The City of San Jose Updates Its Tenant Protection Ordinance

The San Jose City Council has made the following changes to its Tenant Protection Ordinance (TPO), which are effective of January 18, 2019:

1.     New Notice to Tenants Regarding Tenant Protection Ordinance

Each Landlord is required to post a written notice and maintain such posting, on a form approved by the Director of the Housing Department in the three most commonly spoken languages, of the applicability and requirements of the Tenant Protection Ordinance, placed in a conspicuous location within each building containing one or more Rental Units. The Landlord shall have complied with this requirement by posting a Notice of the Tenant Protection Ordinance in the same location as a notice to Tenants posted in accordance with subsections (1) or (2) of California Civil Code Section 1962.5(a) or immediately adjacent to the posting of the Residential Occupancy Permit in compliance with Section 17.20.630. (SJMC § 17.23.1240 C.)

Subsections (1) or (2) of California Civil Code Section 1962.5(a) allow a notice to Tenants to be posted as follows:

(1) In each dwelling structure containing an elevator a printed or typewritten notice containing the information required by paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 1962 shall be placed in every elevator and in one other conspicuous place.

(2) In each structure not containing an elevator, a printed or typewritten notice containing the information required by paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 1962 shall be placed in at least two conspicuous places.

Section 17.20.630 of the San Jose Municipal Code provides as follows:

17.20.630 – Display of permit. The person to whom the residential occupancy permit is issued shall display it in a conspicuous place in the building to which it pertains so that it may readily be seen by the residents of the building and any representative of the city with authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

2.     New Requirements for Notices Terminating a Tenancy

A notice terminating a tenancy must include a statement of the following: (a) The notice is being served in good faith; and (b) that information regarding the notice terminating tenancy, including information on homeless prevention, is available from the Rent Stabilization Program, 200 E. Santa Clara St., 12th Floor, San José, CA 95112, phone (408) 975-4480.” (SJMC § 17.23.1240 C.) Additionally, the City has created a notice entitled “Resources for San Jose Tenants” that states: “A copy of this referral must be attached to every notice to terminate tenancy.” Although not a new requirement, a notice of termination provided to a tenant must contain the reason for the termination of tenancy in accordance with subsection A of Section 17.23.1250 (listing the just cause reasons for termination of a tenancy). (SJMC § 17.23.1260)

3.     Tenant Removed For Criminal Activity Entitled to Return Under Certain Circumstances

The TPO provides that certain (serious) criminal activity and the household’s failure to remove the Violating Tenant constitutes good cause for eviction. Under the recent amendments to the TPO, if a Violating Tenant removed from a Rental Unit due to criminal activity is acquitted from the charges or the charges are dismissed or reduced, he or she may return to the Rental Unit as a Tenant, so long as: (a) the Tenant Household still resides in the Rental Unit; and (b) the Tenant Household consents to the Violating Tenant’s return.

4.     The City of San José Recognizes State and Federal Protections for Tenants Who Are Victims of Violence

The City has added language to the TPO stating that the TPO does not abrogate the protections afforded to survivors of violence under California law (Code of Civil Procedure Section 1161.3) or federal law (Violence Against Women Act, Public Law 103-322).

For further information, please contact Ruzicka, Wallace & Coughlin, LLP at (949) 748-3600.

The law firm of Ruzicka, Wallace & Coughlin, LLP represents landlords, property management companies, institutional and private lenders, employers and insurance companies throughout the State of California in real estate, business and employment litigation. The information provided herein is for general interest only and should not be relied upon or construed as legal advice.

January 23, 2019 | Landlord-Tenant Law |