The California Senate on Wednesday approved a measure that would restrict the ability of some landlords to take up residence in their own units, hinder their ability to perform essential maintenance work, while also making their properties more difficult to sell.

SB 567 by Sen. María Elena Durazo, D-Los Angeles, advanced from the Senate Floor with 21 senators voting yes, 12 voting no, and seven abstaining.

Sen. Maria Elena Durazo

The legislation proposes several changes to the “just cause” for eviction provisions in the California Tenant Protection Act of 2019, also known as AB 1482. Notably, the bill redefines a property “owner” as a natural person with at least a 51 percent ownership interest. This could prevent some landlords, particularly those owning property through a family trust or shared ownership, from moving into their units or housing family members there.

Additionally, SB 567 stipulates that landlords must obtain and present permits before terminating tenancies for major repairs. This provision could complicate vital property maintenance, especially in situations where permits are not required or are difficult to secure.

The bill also seeks to extend the notice period for landlords wishing to remove units from the rental market to 120 days.

Further provisions in the bill include prohibiting future owners from renting out units that have been removed from the rental market. This change could significantly affect the sales of smaller properties.

Finally, SB 567 imposes severe penalties for violating the law.   These penalties encompass liability for up to three times the actual damages, potential punitive damages, and costs including attorney’s fees.

As introduced, SB 567 would have significantly reduced California’s statewide cap on rent increases — a main feature of the existing law established by AB 1482. This provision would have limited annual rent increases to the Consumer Price Index, with a maximum of 3 percent.

However, after staunch opposition from CAA, the provision for a reduced rent cap was removed.

CAA remains opposed to SB 567 and plans to continue its opposition as the bill moves to the state Assembly.