California lawmakers propose new eviction protections for renters

By Bay City News Service

California lawmakers are rolling out a series of new bills aimed at easing the state's housing crisis by helping renters who face eviction.

Assembly Bill 2343 was introduced by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, and co-authored by state Senator Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley.

If passed, the bill would extend the period of time that tenants have to respond to eviction lawsuits so they can present a legitimate defense. It would also give them more time to pay their rent or comply with other contractual obligations in the lease.

Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, is planning to introduce legislation Friday that would extend "just cause" eviction laws like the one already in place in Oakland to the rest of the state, requiring landlords to provide a specific, valid reason before an eviction can take place.

Those include failure to pay rent, continuing to damage a rental unit after being provided with a written notice to stop or refusing to pay for the repairs, refusing to re-sign a lease after the old one expires, 
ongoing disturbances to other tenants and neighbors, if the owner wants to move in or if they want to take it off the rental market through the Ellis Act.

Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, introduced Assembly Bill 2364 to close loopholes that he says have allowed landlords who've evicted all of their tenants through the Ellis Act to return those properties to the rental market in a "piecemeal fashion."

It would also extend the notice period for an Ellis Act eviction from 120 days to a full year, according to Bloom's staff.