Protecting Tenants Displaced from Unsafe or Substandard Units
In a measure to protect tenants, I was proud that our Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted an ordinance today Establishing Property Owner Obligations with Respect to Tenants Displaced from Unsafe or Substandard Units. This is a pilot program that will sunset a year from its effective date unless extended by the Board.
This ordinance requires landlords to pay relocation costs to help displaced tenants secure safe replacement housing if required to vacate a unit due to unsafe conditions. Unsafe conditions may include, but isn't limited to things like, exposed electrical wiring, lack of plumbing, lack of heat, the presence of toxic substances, etc.
It also requires the landlord to make the unit available for re-occupancy under the same terms and conditions which applied before the displacement.
Here's an excerpt from the Board memo that helps describe how it protects both tenant and landlord's rights.
"The property owner has a right to appeal an order to pay relocation payments and request a hearing.
Relocation payments are not required if the property owner proves that: 1) the displacement of the tenant household was not primarily caused by a code violation; 2) the code violation was caused by the tenant household or the tenant household occupied the unit for the purpose of obtaining relocation benefits; 3) the tenant household prevented the property owner from remedying the code violation; 4) the code violation is remedied before the tenant household has taken definitive steps to move; 5) the notice requiring the displacement of the tenant household is withdrawn by the County or overturned on appeal before the tenant household takes definitive steps to move; 6) the property owner offers, in writing, to relocate the tenant household into a comparable replacement unit within the same building; or 7) the tenant household is required to vacate due to a natural disaster or similar occurrence beyond the property owner's control."
If you would like to read the Board memo and ordinance in its entirety, you can find the Board agendas posted on the County website at:
You can also check back to watch an online video of the meeting as well.