Assembly Members Chiu and Bloom Introduce AB 982 – Extending Withdrawal Date to One Year for All Occupants

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This week, Assembly Members Chiu and Bloom introduced AB 982, an amendment to Section 7060.4 of the Ellis Act, dictating that, when a property is withdrawn from the residential rental market under the Ellis Act, the termination date of all tenancies is one year from the date of filing the “notice of intent to withdraw” with the city.

Currently, the default withdrawal date is 120 days, and qualified tenants may claim an extension to a full year if they are at least 62 years old or are disabled. The amendment would simply eliminate the “qualified claim” requirement, providing one-years’ notice for all occupants.

If the amendment passes, this would be the second time the withdrawal date has been changed since the Ellis Act was enacted in 1986. Originally, the Ellis Act provided for 60 days’ notice of termination, in line with the maximum period of notice of termination for periodic residential leases under state law.

Effective January 1, 2000, SB 948 (1999) required 120 days’ notice, unless a qualified tenant claimed an extension, in which case the property owner had to comply with additional conditions for withdrawal of the property, including the extension of the withdrawal date to a full one-year for rental units with a qualified tenant.This amendment would essentially restore the original text, without the conditions and the variable withdrawal date.

The logic of this amendment is somewhat opaque, given that the class of tenants that would be protected is the one that is per se less susceptible to the adverse impacts of displacement (as they are neither disabled nor elderly). Time will tell whether Assembly Members Chiu and Bloom find the political will for this amendment.