California Rental Housing Association Sues State Over Eviction Moratorium

California Rental Housing Association Sues State Over Eviction Moratorium

The California Rental Housing Association has sued the state of California in federal court arguing the third extension of the state’s eviction moratorium is unconstitutional and violates rental-property owners’ rights, according to a release.

“We tried working with our legislators and the governor to reach an agreement that would recognize the financial burdens faced by both rental-housing providers and renters,” said Christine Kevane LaMarca, president of the association, in a release. “They chose to ignore the financial burdens of small and medium rental-property providers.

“The courts are our last resort. Rental-housing providers across the state are suffering severe economic distress and losses directly caused by the state of California’s ongoing overreaching eviction moratorium,” she said.

The lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of California (Sacramento) and joined by two individual rental-housing owners. It challenges the constitutionality of AB832, the state’s third extension of the statewide moratorium on evictions for nonpayment of rent.

The suit alleges that the moratorium unconstitutionally violates rental housing owners’ basic property rights, and substantially—and retroactively—impairs existing rental agreements and leases, which give owners the contract right to repossess their units for nonpayment of rent.

The lawsuit, filed under the federal civil rights act, seeks a declaration that AB 832 is unconstitutional and an injunction prohibiting its enforcement.

Rental-housing providers suffering

“The state continues to extend the eviction moratorium with no distinction between residents who cannot afford to pay due to the pandemic and residents who can afford to pay their rent but are using the moratorium to violate their rental agreements,” LaMarca said.

“Rental-housing providers continue to provide housing, and in some cases, for no compensation, which leaves us with no recourse. Small and medium rental-housing providers rely on rental income to pay their mortgages and maintenance expenses, while supporting their own families. We wake up every day thinking about how to house people – that is what we want to do – and government action is interfering with our ability to effectively do so.

“This lawsuit is intended to restore our rights and allow us to enforce rental contracts that have been unnecessarily expropriated for the past 16-plus months,” she said.

About the California Rental Housing Association

The California Rental Housing Association represents 19,000+ members who provide nearly 537,000 rental units. CalRHA’s members are primarily small- and medium-sized rental-housing providers throughout the state of California. Our purpose is to advocate in the best interest of the rental-housing industry and collectively address industry needs.

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