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Marin County

Just Cause Eviction controls don’t address the REAL problem of lack of supply.

Summer has passed and Marin County government is heading towards enacting Rent Control for rental properties. In early June, the Community Development Agency of Marin County government urged the “Supervisors to vote in 2018 on a Just Cause for Eviction ordinance.”

This so-called “Just-Cause Eviction” ordinance is the second leg in building a full Rent Control framework. The first leg is a mandatory price control scheme, which the Marin Board of Supervisors began to lay down last December via required Mandatory Mediation for any rent increase over 5% in unincorporated Marin.

Just Cause Eviction ordinances severely limit a property owners’ ability to maintain a peaceful and safe environment for all tenants. If enacted, it would lead to increased costs and, ultimately, erosion of all property values. It is not a justified response to Marin’s housing situation.

The problem with these one-sided proposals is that they don’t work! San Francisco, Oakland, and Richmond, for example, have passed similar measures, which have led to an ever-shrinking housing pool along with higher and higher rents.

These types of punitive proposals:

• Do not add one more housing unit to Marin County;
• Produce neighborhoods and communities which are worse off;
• Increase cost burdens for everyone involved: tenants, landlords, property owners, and government;
• Threaten our local tax base by depressing property values;
• Lead to unintended consequences, such as removal of rental housing from the market and rapid gentrification; and
• Often create unelected regulatory bodies whose priorities become self-perpetuation and funding.

The majority of rental housing in Marin is owned by “mom and pop” operators with fewer than 10 units each. That means that thousands of local folks are engaged in providing housing and in improving quality of lives. But each new punitive regulation, each new burdensome fee, each chipping away at property rights makes those efforts all the more difficult.

Let’s not drive these good, caring people away from supporting and maintaining our communities.

The Marin Rental Property Association supports candid discussions among stakeholders, and we have demonstrated collaborative and successful efforts in implementing housing solutions. We have advocated for increased communication and continuing education of all parties.

At their meeting on September 11, the Marin Board of Supervisors will decide whether to move forward with so-called “Just Cause.” This decision will be taken following a period of public comment.

I strongly urge you to attend the
Sept 11, 2018 Board meeting, in Room 330 at the Civic Center, beginning at 5:30pm, to voice your concerns. We will be urging the Board to recommend to staff, to discontinue or suspend consideration of a “just cause” eviction ordinance at this time.

Let’s not repeat the backroom legislating and rushed decision processes of last year.


Low income housing, Eviction