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With eviction moratorium expired, push for protections intensifies

Posted at 4:14 PM, Nov 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-03 19:41:52-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — With the county's eviction moratorium expired, there is a new push for increased protections as no-fault eviction notices reach San Diego renters.

At a rally on Wednesday, tenants rights group Alliance for Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) said renters are now receiving 60-day notices terminating their tenancy because a landlord wants to pull the property off the market or complete a substantial remodel, which is allowed under state law. The problem, the group says, is that the city of San Diego has no proof requirements to hold landlords accountable. ACCE wants the city to put in those requirements, and also require relocation assistance.

"If they want to move back into their property, they should be able to but we want to make sure that the landlord actually is taking care of the tenant," said Jose Lopez, director of ACCE San Diego.

In a statement Wednesday, Lucinda Lilley, president of the Southern California Rental Housing Association, said a balanced approach is needed.

"While housing providers aren’t in the business of displacing renters, the pandemic has created hardships for many individuals and families, which may necessitate selling a property or moving into a rental home," the statement said. "There must be balance for both parties and we remain dedicated to ensuring that housing providers can continue to provide much-needed housing to residents throughout the region.

A spokesman for Mayor Todd Gloria said keeping San Diegans in their homes is a top priority. He noted a recent $5 million city investment in legal defense and education for renters at risk of being evicted.

"This is in addition to the $114 million in rental assistance that has helped nearly 13,000 households," he said. "If renters fear they are being improperly evicted, they should immediately reach out to legal assistance organizations such as the Legal Aid Society of San Diego."

The county's moratorium on evictions was the strongest to impact San Diegans. It limited evictions only to those that essentially presented an imminent health or safety threat before its expiration. As it stands, renters in California cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent through March so long as they have a pending rental assistance application.