The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider a tenant “anti-harassment” ordinance that would duplicate existing renter protections, expose housing providers to excessive fines, and create legal ambiguities that could unfairly penalize ethical landlords.

Introduced by Supervisor Dennis Kennedy, the measure closely resembles a city-level ordinance that the California Apartment Association successfully opposed just weeks ago.

Industry under scrutiny

Tenant harassment is already outlawed under existing California law, making the forthcoming ordinance not only redundant but an unnecessary burden on the county’s housing providers.

The proposal shifts the burden of proof onto rental property owners, requiring them to disprove accusations of harassment. Defined ambiguously, the legislation opens the door for virtually any service interruption or termination to be interpreted as tenant abuse. Owners could face penalties up to $5,000 per violation.

Call to action

The potential repercussions of this ordinance pose significant concerns for rental housing providers. CAA urges its members to take immediate action. To help, visit CAA’s “Take Action” page, where you’ll find detailed information and guidance on how to express your concerns to the Board of Supervisors.