Proposed Bill Could Help Tenants Purchase Their Homes in California

The Tenant and Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA or COPA) is being evaluated by California legislators to simplify the process of allowing tenants and nonprofit organizations with a social mission to acquire rental properties that become available for sale.

AB 919, proposed by Ash Kalra, an Assemblymember from San José, seeks to grant tenants the initial option to purchase the buildings they reside in. Additionally, they may transfer this right to an affordable housing group. Although property owners can still accept the highest bid for their real estate, tenants and nonprofit organizations would have extended periods to submit their offers.

Under the proposed bill, tenants would have a month to submit their initial bid, followed by a period ranging from one to four months to obtain financing, depending on the building’s size. While landlords may choose to reject the offer in favor of a superior one, renters or eligible nonprofit organizations would have ten days to match the higher bid.

The new bill is expected to get its first hearing later in March.