Believe it or not, 2021 is more than halfway over, and California lawmakers will head back to their districts later today for a month-long summer break.

When they return to the Capitol on Aug. 16, a bill of particular concern for the rental housing industry will await their attention.

The proposal is AB 1487 by Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel, D-Van Nuys, which would create yet another source of funding for unethical attorneys to drag out legitimate eviction cases and rack up legal bills for good rental housing providers.

Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel

California already provides millions of dollars in funding to help low-income tenants fight evictions, including through the Sargent Shriver Civil Counsel Act and the Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Account. Cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles also provide $9.8 million and $10 million respectively for eviction defense.

“With the existing funding, unethical tenant attorneys are funded to make false claims about property owners who are simply trying to regain possession of their properties from tenants who have failed to pay rent or who have created problems for other tenants at the property,” reads a letter to Gabriel from CAA and the California Association of Realtors. “These firms that receive funding automatically and consistently utilize the same discovery and jury demands.”

Despite CAA opposition, AB 1487 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last week and has reached the Senate floor, where a vote is expected after lawmakers reconvene next month. Stay tuned for ways you can help CAA fight this problematic bill.