Measure JJ (2016): Oakland Asks Voters To Expand Eviction Protections and Let Rent Adjustment Program Review All Rent Increases


Oakland’s November ballot will ask residents whether to approve Measure JJ – an effort to further regulate rent increases and to expand eviction controls.

Oakland’s rental housing policy is effectuated through its Rent Adjustment Ordinance (Oakland Municipal Code §§8.22.010, et seq.) and the later-enacted Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance, i.e., “Measure EE” (§§8.22.300, et seq.).

Measure JJ would require that landlords must petition the Rent Adjustment Program prior to serving any rent increase notices that exceed those allowed by the Rent Adjustment Ordinance (i.e., in the event of a Costa-Hawkins increase).

It would also amend Measure EE, which previously exempted any “newly constructed” units created after its enactment. It would alter the “new construction” exemption to include any units built through December 31, 1995. This date happens to be the last date that Costa-Hawkins “grandfathered” in certain units/tenancies that it otherwise sought to exempt from rent control. However, it’s not clear from the City Council’s findings why they chose this date, as Costa-Hawkins (a state law) does not regulate eviction controls – an authority long held to be reserved to local governments.

Meanwhile, the petition prerequisite for rent increases could conceivably come into conflict with state law on noticing periods for rent increases. (See, Tri Cty. Apartment Assn. v. City of Mountain View (1987) 196 Cal. App. 3d 1283.)