Courtesy Pixabay/Atarapa
Courtesy Pixabay/Atarapa

On Tuesday, the San Jose (Calif.) City Council voted 6–5 to approve a new set of renter protection laws. Under the new ordinance, San Jose’s landlords can no longer evict tenants without “just cause,” such as property damage or failure to pay rent. Ellis Act protections, which require landlords in rent-controlled properties to provide tenants with 120 days’ notice and money to relocate before redevelopment, are also now in effect.

There have been more than 2,400 evictions without cause in San Jose since 2010, and housing activists say the evictions largely affect single mothers and minorities. Landlords and lobbyists, however, say the elimination of “no-cause” evictions curtails the ability to get rid of “bad actors,” and they maintain that the majority of landlords wouldn't evict anyone unjustly.

Council Member Johnny Khamis said he worried that San Jose was putting too many regulations on landlords that would drive smaller owners out of the market at a time [when] the city desperately needs more housing.

The city earlier this year also reduced how much landlords of rent-restricted apartments could increase costs to residents annually, from 8 percent to 5 percent.

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