What tenant protections does the Ordinance provide?

The tenant protections ordinance requires the following:

  • Property owners/landlords must provide notice to tenants about their rights under the Ordinance: within thirty days of the Ordinance taking effect; when entering a new rental agreement; when renewing a rental agreement; when giving notice of a rent increase; and within thirty days of amendments to the Ordinance that affect tenants’ rights  (PMC Section 6.60.040).
  • All notices required by the Ordinance must be in English and Spanish, and if the rental agreement is in a language other than English or Spanish, the notices must also be in the language of the lease. (PMC Section 6.60.040(C) & 6.60.060(B)).
  • A tenant/tenant household that is evicted for “no-fault” is entitled to receive a payment or rent credit equal to100% of their monthly rent as relocation assistance. If the tenant qualifies as a low income tenant under the Ordinance, is over 62 years old, is disabled, or has a child, the tenant/tenant household is entitled to an additional relocation assistance payment or rent credit in an amount equal to 50% of their monthly rent.
  • The Ordinance establishes a defense against “no-fault” evictions for notices of termination fall within the school year for tenants and tenant households that have a school aged child (in kindergarten through 12th grade) and for tenants who are employed as educators in a school in Petaluma. (PMC Section 6.60.050(E)).
  • The Ordinance establishes a defense against eviction if the tenant can demonstrate that the eviction was in retaliation of the tenant exercising their rights under the Ordinance. (PMC Section 6.60.110).
  • Requires notice of rights of tenants to tenants before and after sale of rental units.
  • The Ordinance creates a civil cause of action for tenants to sue landlords for violations of the Ordinance. (PMC Section 6.60.100(B)) The Ordinance creates a cause of action for the City for injunctive relief for violations of the Ordinance, and any of the other remedies listed in Chapters 1.10-1.16 of the Petaluma Municipal Code, which include civil and criminal enforcement. (PMC Section 6.60.100(C))
  • The Ordinance authorizes tenants to bring civil actions to determine the applicability of the Ordinance to their tenancy (PMC Section 6.60.100(D))
  • The Ordinance provides that tenants who prevail in wrongful eviction actions are able to recover their costs and attorney’s fees. (PMC Section 6.60.100(A))
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