A bill attacking a landlord’s right to leave the rental housing business passed its first test in the state Assembly this week.

Assemblyman Alex Lee

AB 854 by Assemblyman Alex Lee, D-San Jose, won approval Wednesday on a 6-2 vote in the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee.

The California Apartment Association vowed to keep fighting the legislation, which will be heard next week in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Lee’s proposal would prohibit rental housing providers from using the Ellis Act to terminate tenancies and exit the rental market until all owners of the property have held their ownership interest for five years or more. It also would prohibit owners from attempting to ever remove a second building from the market.