What Can Tenants Do When Rent Jumps?

Half of California’s renters spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing— housing experts call it “rent burdened.” A third of the state’s renters are considered “severely burdened” because they spend half of their paycheck on rent.

And rents in the state keep going up.

So, what rights do tenants have when the landlord asks for more?

KPBS’s Amita Sharma reached out to two experts for their perspective.

Housing Advocates Say State Back-Rent Payments Could Halve Eviction Rate

Just before Christmas, Tracy heard a sharp knock on the door of the Chittenden County home she shares with her two young boys. A sheriff's deputy handed the 28-year-old nursing assistant a legal notice indicating that she was being evicted from her apartment for nonpayment of rent and needed to be out by January 3.

"It was like, 'Merry Christmas! Find a new home,'" recalled Tracy, who declined to be identified by her real name for fear of further jeopardizing her housing.

San Diego Low-Income Residents Learn Federal Rent Subsidies Have Expired Amid Government Shutdown

Hundreds of local renters are getting nervous after finding out their federal housing subsidies have expired in the wake of the government shutdown.

After three decades working as a legal secretary, Sandra Anderson retired but couldn't afford to live in San Diego. Fourteen years ago, she moved into a one-bedroom apartment in Columbia Tower downtown, which gets subsidies directly from the Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD.

"I love it! I couldn't afford to live anywhere else," said Anderson.

CASA 'Compact' Needs Major Changes to Protect Tenants

The Committee to House the Bay Area (CASA) process has come to a close. The proposal will now move forward through the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), and the state legislature. The policies that come out of this process will impact housing, development, and displacement in the whole Bay Area and perhaps even the state.

San Jose: Mayor Proposes Protections for Renters Affected by Government Shutdown

With the government shutdown dragging on and hundreds of federal workers in San Jose set to miss a second paycheck on Friday, Mayor Sam Liccardo is proposing prohibiting landlords from evicting tenants affected by the current gridlock in Washington.

In a memo Wednesday to the City Council, Liccardo suggested the city adopt an ordinance that would put a temporary moratorium on allowing landlords to evict certain tenants for not paying rent.

Shutdown Causes Fear of Eviction for Some Federal Workers

A Huntsville lawyer has filed her first government shutdown-related eviction. With federal workers missing their second pay check Friday and February rent coming due soon, she fears more are coming.

Attorney Sarah Taggart represents landlords statewide in residential and commercial evictions.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this. I’ve done eviction work primarily for the last decade and you see people who have lost their job, that happens that’s just a natural part of the American economy but this kind of wholesale, it's unprecedented," says Taggart.

Watered-Down 'Good Cause' Eviction Law Now Philly Law

A bill signed into law Tuesday will offer some protections to month-to-month renters in Philadelphia from discriminatory or vindictive evictions.

The bill, which City Council passed in early December, amends the Fair Housing Ordinance to require landlords to have a good reason for evicting someone with a lease lasting less than one year.

As originally proposed, the bill covered all leases, but building owners and landlord associations said that put unfair burdens on landlords that could dissuade them from renting, and infringed on their ability to run their business.

SJ Officials Investigate Mobile Home Evictions Over Minor Infractions

The city of San Jose is closely monitoring mobile home evictions after complaints came from residents saying they are getting pushed out for minor infractions.

Last summer, Karen Carpenter got an eviction notice from the Winchester Ranch mobile home park where she has lived for six years. The reason?

“Minor clutter, some old paint cans and some weeds,” she said.

Carpenter admits that she was sick last summer and couldn’t get outside to work during her first seven day notice.

Government Shutdown Puts Rental Assistance Programs in Jeopardy

Patrick Greene could soon see his rent double.

The 70-year-old man lives with his wife, Karen, in a two-bedroom apartment in Montgomery, Alabama.

He pays $460 a month for the apartment, and the rest of his $940 rent is normally covered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Due to the stalemate in Washington, D.C., however, his landlord informed tenants that she hasn't received the government funds.

"We literally have no idea what's going to happen," Greene said, adding that he and wife live off around $1,500 a month.

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