Chula Vista Enacts New Tenant Protections
The City of Chula Vista recently passed a new tenant protection ordinance. Learn how this new law will affect your rental property in 2023.
In November 2022, the City of Chula Vista passed Ordinance 3527 (Residential Tenant Protections Act), which provides additional protections to tenants. These protections go into effect on March 1, 2023. The ordinance expands upon the Tenant Protection Act of 2019, also referred to as AB 1482.
Disclaimer: We are not attorneys. This is not designed to be legal advice. We always recommend that you contact your attorney about your specific properties. Our information on this topic comes from our attorneys at KTS and the California Association of Realtors.
How does this ordinance affect rent control?
The new protections do not limit rent increases. The rent caps listed under AB 1482 will apply to properties in Chula Vista.
Who is exempt from the ordinance?
Properties exempt from the Residential Tenant Protections Ordinance are similar to those outlined in AB 1482. You are exempt if:
- A single family owner-occupied residence, including mobile homes. The owner must occupy the home and rent no more than two units or bedrooms. The owner occupies the residence when the tenant moves in and must continue to occupy the property throughout the tenancy, including but not limited to, an accessory dwelling unit.
- A duplex where there are two dwelling units within a single structure. The owner must have occupied one unit at the inception of the tenancy and continue to occupy the unit throughout the tenancy. The unit cannot be an accessory dwelling unit.
- Separately alienable units provided both apply:
- Owner is not a real estate investment trust (REIT), corporation, limited liability company (LLC) with a corporate member, or manages a mobile home park
- Tenants have been provided written notice that the residential unit is exempt from the Chula Vista Residential Tenant Protections Ordinance. The notice requires specific language provided in CVMC 9.65.040.
- Transient occupancy (hotel/motel) under 30 days
- Short term tenancies under 30 days
- Housing in non-profit hospital, religious facility, extended care facility, licensed residential care facility for the elderly
- Residential property or dormitories owned by the City, an institution of higher education, or a kindergarten and grades one to 12, inclusive
- Housing where the tenant shares a bathroom or kitchen with the owner as their principal place of residence
- Housing restricted by deed or regulatory agreement
For any tenancy that starts or is renewed after the effective date of March 1, 2023, a notice must be contained in the rental agreement. For tenancies in place prior to the effective date, notice must be provided to your tenants in writing, but it’s not required to be included in the lease. The notice should be added to the lease as an addendum once renewed and signed by your tenants.
Section 8 housing vouchers will not be included in the affordable housing exemption and therefore are protected under the new ordinance.
Just Cause Termination Requirements
Under the new ordinance, landlords must have a just cause reason to terminate any tenancy. The just cause reasons can be classified as either “at-fault” or by “no fault”, the latter meaning a tenant has done nothing to warrant a termination of their lease.
- Default in payment of rent
- Breach of material term of the lease
- Failure to renew lease of similar terms and duration after a written request to execute
- Criminal activity
- Assignment or subletting in violation of the tenant’s lease
- Refusal to allow access
- Using the premises for unlawful purpose
- Employee failure to vacate after termination of employment
- Tenant failure to vacate after giving written notice to owner to vacate
- Owner or family member occupancy move in
- Compliance with government order
- Withdrawal from rental market
- Substantial remodel
Note, the substantial remodel definition has more restrictive requirements than the ones outlined in AB 1482. The requirements still state that structural, electrical, plumbing, or mechanical systems are required to be replaced or substantially modified or that a permit is required for the abatement of hazardous materials.
It also requires that the unit must be vacant for 60 days instead of the 30 days outlined in AB 1482. Additionally, the cost of the improvement must be at least $40 per square foot of the unit. This is not required under AB 1482.
Terminating an At-Fault Tenant
The new ordinance requires that a curable lease violation will require a landlord to provide notice of the violation and the opportunity to remedy the violation. Once the notice period has expired and the tenant has not resolved the issue, a standard Three Day Notice to Quit can be posted at the property. An At-fault Just Cause Eviction does not require landlords to provide relocation benefits to their tenant.
There will be additional requirements by landlords when terminating tenancies, including a reporting requirement whenever there is a termination notice. These requirements will be created through Administrative Regulations created by the City of Chula Vista. The regulations will be posted on the City website and will be effective 30 days after they have been published. Our team will provide a link here when a website has been established.
No-Fault Just Cause Requirements
A tenant who receives a notice for a no-fault reason must be provided with a 30 days’ notice for tenancies under one year, or a 60 days’ notice for any tenancy over one year. The landlord must inform the tenant of the reason for termination, their right to relocation assistance, and a notice of the right to receive a future offer to rent the unit. A copy of the notice of termination must also be provided to the City of Chula Vista no later than three business days after the notice is provided to the tenant.
Because this ordinance has just cause provisions and relocation assistance requirements that are stricter than AB 1482, they will not be combined (e.g., AB 1482’s one month relocation assistance will not have to be paid in addition to the Residential Tenant Protections relocation).
Lastly, a landlord’s failure to comply with the termination and relocation will render the termination notice invalid. If the reason for the termination was removal from the rental market and the landlord puts the property back on the market within two years, the landlord will be liable to the tenant for the greater of six months of rent for the then rental Fair Market Value for the zip code where the unit is located OR six months of the actual rent of the tenant when the lease was terminated.
Any kind of harassment or retaliation by the landlord is strictly prohibited and will incur harsh punishments. This includes things like failing to provide housing services or maintain the property, abusing the lawful right to enter, and attempting to influence or intimidate the tenant to vacate the unit.
If you have any questions about your specific property and how it’s affected, we recommend reaching out to your attorney. To stay informed about local law changes that can affect your property, subscribe to our newsletter in the footer.
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