The California Apartment Association reports a new legislative proposal using COVID-19 as the reason, would force every rental property owner in California to reduce rents by 25%.
AB 828 by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) is a gut and amend bill, using the government-created crisis as an opportunity to erode property rights in California.
“AB 828 by Assemblyman Phil Ting ignores the robust rent and eviction controls already in place statewide. It provides no assurances that landlords can collect rent, remove problem tenants, or get a fair hearing in the court system.”
AB 828 denies equal justice to housing providers by:
- Forcing landlords to reduce rents by 25% — even if a tenant cannot show a COVID-19 hardship or need.
- Allowing the courts to set rents and change rental agreements already in place.
- Assuming every tenant is facing a COVID-19 hardship and must be compensated for it.
- Protecting nuisance tenants. The bill does not require tenants to answer an unlawful detainer complaint.
- Mandating that rental property owners demonstrate an economic hardship to collect the contracted rent.
This gross violation of private property rights “is an unfair attempt to allow the government and the courts to give reduced rent to all tenants even if they have face no economic hardship, and it provides safeguards for landlords.”
The CAA response sums it up correctly:
“In Violation of the State and Federal Constitution, AB 828 Forces a 25 Percent Reduction in Rents – In our current pandemic, after property owners have gone months without rent, AB 828 takes away additional rent owed by the tenant by requiring the courts to impair existing contractual obligations, in violation of the state and federal constitution, and mandate a rent reduction of 25 percent. We must remember that owners are already facing the following: a statewide halt on evictions of all types; a state of emergency that caps rents; local measures that freeze rents and provide extended deferrals of unpaid rent; and state and local rent control laws that, in some cases for years, have limited rent increases to less than inflation. Small property owners, owners in strict rent control jurisdictions, and owners who offer affordable housing will be especially harmed by this rent reduction. And it’s important to note that, in general, many owners have already voluntarily forgiven or reduced rent because of this crisis.”
“AB 828 is a ruse when it comes to foreclosures or any assistance to the owners it burdens.”
Read the letter CA Apartment Association sent to Assemblyman Ting.
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