Santa Rosa OKs just-cause eviction policy, but push for immediate action fails


Update:  A permanent rent control and just-cause eviction measure are now on the Aug. 16 agenda for the council’s consideration.

Although Santa Rosa passed a just-cause for eviction ordinance Tuesday night, the council failed to garner the five votes needed to enact the ordinance immediately.

Facing opposition from the California Apartment Association, an effort to impose the policy on the city’s entire rental housing stock also fell short.

Just-cause policies require rental property owners to prove “cause” in court or before a political body every time they need to remove a problem resident.

Lacking the needed support for an urgency ordinance, the council approved a regular ordinance instead, voting 4-2 in favor.

Assuming the council ratifies its decision with a second vote next week, the just-cause measure will be enacted 30 days later, on Aug. 25.

Like the city’s rent-increase moratorium, the just-cause measure will apply to apartments built prior to 1995. Exempted are single-family homes, condos, duplexes, and owner-occupied triplexes.

The rent increase moratorium, which the council extended last week by 90 days, caps annual rent increases at 3 percent for affected apartments.

The city is now preparing a permanent rent control and just-cause eviction measure for the council’s consideration. Both the rent moratorium and the just-cause measure approved Tuesday are intended as stop-gap measures until the council has a chance to approve and implement a permanent policy.

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Tagged: North Bay