Santa Cruz City Council Defies Voters

sebfreySanta Cruz Real Estate

Information in this report was provided courtesy of the Santa Cruz County Association of REALTORS. On Tuesday, January 8th 2019 – a night which will live in infamy – the Santa Cruz City Council defied voters who recently rejected control and Just Cause Evictions when they soundly rejected Measure M by 61% to 39%.   They did this by passing a first reading of an “emergency” just cause evictions ordinance.  Councilman Brown made the motion, Krohn seconded, and Cummings and Glover voted yes. Watkins, Meyers, and Mathews voted No. The term of the draft Just Cause Eviction Ordinance was extended to one year. A few changes to the draft ordinance were made from the dais:  If the owner lives on the same property, it is exempt from JCE. Good temporary news for those with ADUs or duplexes. Partner was legally defined as registered domestic partner. However renters can still move in other family members without owner permission, beyond the number on a lease, and up to the federal occupancy limit. The relocation ordinance passed a second reading with hardly any discussion at 11:50PM.  Rent increases are limited to 5% in one year and 7% over two years. Higher increases, that cause renters to move, trigger relocation fees of two months actual rent.  This passed unanimously.  The Council states that this is not technically rent control and that it can therefore be applied to all rental property including single-family homes and condos (and so not be in violation of Costa Hawkins, the repeat of which was rejected statewide … Read More

Just Cause Evictions in Santa Cruz

sebfreyCommentary, Santa Cruz Real Estate

I recently attended an all-member meeting of the Santa Cruz County Association of Realtors.  We have these meetings once or twice a year, to discuss what’s new and changing in the real estate eco system.  The headline issue at this meeting was the new rent control measures now in effect in Santa Cruz.  Chief among these is what’s known as just cause evictions.  This page is based off a series of notes I made from the presentation at that meeting, given by local Santa Cruz Real Estate attorney Terry Rein. A little background: Santa Cruz Ordinance 2018-04 is an emergency interim ordinance put in place to establish “just cause evictions” while citizens of the city gather signatures and funds to put the issue of rent control up for a vote in the November election.  The measure on the November ballot will include provisions very similar to what we have in this interim ordinance.  You can download a copy of the full text of the Santa Cruz Rent Control Act of 2018 here. Before we got any further, It goes without saying that although these are my notes from a presentation given by a local real estate attorney, what follows is not legal advice. Notes on Just Cause Evictions When you’re looking landlord/tenant law you have to know first what the current state of affairs is. Historically, a landlord could pick any tenants they chose, as long as they didn’t violate fair housing laws. In a lease, a landlord could require that the property would only be … Read More