housing crisis

Chula Vista to Consider Ordinance Strengthening Protections for Tenants

Several property owners told NBC 7 the ordinance would actually hurt tenants

NBC Universal, Inc.

Tuesday night, the Chula Vista City Council will consider an ordinance that could protect tenants in rental properties.

Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas said the ordinance is directed at landlords who evict good tenants to avoid the state of California’s rent-control rules.

“They kick those tenants out and then they can bring back new tenants at much higher rents," Salas said. "That’s what we’re trying to address."

Salas said the Tenant Protection Ordinance makes it harder for renters to be evicted when the owner wants to remodel or move in a family member.

“It’s to a very, very few, but those very, very few are really making life really miserable for some really good families,” Salas explained. “Most housing providers are good actors. It’s those few that we need to address.”

In some instances, owners could be fined $1,000 or jailed for up to six months for any violations if the ordinance passes.

“Honestly, it’s the last thing we need,” said property owner and former Chula Vista City Councilman Mitch Thompson, who owns several homes.

“I’m concerned that the city council is going to adopt something they think protects tenants when it actually hurts them in the long run,” Thompson said.

Thompson said the ordinance would deter property owners from renting out their homes, thus limiting the housing market even more. He also said it would raise costs for landlords, which would then raise costs for tenants.

“We need more housing," Thompson said. "We don’t need more regulations."

“This will strip away any rights that any private property owner currently does have,” added fellow landlord Max Zaker.

Zaker said the city would be adding too many rules, which would deter him from trying to improve his property.

“I would have to give the tenant a 12-month notice,” Zaker said. “On top of that, I would have to provide 60 days of relocation assistance.”

“There’s a lot of fearmongering going on,” Salas said with a sigh.

Chula Vista's mayor said there are too many property owners taking advantage of the gray area between the state’s rules. She said this ordinance would close some of those loopholes.

“There’s been a lot of heated discussion,” Salas concluded.

The Tenant Protection Ordinance is on the Chula Vista City Council agenda Tuesday night at 5.

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