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Landlords push back on rent control measures

Tenant rights are an important area of legal protection, because tenants often are the party with far less leverage to negotiate fair treatment than landlords. A major step forward for tenant rights is being challenged in the Bay Area that could have wide-ranging effects for tenant rights throughout several sectors in California. A recent rent control measure in Richmond, which enjoyed high levels of support from voters, is being challenged in the court by a heavy-hitting lobby group representing landlords.

The measure itself features several key elements that are particularly frustrating to landlords in the up-and-coming region. Among other things, it requires landlords to have a justifiable reason for making an eviction, otherwise referred to as a "just cause eviction" clause. Another key element is places a cap on how much a landlord can raise rent in relation to market inflation for rental properties that were built prior to 1995. Without these key protections and others, renters in the Bay Area's working class town may have a very hard time maintaining their leases.

Although the measure received very high levels of voter support, lobbying groups for landlords have already filed two separate complaints in an effort to strip reasonable renter's protections from the hands of the public that demanded them.

While the fight for rental control is only one part of tenant rights, and these developments are brewing for our neighbors to the North, it is important to stay informed about the direction of legislation in state. Each of these small pieces contributes to a larger picture of tenant rights, one that is rarely safe and secure.

If you are experiencing trouble in a landlord tenant relationship, it is vital to seek the help you need before it is too late. Just because you are tenant does not mean that you are powerless -- it simply means that you may need to build a team who can help you fight for your rights more effectively. With the guidance of an experienced attorney, you can pursue justice confidently with the knowledge that your rights will remain protected.

Source: NBC, "Landlord Group Files Lawsuit to Block Voter-Approved Rent Control in Richmond," Gillian Edevane, Jan. 10, 2017

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