Tonight – Tuesday, June 20th – the City of Milpitas, CA is going to vote on whether or not to adopt an emergency ordinance that would require all local landlords and Milpitas property managers to have “just cause” before evicting a tenant. Residents, landlords and Milpitas property management companies are being asked to voice their opinions about this ordinance. The deadline to submit comments and feedback is tomorrow night at 7pm.
By way of background, the city of Milpitas is going through a severe housing shortage. This isn’t a problem unique to Milpitas; the entire Bay Area is struggling with the same issue. As rents climb, more residents are at risk of displacement—even homelessness.
The logical solution is to ease building restrictions to encourage new housing production. Simple supply and demand.
But housing takes time to build. So in the meantime, the City of Milpitas is considering strengthening rent control measures. The first step toward that end is implementing a“Just Cause Evictions” emergency ordinance, which is going before the City Council for vote tomorrow night.
“No-cause evictions destabilize and can result in the loss of affordable housing,” the ordinance states. “This ordinance is urgently needed for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety.”
The emergency ordinance, if approved, creates two categories of evictions: (1) For Cause Terminations; and (2) No Fault Terminations.
For Cause Terminations include: failure to pay rent, breach of rental contract, tenant illegal activities, failure to allow landlord access to the unit, tenant rejected written lease extension, tenant violated occupancy restriction, and landlord condo conversion, among a few others.
No Fault Terminations include: when the landlord removes the unit from the market; if the landlord or his immediate family want to move into the unit; the unit is temporarily unfit for habitation while the landlord makes repairs; or if the unit will be substantially renovated.
Under the emergency ordinance, a landlord or East Bay property manager serving Milpitas will be required to pay tenants relocation assistance if the tenancy is terminated through a No Fault termination. The amount of relocation assistance depends on whether you’re a “large landlord” or “small landlord.” The ordinance considers anyone with more than four units in the City of Milpitas to be a “large landlord,” those with three or fewer units are a “small landlord.” Large landlords will be required to pay relocation assistance equivalent to five times current fair market rents or four times the monthly rent the tenant is paying at the time Notice of Termination is delivered, whichever is greater. Small landlords must pay the equivalent of one month fair market rent or one month’s rent of what the tenant is currently paying, whichever is greater.
The ordinance also allows any tenant who receives a Notice of Termination to bring a civil action against the landlord or East Bay property management company serving the unit as a means of contesting the eviction. Doing so would result in injunctive relief to halt the termination of tenancy while the case is being heard.
What’s more, this emergency ordinance will apply to ALL rental units – whether or not the units are covered by the state’s Costa Hawkins rent control policy. It does not matter when the rental unit was constructed (new units are covered), or if the unit is a condo or owner-occupied. ALL RENTAL HOUSING UNITS, regardless of size, type or year built, will be subject to this ordinance.
Advocates say the policy will create a more stable housing market. Landlords and Milpitas property managers, meanwhile, are afraid the ordinance will limit their ability to keep renters safe. Moreover, although the ordinance is a well-intentioned policy aimed at protecting renters in today’s red-hot rental market, it’s really just a bandaid. It does not address the heart of the issue: the area’s lack of affordable housing. The only way to truly address the Bay Area’s housing crisis is by building more housing for people at all levels of affordability.
No matter where you stand on the issue, you’re running out of time to weigh in! Remember, the deadline to submit feedback about the ordinance is tomorrow at 7pm, at which time the City Council is expected to vote on whether to approve the emergency ordinance or not.
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Just Cause Eviction Emergency Ordinance
When: Tuesday June 20th at 7pm
Where: Milpitas City Hall: 455 E. Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas CA
Attend the City Council Meeting
Speak up and bring other property owners and community members with you. The meeting will take place on June 20th at Milpitas City Hall on 455 E Calaveras Blvd, Milpitas.
Contact the Mayor & Council
In addition to attending it is important that Milpitas property managers, landlords and residents tell the Milpitas City Council how the Just Cause Eviction ordinance will impact them.. Call or write to the City Council:.
Mayor Rich Tran – firstname.lastname@example.org – 408-586-3029
Vice Mayor Marsha Grilli – email@example.com – 408-586-3031
Council Member Bob Nunez – firstname.lastname@example.org – 408-586-3024
Council Member Gary Barbadillo – email@example.com – 408-586-3023
Council Member Anthony Phan – firstname.lastname@example.org – 408-586-3032