Under California’s existing “no-fault” tenant rental law a landlord may terminate a renter’s tenancy by issuing either a 30 or 60 Day Notice to Vacate – the length of time depending upon weather the renter had been in the unit for under or over a year.
However, along with the spread of rent control, over 17 California cities have now enacted “just cause” eviction ordinances which limit when landlords can ask renters to leave. Just cause evictions require landlords to meet one of about a dozen specific “causes” for eviction which range from not paying rent which accounts for over 70% of evictions, to creating a nuisance, damaging property or illegal activity like drug dealing.
Just cause evictions are opposed by most landlords and property management organizations because they have many onerous and unintended consequences. By making it much harder and more expensive to get rid of bad tenants it makes living conditions worse for other renters living on the property. By increasing costs it works against lowering rents and renovating older properties to solve the housing crisis.
Just Cause Evictions Makes Getting Rid of Drug Dealers Problematic
For example, under so called just cause eviction ordinances, consider what it takes to get a drug dealer off a rental property and the impact this has on the good, law abiding tenants who live there.
Under current California Law, you can simply give the drug dealer a 3 Day Notice to Quit and evict them if they are not gone within 3 days.
However, just cause eviction it requires that you need to prove the reason for them to leave, and the neighbors in the apartment complex who are the witnesses to the drug dealing that’s going on understandably don’t want to be identified and have to go to trial to testify against them. They just want to be left alone and enjoy the quiet enjoyment of what they are paying rent for which they should be fully entitled to!
Tom Bannon, chief executive of the California Apartment Association said. “If you want to get a drug dealer out, even if tenants are brave enough to come forward, there’s no guarantee you can evict them. An arrest is not enough because they’re not guilty until they’ve been convicted. You put other tenants in that community at a very significant disadvantage for the quiet enjoyment of their home,””
One unintended consequences of just cause eviction in terms of getting drug dealers out is to require tenants who are complaining about the activity to publicly come forward and testify to prove the renter is drug dealing, and if they are unwilling to do that, their quality of life is degraded by allowing the activity to go on far longer than is now permitted by California’s existing “no-fault” existing laws to deal with and get rid of the problem fast.
In this circumstance, there is nothing “just” about “just cause” evictions for everyone else in the rental unit – standing so called “justice” on its head in favor of the drug dealers against the good, law abiding tenants paying their rent who just want to be left alone. This makes living conditions worse for good renters who naturally want their residence to be safe.
Getting rid of drug dealers is only one example of a wide range of situations where a landlord’s responsibility to meet the safety and quiet enjoyment requirements of their tenants are best dealt with discretely without involving other renters in further drama and court appearances to resolve. Current no-fault eviction laws allow landlords the necessary latitude to get rid of bad tenants with the nuance and balancing act landlords must have to keep everyone’s needs met.
Just Cause Evictions Work Against Lower Rents
When eviction laws become more expensive for property owners it makes the housing crises worse – not better. It results in landlords more likely to require renters to have higher credit ratings and income levels to avoid the increased costs of eviction, cutting out an entire class of tenants of even being considered in a tight housing market.
Just cause eviction ordinances have never been proven to benefit law abiding tenants or helped relieve the housing shortage. Just the opposite – and sometimes even causing good renters to have to move to get away from illegal activity!
The addition of required relocation expenses being paid by landlords to tenants is another added cost that ultimately over time results in rent increases.
Just cause evictions have done nothing to relieve the housing crisis – only exasperate it by raising the costs of evicting bad tenants which result in the raising of rents of good tenants to cover the added costs.
Just cause eviction laws have never been proven to actually alleviate the housing crisis by increasing housing supply. To get better affordable housing solutions in California requires a focus on solutions that considers the impact on law abiding renters, who end up having to pay higher rent for the added costs of getting bad tenants out.
At Fast Eviction Service, help on any of the issues discussed in this article is simply a click or phone call away. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at (800) 686-8686 to discuss your questions for a free evaluation of your case.
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