A bill that would authorize the California courts to cut rents by 25% won’t get a hearing until summer at the earliest.

AB 828 by Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, last week was placed in the Senate Rules Committee, which postpones any possibility of a hearing for several weeks.

Assemblyman Philip Ting

The California Apartment Association has led a grassroots campaign to defeat the measure. In recent weeks, more than 55,000 messages opposing the bill have flooded lawmakers’ inboxes.

AB 828 threatens to do the following:

  • Allow the courts to force landlords to reduce rents by 25% — even if a tenant cannot show a COVID-19 hardship or need.
  • Allow the courts to set rents and change rental agreements already in place.
  • Assume every tenant is facing a COVID-19 hardship and must be compensated for it.
  • Protect nuisance tenants. The bill does not require tenants to answer an unlawful detainer complaint.
  • Mandate that rental property owners demonstrate an economic hardship to collect the contracted rent.
  • Allow the government and courts to give reduced rent and extended tenancies to all renters, even those not facing economic hardships. At the same time, it provides no safeguards for landlords.