The San Diego City Council voted 5-1 on Monday to institute a no-fault eviction moratorium that would stop some evictions from happening through the fall.
According to the moratorium, landlords would not be able to evict tenants to either make upgrades to the unit that have not had prior city or tenant approval, or to take the property off the market. The moratorium on these types of evictions would stay in place until September 30, 2022, or two months after the COVID-19 state of emergency ends, whichever comes first.
The San Diego moratorium comes closely after the new state moratorium extension passed just last week. However, while the state moratorium, which ends June 30th, only applies to renters who had been affected by COVID-19 and had applied for rental assistance, the San Diego moratorium is aimed at closing any loopholes by instituting the “no fault” language in the legislation.
City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera, the primary backer of the bill, pushed for the moratoriums passage on Monday not only to close the current eviction “loophole”, but to also keep families in homes so that they don’t suddenly face 30 days eviction notices, increase costs for renters having to move, and help keep higher percentages of homelessness in the city at bay.
“I’d like for us to picture a couple of scenarios,” Elo-Rivera said to the Council on Monday. “The first is a family with maybe three kids in school, barely getting by but completely up to date on their rent and now being told they have 30 days to find a new home. We can also picture a senior on a fixed income also just getting by, having carefully constructed their lives to afford to live and be able to get to and from their medical appointments attempting to navigate that same situation.”
Read my statement on the passage of the Residential “No-Fault” Eviction Moratorium. ⬇️⬇️⬇️ pic.twitter.com/nhAccEiV2P
— Council President Sean Elo-Rivera (@SeanEloRiveraD9) April 5, 2022
Landlords, realtor groups oppose proposed ordinance
While some public support for the moratorium came through citizens and tenant groups, many landlords, realtors, and others came out feverishly against the proposed action. Some groups warned that the act was against the law, would unduly hurt property owners even more, and could create an even worse rental situation in San Diego in the coming months.
“We want to cover the rights of the people who invested, who bought houses,” explained San Diego Association of Realtors representative Frank Powell. “This is their 401k. They don’t have a company paying them. They gathered all their money and bought investment properties so they can live.”
Elle Kimecki, a landlord in the city, told the Globe in an interview Monday that “This means another 5 months of units languishing. A lot of landlords have had delayed projects that need to get tenants out of there for a time, but this law would prevent it from taking place. The City Council thinks that we’re just trying to get rid of people for no reason. Well, we have a lot of reasons, especially with pandemic measures making us unable to get some tenants out. They just don’t want more evictions to happen on their watch even if they are necessary.”
“Thing is, we hate making people homeless too and try to give enough notice for them to find a new place. It’s feeling more and more personal these anti-eviction laws. They’re literally stopping us from improving and protecting our own properties.”
After more than 60 people were heard from on Monday, the San Diego City Council passed the action in a 5-1 vote. City Councilmen Raul Campillo and Joe LaCava did not vote due to having rental properties or being related to those that do, with Councilwoman Jen Campbell absent.
In the coming weeks the moratorium ordinance will face a second confirmation vote, and if passed, must be signed into law by Mayor Todd Gloria.
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