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New bill seeks to protect immigrant tenant rights

All across America, immigrants from many walks of life are terrified that customs agents may hunt them down and deport them because of the emphasis the Trump administration has placed on deportations. Unfortunately, this has lead to many immigrants fearing that they cannot stand up for their basic rights without jeopardizing their livelihood and family.

A new proposed law may put an end to some of those fears for immigrant tenants. The Immigrant Tenant Protection Act seeks to protect the rights of immigrants by making it illegal for a landlord to use a tenant's immigration status as a reason for eviction.

Practically speaking, immigrant tenants throughout the state are currently fearful of fighting for a landlord to carry their own responsibilities, like maintenance and safety issues. In many cases, complaining about maintenance issues or safety concerns to a landlord may lead to the landlord evicting or reporting immigrants.

The new bill would add teeth to the protective measures immigrants can take. Should a landlord use their immigration status or other sensitive information against them, the landlord can be sued for the amount of rent for six months to a year.

It is important to recognize that immigrants can still face eviction for acting as poor tenants, just like any other tenant. Still, this bill may go along way to providing some more fairness in the market and expanding the rights of tenants throughout the state.

If you have concerns about your relationship with your landlord, do not hesitate to reach out to to an experienced attorney who understands how to fight unfair practices and protect your rights.

Source: CBS Local, "California Bill Would Bar Landlords From Using Immigration Status Against Tenants," Lemor Abrams, May 23, 2017

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