A grassroots campaign led by the California Apartment Association has helped stop a tenant-unionizing bill that sought special protections for renters’ rights groups.

SB 529 by Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, D-Los Angeles, died on the Senate floor this week, lacking the votes needed to proceed to the Assembly.

Sen. Maria Elena Durazo

Prior to sweeping amendments to the bill this month, SB 529 would have allowed tenant groups to withhold rent payments in response to grievances or complaints against a landlord. The bill at one point specified rent increases over the rate of inflation as justification for a rent strike and held that tenants withholding rent could not be evicted for nonpayment.

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