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California Apartment Association to Seek Injunction to ‘Stall’ Measure H Rent Control

Published on Monday, December 26, 2022 | 5:24 pm

The California Apartment Association will seek an injunction to stop the full implementation of Measure H according to the group’s website.

“Even if the court does not allow for an injunction, it will take time for the measure to be fully implemented,” the website states. “Several key provisions, however, are triggered by the measure taking effect. Most notable is the rollback of rents to 2021 levels for units subject to the rent restrictions, and the application of strict eviction protections.”

“Measure H is invalid in several respects, namely: (1) Measure H proposes an unlawful revision [rather than a lawful amendment] to the Pasadena City Charter,” according to court documents obtained by Pasadena Now on Friday. “(2) Measure H conditions the right to hold the office of Rental Housing Board member on a property qualification (and imposes such condition on a supermajority of seats on the Rental Housing Board) in violation of the California and United States Constitutions; and (3) Measure H conflicts with, and is therefore preempted by controlling state law, including the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act and the Ellis Act.”

The 1995 Costa–Hawkins Housing Act places limits on municipal rent control ordinances by prohibiting cities from establishing rent control over some residential units, including single-family dwellings and condominiums, and newly constructed apartment units. The law also bars  “vacancy control,” also called “strict” rent control.

An injunction stops parties from taking certain actions that could lead to damages against the plaintiff.

Several local landlords are plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

The Ellis Act allows landlords to evict residential tenants to go out of the rental business.

The City and the Pasadena City Council are listed as respondents in the lawsuit.

On Jan. 1, the rental rollback reverts rents to May 2021 levels.

The remaining portion of the statement is listed as “members only” content.

Last week, the City said that it will implement Measure H unless a judge steps in and blocks it.

“The City is required to continue implementing Measure H until and unless a court directs the City to stop doing so,” Rodriguez said in a memo released on Thursday.

There is presently no hearing scheduled on the merits of the lawsuit and no timeline for when the lawsuit will conclude.

Measure H received 53.8% approval of the total votes cast and is deemed approved by the voters.

On December 13 the city clerk’s office sent the Charter Amendment to the California Secretary of State for acceptance and filing.

One week later, the city clerk’s office received word from the California Secretary of State’s Office that the filing was received and accepted, and that a conformed copy was being sent back to the City.

“City staff is making preparations to organize and establish the Pasadena Rental Housing Board, as that is the body responsible for implementation of the measure,” Rodriguez wrote. “The measure provides details and a timeline for the solicitation of board member applications, the application process, and appointments of board members by the Pasadena City Council.”

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