Evictions issued so landlords can remodel their units will continue to be banned through the end of February as the Long Beach City Council waits for a new city ordinance to be prepared for it to vote on later this year.
The council first initiated a temporary ban in July after the state issued similar rules to protect renters from being displaced during the pandemic. The state law blocked a previous “loophole” that tenants’ rights groups said allowed landlords to game the system to evict tenants if they puled papers for construction and issued a 60-day notice to vacate.
Long Beach’s temporary ban expired at the end of 2021.
A fight over what “substantial” means when it comes to home improvements ensued over the rest of the year with property owner groups advocating for no stricter policies to be put in place while tenant groups pushed for the city to create a city-run division that oversees unit remodels to limit displacement.
During the council’s last meeting in December, members opted to ask that the new ordinance raise the amount or relocation assistance required of landlords for each displaced unit to $4,500, or two months rent, and required a 90-day notice to vacate the unit. State law required just one month’s rent to be paid to tenants.
The pending ordinance could also establish a civil penalty of up to $15,000 for landlords found in violation of the city ordinance.
Tuesday’s vote extended the temporary ban to the end of February. Evictions that were served due to unit remodeling between Dec. 31 and Tuesday would be covered by the extended ban.
The council is expected to vote on a new ordinance before the extended moratorium expires next month.