First Rent Control Law After 30 Years

Tenants’ rights will be expanded in the city of Richmond after the first new rent control law in California in 30 years passed there last week. Richmond will join San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland in rent-controlled cities in the Bay Area.

Coalitions Joined Together

The effort was only possible by a coalition of groups including AFSCME Local 3299, CCISCO (Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organization), Centro Latino Cuzcation,  and Tenants Together, the statewide organization for renters’ rights. These organizations and others fought a well-funded lobbying effort by real estate industry representatives. According to Tenants Together, the industry representatives “threw everything they had at the city’s council members.”

Drama Included

Drama was part of the proceedings. According to the Contra Cost Times, the discussion had continued into the sixth hour when Mayor Butt walked out of the meeting. Butt threw up his hands and said, “I vote no, and I’m also leaving. I can’t deal with this.” He also lead Councilman Pimplé, who is blind, out of the room. Pimplé was also voting no.

Before the Tuesday discussion, the council seemed ready to vote down the measure, but with the remaining councilmembers in the room, the measure passed 4-1. It also includes a just-cause for eviction ordinance, which will make it more difficult to evict residents and impose stiff relocation fees for landlords attempting a no-fault eviction.

Not Final Yet

Unfortunately, drama continued this week with the city council unable to get through a simple reading of the new ordinance, one of the requirements of making it a law. Tenants Together continues to monitor the process.

Having trouble with your landlord over your rent-controlled apartment? Unsure of your tenant’s rights?  You may wish to consult an experienced tenant attorney would can advise you about your specific case.

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Mary Catherine Wiederhold

Tenant Attorney
1458 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

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