OTU members and allies showed up to the Oakland City Council to demand a phased rollout of the eviction moratorium. The final legislation includes a set of new tenant protections, designed to mitigate the tsunami of eviction filings that will certainly occur now that the moratorium is no longer in place.
Under the new policy, tenants who can prove they experienced a COVID-related hardship can never be evicted for unpaid rent that became due while the moratorium was in place. Landlords are also prohibited from evicting anyone who owes less than one month of what the federal government considers fair rent.
The moratorium also prevents landlords from “passing through” the cost of repairs onto tenants, or “banking” permitted rent increases to apply them at a later date instead. Property owners would be allowed to resume these practices starting July 2024.
“The landlord’s worst case scenario is they can’t pay their mortgage and they lose the property they own, and maybe have to become a tenant and live like us,” said John deBoer of the Oakland Tenants Union. “The worst case scenario for a tenant is to end up on the street.” He said it’s “hard to appreciate the sheer terror you feel” after receiving an eviction notice.