Discussion continues after Dec. 6 deferral

After hearing from CAA earlier this month, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors agreed that a trio of sweeping anti-housing proposals aren’t ready for prime time. The ordinances, though, could be back for consideration as soon as Tuesday, Dec. 20.

On Dec. 6, the California Apartment Association voiced its opposition to ordinances that would ordinances to implement “just cause” for eviction, a rent registry, and a ban on landlords using criminal background checks.

Rhovy Lyn Antonio

“These ordinances suffered from significant legal deficiencies. Adopting them would have rushed through problematic laws with sweeping consequences,” said Rhovy Lyn Antonio, CAA’s senior vice president of local public affairs. “We appreciate county counsel speaking up and advising the Board of Supervisors to exert caution and take the time needed to ensure that any proposed ordinance is legally sufficient.”

The Board of Supervisors is expected to review updated versions of the three ordinances at its meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022. The three ordinances under consideration include:

  • Just Cause Eviction: This proposal expands on the state’s eviction protections and creates additional restrictions before you can terminate a tenancy. It will establish a fee on landlords to implement new restrictions such as requiring owners and their family to live in the unit for five years if a tenancy is terminated through owner move-in.
  • Rent Registry: This proposal requires housing providers to provide their rent rolls and tenancy information to the county and establish a new bureaucracy in the county to monitor, control, and report publicly on the housing market.
  • Fair Chance: Limits a housing provider’s ability to use criminal background checks to screen a prospective tenant. And it gives existing tenants the ability to move in family members without the landlord’s permission and bypass screening criteria regardless of their criminal background.

Although the county removed the anti-harassment and mandatory lease requirements from the rent registry ordinance, most of the other changes are purely technical and do not address the legally questionable provisions and unfair mandates in the proposals. Thus, CAA calls on all Alameda County housing providers to demand that the Board of Supervisors reject all three ordinances.

“There is no reasonable justification for these laws,” Antonio said. “It makes no sense to even talk about these proposals when the eviction moratorium is still underway, the county lacks evidence of existing landlord/tenant disputes requiring a change in law, and the cost to taxpayers to implement the ordinances still hasn’t been formally studied.”