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Greater Downey Realty Board Threatens Lawsuit to Allow No Fault Evictions

Courtesy Marketwatch.com

BY BRIAN HEWS • November 12, 2019

Assembly Bill 1482, signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom, will impose statewide rate control and prohibit no-fault evictions come Jan. 1.

The rent cap bill essentially makes rent control the law of the land in California. There is only one other state in the country doing this- Oregon.

Under the law, for the next decade landlords can only raise rents for an existing tenant by 5% after inflation. 

In addition, it will be harder for a landlord to kick a tenant out, mandating that landlords must have a legitimate reason for eviction.

A few exception exist, the rent cap will initially only apply to apartments built before 2004, it would also exempt single-family homes and duplexes where the owner lives in one of the units.

Despite the exceptions, unscrupulous landlords all over the state are trying to get ahead of the law by callously evicting tenants-without cause-to proactively raise the rent. 

And Downey Councilman Sean Ashton is trying to do something about it in his city.

Ashton is asking the City Council, at tonight’s meeting,  to discuss an emergency ordinance that would prohibit landlords from evicting tenants without cause, and, “give direction to protect tenants until Jan. 1, 2020, when AB 1482 takes effect.” 

Ashton proposed the discussion at the council meeting three weeks ago, two days later he came under fire from the Greater Downey Association of Realtors (DAOR). 

Amid the flurry of no fault evictions, the DAOR and its President Dan Navarez, who’s works out of an office in Anaheim, threatened a lawsuit.

In a letter to Downey Mayor Rick Rodriguez, Nevarez said they oppose the bill and basically threatened the City.

[Passing the emergency ordinance] “will force us to take legal action and seek an injunction,” Nevarez wrote. 

Several cities have passed an urgency ordinance similar to what Ashton proposed, including Bell Gardens, but that did not matter to Nevarez.

“The City Council…. will join us in waiting until January 1, 2020 when AB 1482 goes into effect, rather than making any attempt to implement new ordinances that would place moratoriums on evictions,” Nevarez wrote.

It is unclear what rights Nevarez is referring to, other than the rights of greedy landlords.

A recent  Zillow report found that last year only about 7 percent of properties in the state had an increase larger than 5 percent.

An urgency ordinance requires a “super-majority,” meaning four of the five council members must vote in approval of the ordinance for it to take immediate effect. 

The proposal by Ashton could trigger recusals on the Council; Mayor Rick Rodriguez will certainly recuse himself.

Ashton told HMG-LCCN, “I firmly believe I am on the right side of this, many residents have told me, and council members, about nightmares with their landlords abusing the no-fault eviction loophole, something should be done, let’s at least start a conversation.”

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