Pasadena City Council Will Consider Adding More Tenant Protections to City Ordinance

Published : Friday, October 19, 2018 | 5:32 AM

The Pasadena City Council on Monday will consider amending the City’s Tenant Protection Ordinance to give renters additional safeguards when they face eviction.

Councilmembers will review City staff-provided options and may consider modifying the ordinance after a group of residents living at 120 S. Roosevelt Ave. recently complained about being served abrupt eviction notices.

The tenants are reportedly being displaced by the previous owner’s daughter after her father died and she became their new landlord.  Tenants said they received a 60-day notice to vacate their 18-unit building with no prior notice, including two Section 8 households which by state law require a 90-day notice, according to media reports.

Some of the tenants said they had lived there for a decade or more. In some cases residents said they had nowhere else to go or didn’t have the resources to secure another apartment.

Specifically, Pasadena’s Tenant Protection Ordinance requires landlords to provide relocation benefits to displaced tenants when a rental unit is vacated under specific circumstances including planned demolition,  conversion to condominium apartments, permanent removal of the unit from the rental market, occupancy by the landlord or a family member or a government order to vacate.

Eligible tenants must also be in good standing with incomes not exceeding 140 percent of the Los Angeles County area median income.

City staff prepared and will present  four options for Councilmembers to consider at Monday night’s meeting:

  • Option 1: Modify the ordinance to require landlords to pay relocation benefits, regardless of the reason for tenancy termination and to all income-eligible tenants in good standing and who have maintained tenancy for a continuous period of 10 years or longer. The amount of relocation benefits would be based on length of tenancy.

  • Option 2: Modify the ordinance to eliminate or increase the maximum household income limit. Currently, tenant income eligibility is capped at 140 percent of the Los Angeles County Area  Median Income (“AMI”); for a two-person household, the annual income limit is $72,590. If TPO income eligibility were increased to, for example, 180% AMI, the limit would be $99,810.

  • Option 3: Expand the ordinance to cover situations in which landlords evict tenants in order to perform property upgrades and subsequently re-rent the units at higher cost. This option would have protected the tenants at 102 S. Roosevelt Ave., assuming that the landlord provides a certification of proposed property upgrades with the intent of rerenting the vacated units at a higher cost.

  • Option 4: Expand the·TPO to cover tenants who voluntarily vacate a unit after notification of a large rent hike which exceeds a specified percentage increase.

William K. Huang Director of Housing and Career Services has said that expanding the Tenant Protection Ordinance could discourage private investment in rental properties, increase operating costs, and cause upward pressure on rents as well as could incentivize landlords to favor tenants with higher incomes.

City Council meets at 6 p.m. at the Council Chambers, 100 North Garfield Ave.