The city of Chula Vista’s Housing Advisory Commission late last month reviewed a new tenant protection ordinance that would effectively prohibit evictions for renovations, criminalize essential apartment operations, and subject landlords to frivolous litigation.  

The California Apartment Association sent this letter to the commission saying the ordinance would do the following:  

  • Inhibit any substantial investment that improves the quality of life for tenants and updates the city’s aging stock.  
  • Penalize innocent activities that are often part of normal property management operations with excessive criminal and civil penalties.  

The proposed ordinance deems basic apartment operations, such as turning off water for repairs, as a form of harassment that’s likely to invite frivolous lawsuits brought by the city and tenants.  

Apartment owners may be responsible for criminal and civil penalties of up to $5,000 for each violation. The Housing Advisory Commission and City Council will review the ordinance publicly in March.