By Todd Flora and Bill Winslow, Santa Monica Rent Control Board Members
Presented with evidence that many Santa Monicans faced new forms of harassment and hair-trigger eviction notices, SMRR took action in 2010 by alerting Rent Control Board Members, who worked with their staff and the City Attorney to draft Measure RR, which the City Council placed before the electorate on a unanimous vote. SMRR then led an energetic campaign on its behalf, and RR passed in November with your help, by a nearly two-to-one majority of Santa Monica voters.
Measure RR amends the City Charter generally, and the Rent Control Law specifically, to strengthen tenant protections citywide. It does so in three significant ways, by:
- Extending “just cause” eviction protections to all tenants in multi-unit apartment buildings. “Just cause” means that a tenant may be evicted for only a limited number of reasons, including failure to pay rent or violation of the lease, or no-fault reasons, such as owner occupancy or the removal of the building from the rental market.
- Requiring that landlords provide tenants written notice specifying a reasonable time to correct an alleged lease violation or nuisance, or denial of lawful access, before beginning an eviction based on that alleged lease violation.
- Limiting owners’ ability to evict for owner occupancy tenants who are terminally ill, or who have lived in their apartment for at least five years and are either disabled and/or at least 62 years old (with an exception made in case the proposed owner occupant is also at least 62, disabled, or
Without SMRR leadership and our grassroots support, Measure RR would not have come to the ballot, nor would it have passed so decisively. However, now is no time to rest on our laurels. To maintain our momentum, and to ensure an educated and empowered public, SMRR needs your continued support to communicate to renters these and other details of their rights as Santa Monica renters. With your help and resources, we can continue our proud legacy of ensuring renters security in their tenancy and protecting the strong, vital community that results from that security.