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San Diego City Council passes no-fault eviction moratorium

This moratorium passed 5-1 and is separate from what state lawmakers recently passed.

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego City Council passed a no-fault eviction moratorium 5-1 on Monday, expanding tenant protections designed to prevent renters from being removed from their homes. The moratorium expires Sep. 30, 2022 or 60 days after California ends its COVID-19 emergency.

Centering on "no-fault" evictions, this moratorium would be separate from what state lawmakers passed last week. 

San Diego City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera said the moratorium will protect renters and keep people in their homes.  

“The passage of this moratorium means that every renter in San Diego will have a bit more security in this far too expensive city and fewer people will be at risk of experiencing homelessness,“ said Elo-Rivera.

Unlike the statewide eviction moratorium, preventing the removal of a tenant behind on rent due to a COVID-related hardship, this newly proposed moratorium would apply to all renters in the city of San Diego.

"This applies to folks who are doing everything that they're supposed to do," said San Diego City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera. "We just don't want to see them put at risk of homelessness. San Diego can not afford one person to enter into homelessness, and this is a way to prevent that."

Elo-Rivera proposed this emergency measure, which would last 60 days beyond the end of the state of emergency.

It would protect tenants who are paying their rent and abiding by the terms of their lease from being removed for a "no-fault" reason; such as the landlord wanting to make renovations to the unit. 

"No one is prohibited from making an arrangement with their tenants that works for the renter and the landlord," Elo-Rivera told CBS 8. "What is being prevented here is people being given the boot despite having done nothing wrong at all."

RELATED: 'I'm fighting for my home!' | Statewide eviction moratorium extended through June 30

"It feels a little bit like it is a solution looking for a problem," said Lucinda Lilley, president of the Southern California Rental Housing Association, which is opposed to this measure, concerned, among other things, about the lack of a certain end date for this proposed moratorium.

"To pass this would seriously affect the entire rental housing eco-system," Lilley told CBS 8. "I don't think that it has been properly vetted. I don't think there is any data that show that it is necessary."

Elo-Rivera cited research from the Legal Aid Society of San Diego.

"They've noted that from August to December no-fault evictions accounted for 23 percent of the services provided by Legal Aid," Elo-Rivera said. 

RELATED: California lawmakers extend eviction ban for some renters

He also pointed to the rising cost of rent in San Diego, often making it financially difficult for a tenant removed from their unit to find a new place.

"A family that is ejected into the rental market, or a senior that is ejected into the rental market may need to come up with 8 to 10 thousand dollars to find a home and not be homeless," he added. "So I think that that is all data that points to the need to take this action."

There are some exemptions in place, as well: for example, if renovations or upgrades have been ordered by the government; or if the property owner wants to move a close family member into the unit: in which case, the renter must first receive 90 days notice. 

For more information on Monday's San Diego City Council meeting, click here

RELATED: New move to expand renter protections in city of San Diego

WATCH RELATED: Statewide eviction moratorium extended through June 30 (March 2022).

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