VENTURA – December 2, the City Council unanimously adopted an emergency ordinance prohibiting no fault evictions from December 2, 2019 until January 1, 2020, when AB1482, the State’s rent control law takes effect.
City Attorney Gregory Diaz presented a power point presentation on the “Just Cause for Eviction” ordinance which “…requires residential landlords to have specific reasons or causes for evicting residential rental tenants.”
During the November 18 city council meeting, community members first presented concerns that “rental tenants were being evicted” prior to statewide rent control taking effect. Some waited through a five hour long meeting to speak during public comment and others left comment cards.
Matt Bellow, a public school teacher, discussed the problem of student homelessness and “eviction without due process.” Following the meeting, the council directed the city attorney’s office to draft the emergency ordinance.
Diaz reported that the emergency ordinance would provide “an affirmative defense” for renters served eviction notices.
The Emergency Ordinance will clearly apply to any eviction procedure commenced after tonight as well as to anyone who has received a notice from their landlord, but the landlord has not filed an action in court. It is unclear if it would apply to those who have had a court case filed. This will be a matter for the court to determine.”
While it was mentioned that the problem isn’t widespread, Diaz did cite tenants in a 13 unit multifamily complex that were given notices to vacate by Oaktree Property Management.
Ventura’s already low vacancy rates were further exacerbated by the Thomas Fire and officials feared adding to the homeless population currently numbering 555 people. Ventura joins a dozen other cities enacting prohibition on no fault evictions.
A plethora of residents came forward to speak in favor of the ordinance including many highschool students. Councilmember Brown told them, “You have someone who understands,” before forwarding the motion to adopt the ordinance.