Thanks to a court ruling today, a draconian local rent control measure will not appear before Sacramento city voters this fall. Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Steven M. Gevercer agreed with a lawsuit filed by the city to keep the rent control initiative off the Nov. 3 ballot. Among other things, the city of Sacramento alleged that the rent control initiative would revise the city charter, something that direct initiatives cannot do under the California Constitution. This argument centered on the initiative’s creation of a rent board, which would constitute an independent branch of city government and strip significant power… Read More
Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye on Friday announced that California’s Judicial Council will vote “very soon” whether to sunset its emergency suspension of virtually all unlawful-detainer cases throughout the state. The announcement came during the Judicial Council’s regularly scheduled meeting Friday, July 24.
A tenant’s guest shoots and kills someone at the rental property. Another tenant threatens to behead the landlord. And a third renter runs a prostitution ring out of the unit. In each case, the landlord pursues an eviction, and each time, the judge says no. These are just some of the eviction-worthy situations that have gone nowhere since April 6, when the California Judicial Council suspended virtually all unlawful-detainer proceedings in the state. In the cases above, the landlords pointed to the Judicial Council’s exception for threats to health and safety. The plaintiffs were still denied. The justification? Rule 1… Read More
The California Apartment Association has filed letters urging a state appellate court to accept two cases that directly challenge the Judicial Council’s rules prohibiting nearly all evictions. Both cases involve tenants who did not pay rent well before the COVID-19 pandemic.
California courts are expected to begin processing unlawful-detainer actions again in roughly two months. The Judicial Council of California will decide by Wednesday whether to let its suspension of evictions expire Aug. 3. The council’s eviction suspension took effect in April in response to the coronavirus and its financial impacts on renters. The council’s anticipated decision this week comes as California begins a phased reopening, and courts restore services shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Housing policy decisions are usually left to the state Legislature, which was unable to hold sessions during the statewide shelter-in-place order,” Judge Marla Anderson, chairwoman… Read More
The U.S. Supreme Court ‘s June ruling in Knick vs. Township of Scott may open the door for landlords to file federal lawsuits alleging that rent control ordinances violate the Fifth Amendment, however, the prospects for victory with such challenges remain distant. The Fifth Amendment’s takings clause prohibits the government from taking private property unless it is for a public purpose and just compensation is provided. Up until now, landlords have had to file these kinds of suits in state court, where they’ve had limited success. Some believe federal benches would be more sympathetic to landlord arguments over property rights.
Employing a new law supported by CAA, the Newsom Administration has sued a Southern California city for allegedly stifling the production of low-income housing. On Jan. 25, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his approval of legal action against Huntington Beach, claiming that the city in Orange County has squelched the construction of affordable housing while also refusing to meet regional housing needs. “The state doesn’t take this action lightly,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in this news release. “The huge housing costs and sky-high rents are eroding quality of life for families across this state. California’s housing crisis is an existential threat… Read More
The California Apartment Association today published revised versions of several forms related to the tenant-screening process. The revisions come in response to an Aug. 20 California Supreme Court decision in Connor v. First Student. The ruling expanded the application of a California law known as the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act. Under this act, landlords, employers and consumer-reporting agencies must follow the procedures for “investigative consumer reports” when seeking and providing reports that relate to an applicant’s “character, general reputation, personal characteristics, and mode of living.” The law doesn’t define these terms, but in the rental housing context, unlawful-detainer eviction… Read More
Aug. 28 update: CAA revises screening-related forms to comply with state Supreme Court ruling In light of a California Supreme Court ruling this week, tenant-screening companies and landlords will want to review their procedures for vetting prospective renters. The state Supreme Court on Monday issued its decision in Connor v. First Student, and while the case that dealt with the use of investigative consumer reports in the employment context, it will have ramifications for the rental housing industry. Because of the ruling, landlords, employers and consumer-reporting agencies must now follow the procedures for “investigative consumer reports” when seeking and providing… Read More