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Mountain View City Council passes urgency ordinance on just-cause evictions

An urgency ordinance passed Tuesday by the Mountain View City Council will require landlords to have just cause to evict their tenants and is expected to cushion renters until a new law is expected to take effect.

In a 6 to 1 vote, the council approved the urgency ordinance during a special meeting Tuesday to provide renters more protections until Measure V likely becomes a law next month.

The ordinance, modeled after the measure that requires just-cause evictions on rental units, was drafted in response to an increase of no-cause evictions and eviction threats in the weeks before the Nov. 8 election, City Attorney Jannie Quinn said.

The city allows for no-cause evictions that wouldn’t change unless the proposed ordinance passes and goes into effect, Quinn said.

Measure V has received 53 percent of the vote that meets the required majority needed to pass, according to unofficial election results this morning from the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.

The registrar anticipates certifying the results on Dec. 8 and the council would have to declare the results at its Dec. 13 meeting, Quinn said.

If the measure passes, the new law would go into effect Dec. 23, she said.

Before casting the dissenting vote, City Councilman John Inks said he opposed Measure V for economic reasons and didn’t believe it would address renters’ significant problems and unbearable rates.

City Councilman Christopher Clark, who participated in the meeting by phone, also wasn’t supportive of Measure V but said he respected the people’s vote and saw the regulatory gap that would put people’s livelihoods at risk.

Measure V would also set annual rent increases between 2 percent and 5 percent under the Consumer Price Index on units built before Feb. 1, 1995 and create a rental housing committee to regulate the law.

The urgency ordinance excludes single-family homes, condominiums, companion units and duplexes.

The new measure would evict tenants for various reasons including breaching their lease, not paying rent and criminal activity.



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