Petition for temporary restraining order against new Richmond rent control law denied

- Opponents of the new rent control law in Richmond were denied this morning after moving to file a temporary restraining order against the measure.
   
The decision came after the California Apartment Association filed a complaint Thursday against the city of Richmond, alleging that the new law was "unconstitutional" among various other unlawful items.
   
Voters approved the rent control law, which appeared on the ballot as Measure L, during the November election. Measure L includes a system of rent and eviction controls on the city's landlords, including rolling rents back to July 2015.
   
"It's time for the landlord lobbyists to accept the voice of the people," Aimee Inglis of Tenants Together said in a statement. "The California Apartment Association wants landlords to continue gouging tenants with unlimited rent increases, but the voters have spoken."
   
With the courts decision to reject the restraining order, landlords, as of Dec. 30, will have to implement rent rollbacks and reduce rents for certain tenancies while the lawsuit progresses.
   
In 2015, the CAA successfully blocked a rent control measure in Richmond just one day before it was to be implemented.
   
Additionally, the CAA sued the city of Mountain View in December for a similar measure regarding rent control, and a judge agreed with the request temporarily halting the implementation.
   
Legal Director Leah Simon-Weisberg scolded the CAA for their lawsuit saying that it was "frivolous" and "wasting time."
   
"It is horrifying that special corporate interests can try to use their money and influence to overturn the will of the people. Rent control has already been found to be constitutional, and this ordinance was modeled off similar laws in effect for decades," Simon-Weisberg said in a statement.
   
While the temporary restraining order was granted, a hearing for a preliminary injunction is set to occur at the end of January. If granted, rent control could be on hold as the lawsuit progresses.
   
Officials for the CAA were not immediately available for comment.

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