At Progressive Property Management, we believe it’s important to keep the owners and investors we work with up to date on the new laws and regulations that impact their investments. Today, we are speaking about a new local requirement; a tenant assistance policy. If you aren’t already familiar with this policy and what it requires, you’ll need to get up to speed quickly so that you understand how you’ll need to handle moving tenants out of your rental home.
Long Beach Tenant Assistance Policy
In April, the Long Beach City Council voted 6-3 to move ahead with the crafting of this tenant assistance policy. The policy requires rental property owners who have four units or more to pay their tenants a relocation fee that equals two months of rent if those tenants are displaced through no fault of their own. Landlords who raise the rent by more than 10 percent may be seen as causing a displacement if the tenants cannot afford that rental increase, which means when they move out, the landlord would be responsible for the relocation fee.
Similarities to Just Cause Eviction Laws
The current law allows for landlords to remove problem tenants without a reason. When you have a tenant who is always late on rent or constantly causing disputes and tensions, you can get rid of that problem tenant with a simple 60-day notice. You don’t need a specific reason; simply serve the notice and send that bad tenant on his or her merry way.
The new policy does not allow you to do this without a strict financial penalty. We see this new law in Long Beach as basically being a just cause eviction. It simply has a different name. As a landlord, removing a tenant who is not performing will cost you two months in rent for their relocation fee. That’s going to make it very costly and extremely difficult to get rid of a tenant who is causing problems.
How to Avoid Future Relocation Fees
This is clearly not a landlord-friendly policy, but there are a few things that landlords can do to protect themselves:
- Remove your problem tenants from your property as soon as possible. If there is a tenant in your property who pays late all the time, ignores your notices and communications, or causes disputes and disruptions with neighbors, serve the 60 day notice right away and start looking for a good tenant who won’t cause these stresses.
- Learn more about these new laws. You’ll need to be prepared not only for the implementation of this law, but for a lot of new tenant-friendly laws that are being discussed in the state of California and Long Beach in particular.
- Contact a professional property manager. This is the best way to protect yourself and your property, and to ensure your rights as a landlord and a rental property owner are protected. We would be happy to remove the stress that will likely come with the implementation of all these new laws.
There’s no specific timeline in place for when this policy will be drafted and passed into law. We want to be prepared and to get ahead of its implementation. If you have any questions, please contact us at Progressive Property Management.