Tenants Together supports strong rent control protections for California tenants. We believe that reasonable limits on rent increases, coupled with just cause eviction protections, are a matter of basic fairness. If you don't think landlords have a right to unlimited rent increases and to evict tenants for any reason, then you believe in rent control.
Proposition 98 on the June 3, 2008, California ballot would have prohibited rent control and jeopardized just cause eviction laws. The measure was defeated by a 22-point margin, a stinging defeat for landlords who sought to use this low-turnout election to abolish rent control across the state. Rent control is a popular and effective policy to prevent displacement and maintain affordable homes for tenants.
On November 8th, 2016 the cities of Richmond and Mountain View won comprehensive Rent Control and Just Cause Protections through a majority vote at the ballot. At the same time, Oakland and Berkeley voted to expand and strengthen existing tenant protections. These are unprecedented wins for the tenant movement. These wins demonstrate that renter power is building translocally and throughout California, and that it will not be defeated.
But we know the fight is not over. Though rent control in San Mateo, Alameda, and Burlingame lost, this only marks the beginning of their fights for renters’ rights. In Alameda, a more tenant-friendly city council was elected, and the Alameda Renters Coalition will continue to engage with the city in strengthening the ordinance that passed. In San Mateo and Burlingame, these campaigns for rent control mark the first time in decades tenants had organized for their rights. It was already a victory in these communities just to put rent control on the ballot.
In Richmond and Mountain View where we've won rent control, the California Apartments Association (CAA) continues to pour funds into legal battles that intend to undermine the hard won voter-approved rent controls.
In December, the CAA filed a lawsuit and obtained a Temporary Restraining Order to block the new rent control in Mountain View from going into effect. This means that in Mountain View rent control is currently witheld until March 7th when the CAA's injunction will be heard. However the eviction protections are in full effect and provide that protected tenants will not be unjustly evicted. To read more about the CAA's Preliminary Injunction hearing in Mountain View on March 7th, click here.
In the city of Richmond the CAA filed an Injunction to block the Richmond Fair Rent, Just Cause, and Home Owners Protection Ordinance at the beginning of January. The City of Richmond and tenant advocates will be defending the ordinance against the CAA's unreasonable injunction at a hearing on March 3, 2017. Unlike Mountain View, in Richmond rent control, the rent rollback and eviction protections all continue to be in effect as this legal battle ensues. To read more about the fight in Richmond click here.
Download our Rent Control toolkit to learn more and get tools to organize in your community.
Sign our petition to stop unlimited rent increases to get updates on this issue campaign.