Legislation unveiled Thursday would force California landlords to stay in the rental housing business for at least five years, even if they are losing money month after month.

AB 854 by Assemblyman Alex Lee, D-San Jose, takes aim at California’s Ellis Act, a law that protects a landlord’s right to leave the rental housing business.

Assemblyman Alex Lee

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.

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