Report Back on Sacramento Renter Bills

by Dean Preston on June 6, 2011

Here’s what happened with the bills we were most closely tracking in Sacramento last week.

AB 934 (Feuer) – Rolling Back the Court-Created Immunity for Landlords Who Violate Eviction Laws

AB 934, authored by Assemblymember Mike Feuer (D – Los Angeles), would have amended California’s litigation privilege, Civil Code 47(b), to allow tenants and law enforcement to hold landlords responsible for illegal eviction activity. This bill would have restored essential tenant protections that existed for decades before the courts improperly extended immunity to landlords for illegal eviction conduct. Result: AB 934 failed on the Assembly floor. Click here to see how legislators voted.

AB 265 (Ammiano) – Saving Tenants From Unfair Eviction for Late Payment of Rent

AB 265, authored by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D – San Francisco), provides a right to redemption for residential tenants who are being evicted for nonpayment of rent. The bill ensure that tenants are not evicted from their homes over nonpayment of rent if they can come up with the rent money and specified costs after the expiration of the 3-day pay or quit period.

Result: There was no vote on AB 265. The bill is now a two-year bill, meaning that it will be taken up in the next session.

SB 184 (Leno) – Reestablishing the Ability of Cities to Enforce Inclusionary Housing Laws That Require Affordable Rental Housing

SB 184, authored by Senator Mark Leno (D – San Francisco), makes clear that state law does not prevent cities from enforcing inclusionary housing laws that require developers to include affordable rental housing units as part of new construction. This bill effectively overrules the Palmer decision, a court case that held that a local inclusionary housing law was preempted by state law to the extent it required affordable rentals.

Result: Failed on initial vote on the Senate floor, reconsideration granted, and it is now a two-year bill, meaning it will be taken up in the next session.

SB 444 (Evans) – Allow Counties to Stop Mobilehome Park Subdivisions Based on Resident Input

Conversions of mobilehome parks threaten the rent control protections of park residents. SB 444, authored by Senator Noreen Evans (D – Santa Rosa) would have clarified that cities have the right to turn down conversions when residents do not support conversion.

Result: Failed on the Senate Floor. Click here to see how legislators voted.

SB 337 (Kehoe) – Clarifying that Tenants Can Post Political Signs

SB 337, authored by Senator Christine Kehoe (D – San Diego), provides that a landlord shall not prohibit a tenant from posting or displaying noncommercial signs, posters, flags, or banners on or within any portion of the tenant’s dwelling unit, unless the postings or display would violate a local, state, or federal law. Without this bill, many tenants cannot fully enjoy basic free speech rights to post political signs without running the risk of receiving an eviction notice.

Result: Passed the Senate and now will head to the assembly. Click here to see how legislators voted.

Dean Preston is the Executive Director of Tenants Together, California’s Statewide Organization for Renters’ Rights. For more information about Tenants Together, visit

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