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  • Jason Tuvia

California Lawmaker Adds Eviction Protection to Proposed Rent Cap Bill

Amended Bill to Move to State Senate Committee On July 9

The author of a proposed California bill to limit annual rent increases has added restrictions on tenant evictions, which come from a companion bill that failed to clear the state Assembly in May, to the criticized measure that remains under consideration in Sacramento.

Assembly member David Chiu, a San Francisco Democrat, Monday announced that Assembly Bill 1482, his measure limiting rent hikes to 7% plus the cost of inflation, will now also prohibit landlords from evicting tenants without showing "just cause."

The amended bill, which is part of a larger effort to address the Golden State's housing crisis, is expected to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 9. Real estate interests, including the California Apartment Association, opposed both the eviction restrictions and annual rent cap bills, arguing they will discourage landlords and developers from creating and maintaining affordable rental housing in the state.

The proposed eviction protections would only go into effect after a tenant has lived in a unit for more than a year and would be limited to rental units that are also subject to the limit on rent increases.

"Both large rent increases and predatory evictions lead to displacement and exacerbate our homelessness crisis," Chiu said in a statement. "Just as tenants deserve protection from arbitrary, predatory rent increases, they deserve protection from arbitrary, predatory evictions."

Chiu's legislation is among a small number of tenant protection bills still alive in the state Capitol in Sacramento.

Assembly Bill 1481, sponsored by East San Francisco Bay Area Democrats Tim Grayson and Rob Bonta, proposed evictions limitations and was intended as a companion measure to Chiu's legislation. However, it failed to muster enough votes to clear the Assembly before the May 31 deadline.

AB 1482 narrowly passed the Assembly when the California Association of Realtors withdrew its opposition after Chiu agreed to exempt owners with 10 or fewer single-family homes and shorten the duration of the bill to three years.

"It would be unacceptable to wait another year to pass legislation that provides meaningful protections to tenants," Grayson said in the statement released by Chiu's office. "By amending AB 1482 to include both just cause and anti-rent gouging policies, we have the opportunity to finally provide real stability and security to Californians at risk of unfairly losing the roof over their head."

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