Interest in “just cause” for eviction proposals continued to grow in the North Bay this month, as the city of Novato became the latest jurisdiction in Marin County to begin researching the policy.

On Feb. 12, the Novato City Council began preliminary discussions of just-cause eviction, based on a motion by Councilwoman Pam Drew.

The council voted to discuss the matter further and to consider adopting just cause during the third quarter of this year, which falls between July 1 and Sept. 30.

At the meeting, Alex Khalfin, CAA’s vice president of public affairs,  expressed CAA’s unequivocal opposition to just-cause ordinances,urging the council to avoid such policies, which prolong the eviction process and make it more difficult and costly to terminate tenancies. Just-cause ordinances also make it more difficult and expensive to provide quality housing at affordable rates. For more information on the problems with just cause, check out CAA’s background paper.

Earlier this month, Khalfin spoke against a similar proposal under consideration in San Rafael, also part of Marin County.

Novato and San Rafael are modeling potential just-cause ordinances based on policies adopted late last year by county supervisors.

Under that law, approved as a two-year pilot program for unincorporated areas of Marin County, landlords can only evict tenants from affected units if they can prove at least one of several specified conditions exist, such as failure to pay rent, breach of contract or nuisance behavior.

Related content: 

  • Novato City Council ponders just cause eviction ordinance (Marin Independent Journal, Feb. 16)