While some renters breathed a sigh of relief after the city’s urgency ordinance was passed Nov. 6, temporarily restricting the basis on which local landlords can terminate tenancies, others have found themselves still facing eviction due to extensive remodeling at their property, which is permitted under the stipulations of the ordinance.
In an interview with the Review on Tuesday, resident Christine Bullard shared her disorienting experience of going from receiving a 60-day eviction notice from her unit at 609 Prospect Ave., feeling relieved by the city’s passing of an emergency moratorium, having her eviction rescinded by the property owner — and then, days later, receiving another 60-day notice to vacate due to substantial remodeling of the building.
Bullard, who runs a photography business out of her home, first received a 60-day notice to leave from her building’s owner, Tredco, on Oct. 22. When the ordinance was passed by City Council on Nov. 6, she said she felt a sense of relief and safety. The ordinance serves as an additional tool for tenants until the “just cause” eviction requirements come into effect in January with the state-wide Tenant Protection Act (AB 1482).
On Nov. 22, Bullard received a note from Tredco that the eviction had been rescinded and she’d be able to stay.
“I felt like when we had a suspension with the moratorium, it was a huge relief but then it took so long for me to get the rescind of the evictions from the landlord,” said Bullard. “Once I received that, I felt a huge relief.”
On Monday, however, she said she felt shocked to receive a letter from Tredco giving her 60 days to vacate, noting a city ordinance that gives landlords the ability to evict tenants under an intent to demolish or substantially remodel a residential real estate property, plus a check in the amount of one month’s rent.
“I was kind of expecting something just because, knowing these people, these landlords on how they work,” said Bullard. “It’s disappointing that they’re still trying to get me out.
“I don’t know if it’s 100 percent valid and so I’m looking into that.”
A call to Tredco by the Review on Nov. 27 went unanswered.
Bullard noted that most of the eight units at her property have been under “extensive remodeling” for around two years.
Reflecting on a renters workshop hosted by the South Pasadena Tenants Union and Housing Rights Center (HRC) she attended days prior on Nov. 23, Bullard said she heard “so many different things from HRC and attorneys” — from landlords not being able to serve another eviction notice, to a six-month timeline before another notice can be served. Others said eviction was still possible under the new ordinance.
“I’m very confused, and a part of me does want keep on fighting,” said Bullard. “It’s just so draining.”