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SCRHA Legislative Update: Local & State Recap

Posted by Molly Kirkland on Sep 4, 2020 8:08:17 AM

Local Recap

It’s been a busy few weeks on the local level, dealing with both the Eviction Moratorium Rent Repayment date extension in the City of San Diego and a proposal to pursue a mandate that landlords accept pets. The City of Chula Vista also met and extended their moratorium through the end of August. However, the council also approved the formation of a Stakeholder Subcommittee to help craft a more balanced policy. The Southern California Rental Housing Association wishes to thank and congratulate you for victories hard fought. 

San Diego Eviction Moratorium Rent Repayment Deadline  

In case you missed it, the San Diego City Council did extend the repayment period associated with the eviction moratorium. However, it was extended through the end of December 2020 instead of March 31, 2021. The vote was also a close 5-4, meaning a second vote is required in the coming weeks and the measure can possibly be vetoed. SCRHA is exploring all options available at this time and preparing for the next proposal to extend the full eviction moratorium, currently set to expire on September 30.  

Thank you to the hundreds of members who answered our Action Alert, sent comments, made phone calls, and more! The fight is not over, and we will be circling back with you in the coming weeks for more grassroots mobilization.  

Pet Friendly Housing Ordinance Update 

On July 30, the San Diego City Council Land Use & Housing Committee discussed a proposal from Councilmember Chris Ward to explore the creation of the so-called Pet Friendly Housing Ordinance. Citing the number of animals surrendered each year because of housing and calling pet policies a barrier to people finding housing, Ward wanted to move the policy forward and have the city attorney's office draft language. SCRHA spoke in opposition, as did several property owners, citing concerns with insurance coverage, liability issues, quiet enjoyment for other residents, and damage and destruction. 

Ward sought policy guidance from his committee colleagues on items such as limiting additional deposits, capping pet rent, pet minimums, removing breed restrictions, and more. In the end, Ward's motion to move this forward did not get the votes needed, the other three councilmembers voted against the proposal. Councilmember Sherman shared his past-life experience doing rental turnovers, his concerns about insurance coverage, and noted the amount of pet-friendly properties found via a simple internet search. Councilmember Campbell, who is a doctor, cited the concerns of neighbors with underlying health issues that can be exacerbated by animals. Councilmember Kersey asked several thoughtful questions and ultimately expressed concern with the timing of the proposal given the pandemic.  

Ward amended his motion to have the city attorney's office explore a pet friendly policy for affordable or subsidized housing only, which garnered the support of his colleagues.  

The item will likely come back to the committee in the coming months for more discussion.  

The hundreds of messages generated to the councilmembers in a matter of days is impressive. Well done SCRHA members and rental housing advocates!   

State of CA/City of San Diego Benchmarking - COVID Update
The City and State reporting deadline has been extended to September 1st. If you have already submitted your data, no further action is required.

Click here for more information.

State Legislative Update

The State Legislature has resumed their work and there are still several bills pending that might impact your business. Included in those are SB 1410 (Caballero) and AB 1436 (Chiu) both of which seek to assist COVID-19 impacted renters. SCRHA and its network of partners in the California Rental Housing Association (CalRHA) continue to lobby on these bills to make sure that property owners are protected and don’t find themselves in jeopardy of losing their property. SB 1410 is scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Judiciary committee on August 12 when several amendments are expected. AB 1436 is scheduled to be heard in Senate Judiciary on August 18. Amendments are expected then as well. We will report back on the changes to these bills. 

Proposition 21 

Once again,we are battling an attempt to weakenthestatewideCosta-Hawkins Act. Costa-Hawkins wasadoptedtoreign in overreaching rent control laws in citiesand provides:   

  • Vacancy De-Control -Protectsapropertyownersability toadjust rents to market levels at turnover of tenancy many were goingbankruptbecause they were unable to keep pace with the costs of doing business. 
  • An exemption for newer construction andsingle-family rentals-Prohibits rentcontrol on single family homes andcondosas well asanything built1995 and after. 

Without theseprotections, property owners were goingbankruptand new developmentceased to exist. 

 
Much like Prop 10 in 2018,Proposition 21 (the Renter Affordability Act) would: 

  • Expandrent control to single family homesandcondos 
  • LimitVacancy De-Control, restricting your ability to raise rents to market at turnover 
  • Expands rent control to new developments
  • Disincentivizes new construction 

Topics: advocacy, legislative update

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