SF becomes the "new" norm for housing: shortages, overpriced, chronic homelessness, and plenty of excuses from the government that they need just a few more regulations to get it just "right".”

Again, lets just cut off the private housing industry by directing all public funds to build the housing. It is time to have DIRECT public housing competition on the private sector. And the public projects have the advantage of not paying taxes or fees, and the ability to take blight properties over via eminent domain.

Let’s just make public projects outperform the private sector and in effect drive them to be competitive. Or quit trying to scam the people into believing they are performing up to the level they promised during the Costa Hawkins legislation.

Time to stop the insanity, we have used the same “free-market” process expecting the market to provide enough housing for more than 20 years. We are never going to get any different results.


Dan Waylonis
Registered user
Jackson Park
on Jan 3, 2020 at 4:15 pm
Dan Waylonis, Jackson Park
Registered user
on Jan 3, 2020 at 4:15 pm

Unfortunately, we have a very regulated and controlled market for creating new housing. Between NIMBY and CEQA, development of new housing is far below what the ABAG recommended years ago. We do not, nor have we had, a free market for housing development.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2020 at 7:34 am
The Business Man, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Jan 4, 2020 at 7:34 am

In response to Dan Waylonis you said:

“Unfortunately, we have a very regulated and controlled market for creating new housing. Between NIMBY and CEQA, development of new housing is far below what the ABAG recommended years ago. “

NIMBY is not a market regulation, it is a political movement that is acted on by the Local City Councils. Please understand that was a false claim? As far as CEQA, that is simply an environmental quality check to make sure that existing pollutants that do exist in this area are not creating more exposure. Just look at the recent news regarding the Tied House restaurant. This is not a Housing market regulation, but a public health one. So this is also a false claim. Surely you know that as well.

Finally there are the new laws that require inclusionary BMR and no net loss of units that the City must comply with. But the City Council will now cease all development because they refuse to comply with the state laws they are:

The first law is SB 166 Enforceable since Jan. 2019 (2017): NO‐NET‐LOSS LAW STRENGTHENED FORTIFIED HOUSING ELEMENT SITE PRESERVATION REQUIREMENTS

OVERVIEW

The 2017 California legislative session yielded a “housing package” of 15 bills that significantly increased both the financing of affordable housing development and the obligation of local governments to plan, zone and approve affordable housing developments. This memorandum focuses on SB 166 (Skinner), a bill that substantially strengthens the No‐Net‐Loss Law’s1 obligations for jurisdictions to preserve sufficient sites to address the community’s identified need for lower‐income housing.2

SB 166 amends the No‐Net‐Loss Law to require that the land inventory and site identification programs in the housing element always include sufficient sites to accommodate the unmet RHNA. When a site identified in the housing element as available for the development of housing to accommodate the lower‐income portion of the RHNA is actually developed for a higher income group, the locality must either (1) identify and rezone if necessary an adequate substitute site or (2) demonstrate that the land inventory already contains an adequate substitute site.”

On top of that there is SB35 Enforceable since Jan 2019 as I pointed out states:

““(B) The development is subject to a requirement mandating a minimum percentage of below market rate housing based on one of the following:

(i) The locality did not submit its latest production report to the department by the time period required by Section 65400, or that production report reflects that there were fewer units of above moderate-income housing approved than were required for the regional housing needs assessment cycle for that reporting period. In addition, if the project contains more than 10 units of housing, the project seeking approval dedicates a minimum of 10 percent of the total number of units to housing affordable to households making below 80 percent of the area median income. If the locality has adopted a local ordinance that requires that greater than 10 percent of the units be dedicated to housing affordable to households making below 80 percent of the area median income, that zoning ordinance applies.

(ii) The locality did not submit its latest production report to the department by the time period required by Section 65400, or that production report reflects that there were fewer units of housing affordable to households making below 80 percent of the area median income that were issued building permits than were required for the regional housing needs assessment cycle for that reporting period, AND THE PROJECT SEEKING APPROVAL DEDICATES 50 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF UNITS TO HOUSING AFFORDABLE TO HOUSEHOLDS MAKING BELOW 80 PERCENT OF THE AREA MEDIAN INCOME, UNLESS THE LOCALITY HAS ADOPTED A LOCAL ORDINANCE THAT REQUIRES THAT GREATER THAN 50 PERCENT OF THE UNITS BE DEDICATED TO HOUSING AFFORDABLE TO HOUSEHOLDS MAKING BELOW 80 PERCENT OF THE AREA MEDIAN INCOME, IN WHICH CASE THAT ORDINANCE APPLIES.”

The other LAW is SB 540 Enforceable since Jan. 2019 Which states:

“(3) At least 30 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL UNITS CONSTRUCTED OR SUBSTANTIALLY REHABILITATED IN THE ZONE WILL BE SOLD OR RENTED TO PERSONS AND FAMILIES OF MODERATE INCOME, as defined by Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code, or persons and families of middle income, as defined in Section 65008; AT LEAST 15 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL UNITS CONSTRUCTED OR SUBSTANTIALLY REHABILITATED IN THE ZONE WILL BE SOLD OR RENTED TO LOWER INCOME HOUSEHOLDS, as defined by Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code; and AT LEAST 5 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL UNITS CONSTRUCTED OR SUBSTANTIALLY REHABILITATED IN THE ZONE WILL BE RESTRICTED FOR A TERM OF 55 YEARS FOR VERY LOW INCOME HOUSEHOLDS, as defined by Section 50105 of the Health and Safety Code. NO MORE THAN 50 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL UNITS CONSTRUCTED OR SUBSTANTIALLY REHABILITATED IN THE ZONE SHALL BE SOLD OR RENTED TO PERSONS AND FAMILIES OF ABOVE MODERATE INCOME”

You said:

“We do not, nor have we had, a free market for housing development.”

As far as Costa Hawkins was concerned, there was a free market. Your two claims had nothing to do with market regulations. But because of private sector failure, these new laws have been required to correct for that mistake.


The Unreadable
Old Mountain View
on Jan 4, 2020 at 9:57 am
The Unreadable, Old Mountain View
on Jan 4, 2020 at 9:57 am

"In response to [fill-in-the-name] you said:"

He's ba-ackkkk. . .


Liz
another community
on Jan 15, 2020 at 11:40 am
Liz, another community
on Jan 15, 2020 at 11:40 am

I USED to live in Mountain View for 15+ years. There was even rent control on my rental unit for 3 years... until the City let them reclassify it as a duplex. Did you know that rent control is only for apartments, not duplexes or single family homes. I now live in San Jose and commute like the rest as I couldn't afford the $500 per month rent increase. So much for rent control.


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