San Jose tenant protections go into effect

A tenant protections ordinance narrowly passed by San Jose City Council last month will go into effect immediately, the council decided on Tuesday night.

The 9-2 vote to pass the urgency ordinance means that the “just cause” ordinance, which was passed 6-5 on April 18, will go into effect immediately, rather than after 45 days.

The original ordinance prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for any reason other than 12 so-called just causes, which include nonpayment of rent, violation of the lease, substantial damage to the apartment, refusal to agree to a new rental agreement, nuisance behavior, refusing lawfully requested access to the apartment or having an unapproved holdover subtenant.

Landlords can also evict tenants to substantially rehabilitate the apartment, remove or demolish the unit under the Ellis Act or move into the apartment.

Tenants’ advocates held a rally in support of the urgency ordinance outside City Hall on Monday, claiming that there has been an uptick in no-cause evictions since the ordinance was passed.

Landlords held their own demonstration on Tuesday, saying that not being able to evict a tenant without reason will protect criminals and other problem tenants.

“The Tenant Protection Ordinance will provide stability to San Jose residents who live in one of the most expensive housing markets in the country,” San Jose housing director Jacky Morales-Ferrand said in a statement.

“Having the ordinance take effect immediately will reduce the potential harm to tenants that might otherwise from a month-long wait for a non-urgency measure to take effect,” Morales-Ferrand said.