CAA advocacy work leads L.A. to table ‘just cause’ decision

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Thanks to the advocacy work of its members, the California Apartment Association now has more time to educate Los Angeles city officials about the problems of expanding their “just cause” eviction policies.

On Thursday, the L.A. City Council’s housing committee was scheduled to consider applying the city’s “just cause” eviction rules to all housing in the city, including condos and single-family homes.

The committee, however, tabled that decision after hearing from thousands of CAA members.

“In less than 24 hours, over 6,500 messages were sent to council,” Beverly Kenworthy, CAA’s vice president of public affairs in L.A., said after the postponement. “This helped ensure the items will receive further input, consideration and advocacy. CAA will continue to do everything we can to defeat onerous and unjustified proposals.”

Beverly Kenworthy

At present, the city of Los Angeles’ strict just-cause policies only apply to pre-1978 apartments covered by the city’s rent control law. The proposal before the council would apply those policies to all housing in L.A., including homes subject to AB 1482, the statewide rent cap and just-cause law that took effect Jan. 1. This law, whose just cause protections are more reasonable than the city’s, generally applies to apartments and corporate-owned single-family homes once they turn 15 years old.

Newer homes still exempt from AB 1482 also will be subject to L.A.’s strict form of just cause.

CAA and its members pointed out to the council that AB 1482’s eviction controls have only been in place for six months — not enough time to assess their effectiveness.

“Data on any potential concerns with AB 1482 requirements should be reviewed before local action is taken,” CAA said in this letter to Councilman Gil Cedillo, chairman of the Housing and Community Investment Committee.  “Unlike AB 1482, there was no stakeholder input conducted by the Housing Department or Council offices during the formulation of the report to recommend the expansion of “just cause” policies. “

Moreover, unlike the state’s just cause provisions, L.A.’s eviction control policy has a problematic renovation program that’s rarely used and has led to a dilapidated housing stock while  discouraging needed repairs.

“This would override the “for cause” eviction rules outlined in state law by creating conditions that make it even more difficult to make needed improvements to the property and make it nearly impossible to remove problem tenants and those who violate their rental agreements,” said Fred Sutton, senior vice president of public affairs in Los Angeles.  “These local actions are unnecessary and will further handcuff housing providers’ operations.”

The city of Los Angeles will take up the expanded just-cause proposal at a later date.

Fred Sutton

“Property owners must continue to organize,” said Fred Sutton, CAA’s senior vice president of public affairs for the L.A. region. “We need you to stay informed and active.”

For more information, contact Sutton at SoCalPA@caanet.org.

Tagged: Los Angeles