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Kathleen (kat) Becker's Blog

By Kathleen (Kat) Becker | Agent in Los Angeles, CA

A Spectacular Day for Tenants, Rent Control & Eviction Protections in the Courts of Law

A Spectacular Day for Tenants, Rent Control & Eviction Protections in the Courts of Law

APRIL 23, 2012

tags: affordable housing, Coalition for Economic Survival, Rent Control, Supreme Court

On the same day that U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal that would have challenged New York City’s rent stabilization laws, and possible threaten rent control laws nationwide, the California Court of Appeals made a significant ruling in regards to providing tenants eviction protections.

Tenant activists were greatly concerned that, even though rent control has been held constitutional numerous times before, given the conservative and pro-business nature of the current Supreme Court majority, the future of rent control could be at-risk.

The case involved landlords James and Jeanne Harmon, who have lost earlier court attempts to get rent stabilization laws thrown out.

The Harmons inherited a building with three rent-controlled apartments near Central Park on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The Harmons say rent stabilization laws forces them to rent the apartments at rents 59 percent below market rate. They argue that by giving the tenants lifetime tenure with succession rights, the government has illegally taken their property.

A federal judge and the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City threw out their lawsuit. Now the high court refused to review that decision.

CALIFORNIA COURT OF APPEALS MAKES MAJOR EVICTION PROTECTION RULING

 
In Anchor Pacifica Management v. Sharon Green, the California Court of Appeals ruled that a management company operating a senior apartment complex developed with assistance from a local redevelopment agency and subject to agency oversight must have good cause when it evicts a tenant upon expiration of the tenants’ lease.

The groups that lined up to support Sharon Green best demonstrated the importance of this case.

An Amicus Curiae was filed for the Coalition for Economic Survival by Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, Western Center on Law and Poverty, National Housing Law Project, on behalf of Defendant and Appellant Sharon Green.

In 2009, Anchor Pacifica Management served Sharon Green, who is disabled
and receives federal income-supplement benefits, with a 90-day eviction notice. The notice did not provide any reason for the termination of her tenancy at the conclusion of her lease.

The City of Glendora Community Redevelopment Agency funded the building of Heritage Oaks Apartments by Anchor Pacifica, a private developer, which included affordable housing side aside units. Ms. Green lived in one of these affordable units.

Ms Green contended a trial court erred when it denied her motion to dismiss the eviction action on the ground it was without cause and it violated her right to due process under the state and federal constitutions or, in the alternative, failed to allow her to present this defense to the jury.

The Court of Appeals ruled in her favor.


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