Alameda council votes to close eviction loophole

Byby Katie Utehs KGO logo
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Alameda council votes to close eviction loophole
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Alameda City Council voted to close a loophole that would ultimately reign in a landlord who tried to evict an entire apartment complex.

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- The Alameda City Council reigned in a landlord who tried to evict an entire apartment complex.

It happened just days after council passed a temporary ordinance aimed at protecting tenants from rising rents.

This is a battle being waged in cities across the Bay Area. On Tuesday night, the Alameda City Council made a real move towards renter protections.

In November, there was a near riot over rent control at an Alameda City Council meeting. A temporary ordinance aimed at stopping no-cause evictions came out of it, but a landlord found a loophole.

VIDEO: 2 arrested at heated meeting over rent control in Alameda

"It was exploited three days afterwards in an attempt to evict people for basically no reason," Duane Moles from the Alameda Renters Coalition said.

People at the Bay View Apartments on Central Avenue received eviction notices claiming renovations were necessary. Something rental advocates call "a tactic".

"For basic renovations, there's no need to evict families from their homes. People live through renovations all the time," Moles said.

City staff agrees and recommended closing the loophole at Tuesday night's meeting. Council voted unanimously to do so, wiping out the eviction notices for some 34 units at Bay View. Nobody spoke out in opposition. Still, other renters wait for long term protections.

VIDEO: 2 face battery charges after Alameda rent control protest turns violent

"Every night they tell me, 'Are we going to stay in this house tomorrow?'" renter Jimmy Nguyen said as he teared up.

The renter's coalition plans to submit a rent control ballot initiative next week. Council may vote on a permanent ordinance in early January.