In what was a unanimous decision on Monday, Long Beach City Council voted to further protect tenants by prohibiting landlords from “harassing” non-rent paying tenants
“In a special Monday afternoon meeting, the Long Beach City Council voted 5-0 to approve an ordinance that would bar local landlords from actions including: shutting off utilities, failing to perform repairs, illegally entering for inspections and pushing a tenant to vacate through fraud or threats. The council members representing districts 3, 4, 5 and 8 were absent due to meeting’s timing.”Long Beach Press Telegram
Tenants in Long Beach claim a growing concern over harassment by landlords despite the ongoing eviction moratoriums by both state and federal governments. Councilman Dee Andrews, who introduced the law item, stated that the legislature is meant to target the bad landlords and not the good ones.
Many “bad” landlords have been misinforming their tenants about the recent laws set in place, including outright lies about having to pay rent in full during COVID; While others resort to letting vermin take over a tenant’s unit to drive the occupant out.
“Vulnerable residents have been facing harassment from slumlords throughout the city,” Andrews said.
“Several landlords who spoke out against the ordinance expressed concern that it doesn’t contain any “bad faith” language that would apply to both landlords and tenants who make false claims.”
Plenty of “good” landlords have spoken out against the ordinance due to it being overly vague. Since there already is protection at the state level, introducing this new ordinance at the city level, brings confusion and offers no distinction between the good and bad owners.
“We’re responsible and caring owners,” said landlord Elaine Hutchison. “All owners will be harmed going forward.”
Landlords are still allowed to carry lawful evictions such as evicting for unruly behavior, drug use, or other stipulations outlined in their contract that doesn’t include on-time rent payment.