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Los Angeles County, CA November 5, 2002 Election
Measure FF
Amend provisions governing eviction from controlled rental units
City of Santa Monica

Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

17,090 / 62.74% Yes votes ...... 10,150 / 37.26% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall the City Charter's provisions governing eviction from controlled rental units be amended to extend protections to the spouses, children or domestic partners of tenants who die or become incapacitated, to clarify that the term "housing service" includes the number of tenants authorized to occupy a unit, to clarify how rent increases authorized by state law are computed, to clarify the remedies for unlawful attempts to recover possession, to create specified protections against evictions for occupying tenants who replace authorized co-tenants or subtenants, and to require that the Municipal Code contain protections against tenant harassment?

Impartial Analysis from the City Attorney
This measure would amend the City's Rent Control Law which is part of the City Charter. The amendments would, among other things, change provisions which define 'Housing Service,' govern maximum rents, and limit evictions. Additionally, the amendments would add a new section establishing a basic and general prohibition against tenant harassment.

The proposed amendment to the definition of 'Housing Service' would add the right to have the same number of occupants as were entitled to occupy the unit on the base date. This amendment would clarify rights and responsibilities when an original tenant moves out and a remaining tenant cannot obtain the landlord's assent to a new tenant occupying the unit. In that case, the amendment would provide explicit recognition in the City Charter of the remaining tenant's right to petition for a rent decrease, a right now recognized in Rent Control Board regulations.

The proposed amendment to the section governing maximum rents would address situations in which a rental agreement specifies a monthly rent but provides a discount for some fixed time period, such as all or part of the first year. In those situations, the amendment would establish that the initial rental rate or base rent ceiling reflects amounts actually paid.

The measure includes several amendments to the section of the Rent Control Law governing evictions from controlled rental units. One amendment would apply to situations in which a tenant makes a written request to the landlord to approve replacement of a co-tenant or subtenant with another tenant, and the landlord withholds approval. The amendment would protect the tenant against eviction based on the new tenancy if the landlord's refusal to approve the new tenant was unreasonable. The amendment also provides that a written request to approve a replacement tenant would be deemed approved if the landlord failed to respond to the request within fourteen days.

Another proposed amendment to the section governing evictions would apply when a tenant?s spouse, children, and/or registered domestic partner remain in a unit after the tenant vacates due to death or incapacity. In that situation, the spouse, children and/or domestic partner would be protected against eviction proceedings based upon a claim that their occupancy violated the rental agreement if they had lived in the unit for one year when the tenant vacated.

Another proposed amendment would require landlords to file copies of notices terminating tenancies with the Rent Control Board within three days of service upon tenants. Three day notices to pay rent or quit would be exempt from this requirement.

Other proposed amendments to the eviction section would incorporate landlords? rights created by state law, establish causes of action for actual or attempted wrongful eviction, and clarify that violations of the section could be asserted as an affirmative defenses in unlawful detainer actions.

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Arguments For Measure FF Arguments Against Measure FF
Measure FF will ensure that tenants under rent control are treated fairly. Protections against wrongful evictions will be strengthened and Santa monica will always have general prohibition against harassment of tenants.

Measure FF will ensure that spouses, children and/or domestic partners who have lived in an apartment for more than a year may not be evicted because the registered tenant has departed due to death or incapacitation.

Measure FF will ensure that if a tenant and landlord agree at the start a tenancy that the tenant can have roommates, then the tenant will have the right to have the same number of roommates for the duration of the rental.

Measure FF will ensure that landlords would be prohibited from claiming that the first-year rent is a 'discount,' and then surprising their tenants with large rent increases by claiming that the 'discount' has expired.

Supporters of Measure FF include:

  • Mildred B. Rosenstein, Senior Advocate
  • Alan Toy, Rent Control Board Member
  • Dennis Zane, SMRR Co-Chair, former Mayor of Santa Monica
  • Richard Bloom, Council Member, City of Santa Monica

Measure FF is a disguised attempt by the Rent Control board to increase their salaries and obtain insurance benefits.

Measure FF would load upon the brow of tenants unfair expenses through increased registration fees.

Measure FF will provide for 'forced occupancy' by unsavory people in apartment buildings. No longer will housing providers be able to protect their existing tenants by reasonably screening potential occupants.

Measure FF incorporates into the City Charter permission for owners to evict all tenants in their building under the State Ellis Act. If at any time the State Legislature amends the Ellis Act to allow the various cities to abolish Ellis Evictions, the Board will not be allowed to take advantage of it because it?s hands will be tied by the City Charter.

Opponents of Measure FF include:

  • Rosario Perry, Fellow Tenant

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Created: December 6, 2002 03:14 PST
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