Santa Barbara to examine policies to regulate rents, evictions


The Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday will hear a report on several housing policy concepts, including rent control and just-cause eviction.

The city attorney is scheduled to provide the report during the council’s 6 p.m. session. The council requested the report, accessible here, and is expected to provide further direction to staff after the presentation.

In addition to rent control and just-cause eviction policies, the city attorney’s report touches on a number of other options, such as enhanced mediation, mandatory leases and multifamily rental-unit safety inspections.

Asked to contribute to the report, the California Apartment Association reminded city officials that California already has some of the most progressive tenant-protection laws in the nation and that rent control and just-cause eviction have failed wherever attempted.

The city attorney’s report also points to the legal complications that rent control can bring.

“It is worth noting that rent control can easily turn into a litigious undertaking because it establishes direct local government control over the financial viability of private property owners who invest in residential rental property,” the report says.

Indeed, CAA lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of rent control are pending in Mountain View and Richmond, Bay Area cities where voters approved the policy in the November election.

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