The Burbank City Council has advanced a proposal that could significantly increase costs for rental property owners to undertake substantial remodeling projects.

During a meeting on Aug. 8, the council instructed staff to draft an ordinance surpassing the provisions for substantial remodels contained in the California Tenant Protection Act of 2018, or AB 1482.

Regarded as the nation’s strongest statewide tenant-protection law, AB 1482 caps rent increases on much of California’s rental housing and outlines conditions for lawful evictions, including specific rules for terminating tenancies when substantial remodeling is necessary.

The proposed changes include tripling the relocation assistance required under AB 1482 from one month’s rent to three times that amount — and mandating city permits for lease terminations.

“Additional local regulations are not needed and would only create confusion, a costly bureaucracy, and a more unaffordable city,” warned Matt Buck, CAA’s vice president of local public affairs.

Matt Buck

The push for stricter rules follows recent allegations that some new rental property owners have dishonestly cited “substantial remodels” as grounds for ending tenancies. Tenant activists accused AB 1482 of providing a “loophole” for evictions, a claim that CAA refutes.

CAA maintains that AB 1482 balances the need for apartment maintenance and improvements while ensuring fair compensation to residents. Although Burbank allocated $500,000 to aid vulnerable tenants displaced by substantial remodels, few have sought this assistance, reinforcing the adequacy of AB 1482’s assistance requirements.

In the coming months, the council is expected to review rent control and tenant protection policies from other cities as possible models. This follows Councilman Anthony Konstantine’s unsuccessful attempt in January to impose rent control provisions from Measure RC, a strict initiative defeated overwhelmingly in the 2020 election. CAA continues to engage with City Council members to emphasize the potential harm of punitive housing policies on the rental market, including impacts on housing supply.