Landlords using 'reno-viction' loophole in AB 1482 to force tenants out

A new law that was intended to protect tenants from being evicted for higher rents is backfiring. Some landlords are using a loophole to get long-time tenants out.

“I don’t want to be homeless, that’s the scariest thing in the world to me to be homeless,” said Nance Parry.  

That's exactly what the 70-year-old is facing after getting a notice of eviction.

The landlord at Huntington Oaks Village in Duarte told Parry she has to leave because of upcoming substantial renovations.

While management declined an on-camera interview, they told FOX 11 over the phone that the apartment will get new lighting, a new kitchen and new flooring. Parry calls it a "reno-viction." 

“It’s a claim that they’re going to renovate to push people out of their apartments even if the only thing they do is paint one wall or something, and then they double and triple the rent for the next tenant coming in,” said Parry.

In January, California legislators passed AB 1482 to protect tenants but a loophole in the law is allowing landlords to evict residents like Parry.

SUGGESTED: Dozens of families displaced, given only 4 days to move out of San Bernardino apartment complex

Tenants rights advocates say the new law states landlords can evict for substantial renovations — and some are abusing it.

“What we're seeing is that landlords are essentially replacing what was a no-cause notice. 'Well, we’re just gonna do renovations,' and tenants have no way of checking and it’s essentially a no-cause eviction,” said tenants rights advocate Jane Panangaden.

“It absolutely is disappointing. The law was meant to keep tenants inside of their properties,” Los Angeles Assemblymember Miguel Santiago said.

Santiago says AB 1482 is clear, renovictions are illegal.  

“We allowed for renovations when it harmed the tenants because we didn’t want to create slumlord situations but even then, the tenant would need to move out for 30 days and come back to the unit but strictly for the purpose of benefiting the tenant,” Santiago said.

In the meantime, the clock is ticking and Parry has not found a solution to her problem.

She says, “I’m fighting this 60 day notice the best way I can with all the ammunition I can find, but if they end up winning in court, I don’t know where I’m gonna go. I have no family, I’m gonna be living in my car.”