SAN JOSE, Calif. - An unforeseen problem has San Jose's City Council moving fast to enact new restrictions on evicting tenants. It's planning to vote on two ordinances Tuesday that will give tenants more protection if asked to vacate their apartments
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It's been three weeks since the city council voted to write an ordinance to bar no-cause evictions. And in that time, tenant advocates say there's been a flurry of no-cause evictions by landlords trying to beat the new law. So the council has added a second, emergency ordinance to clamp down.
Tenants and their supporters rallied outside San Jose City Hall, hoping the council will pass both ordinances -- one to curb no-cause evictions and one to make the change effective immediately.
Tenant advocates say landlords have been issuing no cause evictions like this before the council puts the brakes on them.
Robert Aguirre says he used to live in the Jungle, a large homeless camp in San Jose, before finding an apartment he could afford. But now, he's worried he will be homeless again.
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"What I have found are long, very long waiting lists," he said. "I've also found very expensive housing that make it almost impossible, if not impossible, to find a place to live."
Property owners worry that the new ordinance will make it difficult to get rid of problem tenants, especially those who know how to work the system.
"We had a tenant that moved in and knew the system and just did everything right to make sure he didn't pay rent for six months and totally thrashed the unit and caused harm to the surrounding neighbors. And this is what I'm talking about, this is without just-cause evictions," said Gustavo Gonzalez with Valley View Properties.
The council needs eight votes to pass the emergency ordinance to implement the restriction on no cause evictions immediately.
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Councilmember Don Rocha is hesitant to predict the outcome of Tuesday's vote.
"I wish U could handicap what's going to happen tomorrow," he said. "I don't know. I do know that this council and the mayor are all concerned about this issue, which is why you're seeing the activity. We wouldn't be discussing this issue if we didn't think there was a reason."
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