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Stockton passes ‘no-fault evictions’ measure — but some say renters ‘need more’

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STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) -- New legal protections for renters are now in effect after Stockton’s mayor and City Council passed an urgent measure banning "no-fault evictions."

“It's essentially about keeping families home for the holidays,” said Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs. “No one wants to wake up Christmas morning to an eviction notice."

Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed AB 1482, or the Tenant Protection Act, into law. It prevents landlords from evicting tenants in multi-family residences without just cause and it also caps annual rent increases at 5 to 10 percent plus inflation.

Adopting the urgent measure immediately was a move city leaders said was needed ahead of the new statewide law going into effect Jan. 1, which will create what they call an "eviction rush."

“Before Stockton adopted the ordinance on Tuesday night, we've heard stories of people being given 30, 60-day notices to vacate their homes because their landlords want to raise the rent,” said Jasmine Leek, the founder of the Third City Coalition.

Leek spoke at the City Council meeting advocating for more protection for single-family home renters.

“I think a lot about friends that I have that rent homes locally. They’re not living in apartments,” she said. “Working families are not living in apartments, they’re living in homes. And, unfortunately, they’re excluded and still in jeopardy of being evicted from their homes.”

According to the city, the majority of renters in Stockton are renting single-family homes. City officials said they didn't include those renters in the ordinance because they wanted to protect the rental housing market from owners who might have chosen to sell because of new restrictions.

But Leek said the city's ordinance doesn't go far enough.

“My initial reaction was that it’s a missed opportunity,” Leek told FOX40. “Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a good thing that council took some action on this but I think people in Stockton need more. They need our leaders to go above and beyond.”

Under the new law, landlords can still evict people for just cause if tenants fail to pay rent, breach their lease or commit a crime.

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