On Jan 1, 2020, AB1482 comes into effect, capping rents at their rates as of March 15, 2019 plus an above-inflation; in response, the state's greediest landlords are evicting their tenants, either by raising their rents to levels they can't afford to pay between now and Jan 1, forcing them out, or by staging "no cause" evictions in cities that permit them. If those tenants are gone on Jan 1, the landlords can set a new rent floor that ignores the rates as of last March.
California's largest landlords are private equity firms that took advantage of the foreclosure epidemic after the 2008 crisis to acquire thousands and thousands of homes, where they have slashed maintenance and jacked up rents, creating a new epidemic of homelessness.
The other large cohort of California landlords are Real Estate Investment Trusts that are the primary vehicle for offshore oligarchs who want to launder their money.
Burbank -- where I live -- has lax and difficult-to-invoke protections for tenants, permitting landlords to stage "no-cause evictions" for tenants regardless of whether they pay their rent on time and look after their homes. At a City Hall meeting on the issue that I attended last week, I ran into one of my daughter's babysitters and her neighbors: their apartment building had changed hands and the next day, the new landlord -- an anonymous LLC -- had served every single tenant with eviction notices, including families with small children (one mother showed me an envelope addressed to her young son that had personally notified him that he was being evicted). These tenants -- elderly people, families, and so on -- have been paying their former landlord's mortgage and fattening his bank account for decades (my friend had lived in the building for 18 years!), and now they were being put out on the street -- forced to find new home far from their jobs, schools, and support networks.
Nearby cities like Glendale have passed local ordinances to protect tenants from evictions in the leadup to January 1. Burbank has not.
The Burbank Tenants' Rights Committee (previously) has been on top of this, and they've gotten Burbank City Council to put an emergency measure on the agenda at a council meeting on October 29, starting at 6PM. Attendees are allowed to speak. I plan on being there and speaking.
Burbank's City Hall is a magnificent art deco WPA building at 275 E Olive Avenue, filled with incredible murals and the council chamber is particularly gorgeous. It's a temple to solidarity and good governance, and on October 29, Burbankers of good will will gather there to ask our city government to protect our neighbors from rapacious, greedy conduct on the part of landlords who don't just want to get their mortgages paid and their bank accounts fed by their tenants -- they want to squeeze the city's residents for everything they can get and more.
I'm a Burbank home owner and what attracted me to this city was the grotesque spectacle of London being turned into a parade of empty luxury flats built as safe deposit boxes in the sky, chasing out working people as housing was converted from a human right to an asset, whose "value" needed to be inflated at all costs.
Join us again to ask City Council for an interim emergency ordinance to protect Burbank renters from no-cause evictions. New California law AB 1482 does not take effect until January 1, so Burbank renters are vulnerable until then.
We're ON THE AGENDA this time – standing up for what's right is WORKING. So bring your family, friends, and neighbors – the more that show up, the better chance we'll have to protect our most at-risk tenants.
IMPORTANT: If you have received an eviction notice or large rent increase, city council needs to hear from you. Please send a photo of the notice to CityCouncil@burbankca.gov and come to this meeting to make a comment.