MALIBU—The city of Malibu passed Ordinance No. 455U on November 12 to temporarily prevent rent gouging and arbitrary evictions before the Tenant Protection Act AB 1482 goes into effect January 1, 2020. The Tenant Protection Act prohibits evictions without a just cause and prevents owners of residential rental property from increasing rent by more than 5 percent per year plus the percentage change in the cost of living, dependent on which is lower.

Ordinance No. 455U seeks to protect renters from ‘no fault’ evictions through December 31, 2019 and prevent further homelessness and displacement before the Tenant Protection Act goes into effect on January 1, 2020. According to the Malibu City Council’s November report, rapidly escalating real estate values provide an incentive to landlords to evict long-term, lower-income tenants without cause to raise rents and attract wealthier tenants.

Ordinance No. 455U states “Housing instability threatens the public peace, health, and safety as eviction from one’s home can lead to prolonged homelessness, loss of community, and strain on household finances due to the necessity of paying rental application fees and security deposits. Stress and anxiety is experienced by those displaced with increased commute times and traffic impacts if displaced workers cannot find affordable housing within the City in which they work, and interruption of the education of children in their home.”

The report indicated a majority of the city’s renters pay an average of 36 percent of their income on rent. The Malibu City Council has received reports that tenants have already experienced a surge of no fault eviction notices and threats of eviction.

Ordinance No. 455U ensures that owners of residential rental property cannot terminate a lawful tenancy without just cause, unless the termination is required to comply with an order issued by a government agency, court order, or federal or state law until December 31, 2019.