This year is beginning with a significant win in stopping Assembly Bill 854 (Lee) which would have weakened the Ellis Act by forcing property owners to keep their rental business for at least five consecutive years.
The REALTOR® Party of California was in strong opposition against this legislation for threatening the rights of property owners afforded under the Ellis Act. Sponsored by C.A.R., the Ellis Act (1985) protects property owners’ right to exit the rental property business if the operation is no longer sustainable.
AB 854 would have unfairly forced owners to keep their rental business, even if they cannot afford to stay in business or need to move an ailing or elderly family member into one of their units. The pandemic has been particularly challenging for many small rental property owners who have not received rental payments for many months, coupled with increased costs for maintenance and repairs. This legislation could have caused economic ruin or foreclosure for property owners who can no longer afford to own the property.
However, due to the advocacy and support of our members and allies, who took the time to call and email their legislator, the legislation did not have enough support and was not even brought up for a vote. This is a significant victory for private property rights and the REALTOR® Party.