San Jose Renters Triumph as Just Cause Goes Into Effect Immediately

Today, renters in San Jose won another big fight for basic, fair protections.

The San Jose City Council voted to adopt a just cause ordinance and, under an “urgency ordinance,” voted to enact the law immediately, blocking a potential flood of last minute no-cause evictions.

The just cause ordinance, which passed by an 8 to 3 vote, prohibits landlords from evicting tenants without cause. It was supported by Mayor Sam Liccardo, Vice Mayor Magdalena Carrasco and Council Members Don Rocha, Sergio Jimenez, Sylvia Arenas, Raul Peralez, Tam Nguyen, and Chappie Jones.  Council Members Johnny Khamis, Dev Davis, and Lan Diep were the dissenting votes.

The “urgency ordinance” received nine votes, with only Khamis and Davis casting no votes. Without the urgency ordinance, the law would have needed to go before Council again, giving unscrupulous landlords the ability to unfairly evict tenants for another five to six weeks. Without the urgency measure, dozens of families would have lost their homes.

The tenant victory was not without fierce opposition from landlords who, throughout the 4 hour public comment, yelled out and jeered renters from their seats, resulting in a number of landlords being removed from the Council Chambers. They even went as far as to boo a disabled tenant as he spoke in support of the just cause ordinance.

Until today, San Jose was the only major city in the Bay Area not to have a just cause eviction ordinance on the books.

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