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A proposal to protect rent-paying, lease-abiding tenants from eviction stalled Thursday after its authors conceded they could not drum up the 41 votes it needed to pass out of the state Assembly before a key legislative deadline this week.

“Were not giving up. This is not laying down and surrendering,” said the bills lead author, Concord Democrat and former mayor, Tim Grayson, who vowed to try again next year at the latest.

No vote was called on Assembly Bill 1481 before the Assembly adjourned for the week, so while it didnt technically fail, it is likely dead for the year. This setback for pro-tenant advocates came on the heels of a victory: the passage of a statewide rent cap — the second in the nation after Oregon — the night before.

Pro-tenant bills are notoriously difficult to pass in the Legislature, where trade groups representing property owners and other real estate interests have great sway. The rent cap proposal narrowly passed Wednesday night even after the powerful realtors association dropped its opposition, and even though Democrats hold 61 of the 80 seats in the Assembly. It now moves to the state Senate. The California Apartment Association is opposed, citing concerns that the cap — once in place — could tighten in the future.

The proposed rent cap, modeled after anti-rent-gouging bans in the wake of fires and other disasters, would allow landlords to raise the rent by nearly 10 percent annually — 7 percent plus the regional rate of inflation — and would sunset after just three years. Some worry that it wont work as intended if tenants can be evicted for any reason, a concern that AB 1481 aimed to address. The bill would have required most landlords statewide to provide a reason for evicting a tenant, such as failing to pay rent, breaking the lease agreement — or the law — or creating a nuisance, a policy known as “just cause” for evictions.

One association representing landlords cheered the eviction bills setback, saying it would have further complicated the process of removing troublesome tenants. “With a rising state population and stagnant housing development, the Legislature must continue to focus on solutions that will encourage more housing while protecting the rights of law-abiding tenants,” said Sid Lakireddy, president of the California Rental Housing Association. “Adding additional expense to the eviction process would have just added to the overall housing crisis by driving rents up even more.”

On the other side of the debate are those who view tenant protections aRead More – Source

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