Demand Changes to San Jose’s “Just Cause” Ordinance!
For the past several months, the City of San Jose has been developing two ordinances that impact the rental housing industry: An Ellis Act Ordinance and a Tenant Protection Ordinance. Both of these would have a drastic impact on how you manage your property. The public comment period for the Tenant Protection Ordinance and the Ellis Act will close this Friday, March 3rd at 5:00 p.m.
Below is a sample letter that addresses the major issues with the two ordinances. You can take this letter and send it on your behalf to the Housing Department to let the City of San Jose know that there are serious problems with these ordinances. It is important that the City hears from you and that they receive a volume of letters opposing these measures and favoring laws that do not place onerous restrictions on property owners.
You must email the San Jose Housing Department by Friday, March 3rd at 5:00 p.m.
1. Copy the text of the letter below and paste it into an email
2. Edit the “Your Name” section at the end so the letter is written on your behalf
3. Send the letter to the following recipient: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear San Jose Housing Department,
I am writing to you as a rental housing provider in the City of San Jose. I am concerned that the Tenant Protection Ordinance (TPO) is overly complicated and convoluted. As someone who owns rental property, I want to urge the Housing Department to adopt changes to the TPO that would simplify it. This would eliminate the need for each property owner to require a legal interpretation for each application of the ordinance. The ordinance, as written, will have a number of unintended consequences.
As a property owner, I have a limited awareness of the conditions inside my units unless there is an inspection or the tenant reports a code violation. Therefore, it is difficult to determine if the reports of code violations are being rationed out to extend the term of the good cause protection. The ordinance is written to allow for repeated instances of good cause protections up to 6 months at a time if used strategically. Instead, we ask that a tenant only be permitted one instance of a 6-month good cause protection per lease term.
Under TPO, owners must show that code violations have been corrected prior to beginning an eviction for just cause, such as non-payment of rent. If the tenant commits an illegal act but the code violation has not yet been corrected, then the property owner is powerless from preventing further criminal activity until the code violation is corrected. Instead, we ask that any illegal activity is exempt from the TPO. As property owners, we must provide our tenants a safe place to live. This ordinance, as written, prevents that.
Under the Ellis Act, a property owner is required to provide one year of just cause protection to the tenant prior to filing a notice of intent to withdraw. This provision requires us to know a full year in advance of our intent to utilize the Ellis Act, which is an unreasonable expectation. This ordinance would also hurt the resale ability of our buildings as this one year requirement would impact the subsequent owner. Instead we ask that you strike the requirement that good cause protection be provided to tenants for one year prior a notice to intent to withdraw the property is served.
You can read the full draft recommendations from the San Jose Housing Department by using the links below:
Draft Recommendations for the City of San Jose Ellis Act
Draft Recommendations for the City of San Jose Tenant Protection Ordinance