Judge Rejects Corporate Landlords’ Attempt to Derail Rent Control

Friday, January 6, 2017
Aimee Inglis
Tenants Together

Richmond, CA—This morning the California Apartment Association moved to file a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against Measure L, the rent control and just cause for eviction ordinance that was passed by 64% of Richmond voters this November, and went into effect on December 30th, 2016. The City Attorney’s Office in Richmond mounted an effective defense against the TRO, and it was rejected at 10:30am this morning by Judge Raddick at the Martinez courthouse.

 

The Fair and Affordable Richmond Coalition, including SEIU Local 1021, the Richmond Progressive Alliance, Alliance of California Communities for Empowerment Action, and Tenants Together attended the court hearing to defend rent control. "The California Apartment Association wants landlords to continue gouging tenants with unlimited rent increases, but the voters have spoken. It is our right to regulate rents and evictions in California. It's time for the landlord lobbyists to accept the voice of the people," said Aimee Inglis of Tenants Together.

 

Rent control and just cause for eviction in Richmond, CA is still in effect while the lawsuit progresses through the courts. Jen Harris in Richmond, a tenant and mental health therapist, is glad she will be able to stay in her home, and says, “While the work I do is wonderful and I love my clients it is not a career that garners a huge income especially by Bay Area standards. I recently received a letter from my landlord raising my rent $500 a month. A friend informed me that Richmond passed Rent Control.  I researched the new City Ordinance, called the Statistics Bureau and finally got in touch with Tenants Together. Because of rent control, I get to stay at my job, continue living in the area I was born and raised in and continue to deliver services to families in need.”

 

While the Temporary Restraining Order was denied, the hearing for a preliminary injunction is on January 27th at 1pm at the Martinez courthouse. If an injunction is granted rent control could be on hold while the lawsuit continues. The City of Richmond and Bay Area Legal Aid plans to intervene in the lawsuit. Leah Simon-Weisberg, Legal Director at Tenants Together says, “It is horrifying that special corporate interests can try to use their money and influence to overturn the will of the people. Rent control has already been found to be constitutional, and this ordinance was modeled off similar laws in effect for decades. The California Apartment Association is wasting our time with a frivolous lawsuit.”

 

Previous coverage:

Apartment lobby goes to court to block rent control law:

http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/01/05/apartment-lobby-goes-to-court-to-stop-rent-control-from-becoming-law/

Mountain View: Rent-control measure sidelined by judge’s order:

http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/12/23/mountain-view-rent-control-measure-sidelined-by-judges-order/

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