San Jose poised to adopt immediate ‘just cause’ policy and consider lowering rent cap to 2-3%

Presenting a double threat to rental housing owners, the San Jose City Council on Tuesday, May 9, is expected to immediately impose a “just cause” eviction ordinance and consider adopting a significantly tighter cap on annual rent increases.

  • Emergency just cause ordinance: This ordinance would implement “just cause” the day following council approval. With such a drastic change to existing law, the council should include an implementation period so those unaware of the law avoid the risk of violating it.
  • San Francisco-style rent control: Last year, the City Council lowered its rent cap from 8 percent annually to 5 percent. Based on comments by newly elected council members, however, it appears the city will lower the cap again to track with the consumer price index, which hovers between 2 and 3 percent.

Immediate implementation of “just cause” eviction controls and the implementation of inflation-based rent control ignores the direction of the previous council.

Earlier this year, the council voted to take recommendations from the Housing Department and pursue a simpler form of just cause, yet the council is now poised to immediately adopt a much more punitive version. The current council majority has openly expressed its lack of concern over how property owners would be affected.

Anil Babbar, the California Apartment Association’s local vice president of public affairs, said it’s important that rental property owners attend Tuesday’s meeting and speak out.

“If council members do not see their chambers full of property owners, they will assume we support their actions,” Babbar said. “We must make it clear that the rental housing industry opposes the changes the council is making.”

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