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After hearing arguments from the California Apartment Association, a Contra Costa Superior Court judge said she would decide within the next week whether to halt enforcement of Richmond’s rent control law.

Tagged: Contra Costa

An appellate court Monday upheld important rights of San Francisco rental property owners under the state’s Ellis Act, a state law that allows property owners to leave the rental housing business. The Ellis Act ensures a property owner’s ability to take a building off the rental market and convert the units to condominiums or single-family homes. The  First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco affirmed Monday that a 2014 ordinance passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors would have violated the Ellis Act. In the 3-0 ruling, Justice Martin Jenkins said that the ordinance “prevents landowners from exercising… Read More

Tagged: San Francisco Apartment Association

CAA amendments target unscrupulous attorneys The state’s unlawful detainer “masking” law has been in place for over 20 years, introduced by the California Apartment Association to prevent unethical eviction-delay firms from accessing court records to help tenants prolong or avoid eviction. The law provides that unlawful detainer cases are not available to the public for 60 days after the filing of an unlawful detainer action. After that time, the case becomes public if the tenant failed to beat the eviction during the initial 60 days. During this legislative session, Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, persuaded fellow lawmakers to change the… Read More

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A court brief filed by the California Apartment Association has led a plaintiff to give up her argument that Section 8 recipients are a protected class under California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act. In Morris v. Sacramento Manor, the tenancy was terminated when the owner decided to stop participating in the Section 8 program. The tenant argued that Section 8 recipients should be considered a new protected class under the Unruh Act’s prohibition against any arbitrary discrimination. On Feb, 23, 2016, CAA filed a brief in the Appellate Division of the Sacramento Superior Court supporting Sacramento Manor’s right to pull out… Read More

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A Southern California lawmaker has proposed legislation that would help deter frivolous disability-access lawsuits against landlords and other business owners. SB 1142 by Sen. John R-Moorlach, Costa Mesa, would provide property owners and businesses a “right to cure” within 120 days of any Americans with Disabilities Act violation without penalty or threat of lawsuit. The bill would stipulate that a defendant is not liable for statutory damages, costs, or plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees if the violation is corrected within 120 days of service of a demand letter. California law provides that a plaintiff is entitled to a minimum of $4,000 per… Read More

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Should Section 8 voucher holders be considered a new protected class under California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act? The plaintiff in Morris v. Sacramento Manor thinks so. In that case, the tenancy was terminated when the owner decided not to participate in the Section 8 program anymore. The tenant argues that Section 8 recipients should be considered a new protected class under the Unruh Act’s prohibition against any arbitrary discrimination. Unlike most anti-discrimination laws, which protect only specific enumerated classes, California’s Unruh Act has been interpreted to prohibit any “arbitrary” discrimination. Courts have previously found discrimination based on the following categorizations… Read More

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You’ve likely heard of CAA fighting the spread of rent control at city halls around the Bay Area. Well, the effort to stem rent control is happening in the courts as well. For the second time in recent months, CAA has gotten involved in a case centered on whether a change of tenancy occurs when parents move out of a rent controlled unit and their children, who never signed the lease because they were minors, stay behind as adults. [Read about the first case] This is important because a change in tenancy allows for a rent controlled unit to return… Read More

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When he was 13, Brian Govender and his family moved into a San Francisco apartment with rent control. Naturally, the boy didn’t sign the lease. His parents, being grownups, took care of that. Fast forward a decade. Govender, now in his mid-20s, still lives in the rent-controlled apartment. His parents do not. This posed an interesting question regarding when rent control can expire. On one hand, Govender was a young teen when he moved in, so he didn’t sign the rental agreement. Some might say rent control protections for the unit lapsed when his parents moved out. Others would consider… Read More

Tagged: San Francisco Apartment Association

The California Apartment Association is taking a close look at proposed revisions to Proposition 65 warning regulations. Released Jan. 16 by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, the revisions are intended to provide more information to consumers and other members of the public. While the current proposal is less onerous for the rental housing industry than the earlier version, significant issues remain, both with the proposed regulations and Proposition 65 in general. In addition to analyzing the regulations, CAA will continue to work with its partners, such as the California Chamber of Commerce, and submit comments where necessary. Enacted… Read More

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 21 heard oral arguments in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project. This case, which deals with tax credits for low-income housing, will address the validity of disparate impact claims under the Federal Fair Housing Act. Disparate impact discrimination occurs when a neutral, non-discriminatory policy has a disproportionate, adverse impact on members of a protected class. The classic example in such a neutral policy in the housing context is denial of tenancy based on criminal arrest records, which has a disproportionate impact on African-Americans. In the Texas case, the… Read More

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