Pasadena broadens its tenant protection ordinance, provides aid to certain vulnerable individuals

Some locales throughout Southern California have stopped short of full-blown rent control, but dangle carrots and sticks for landlords to prolong the life of the tenancy. Pasadena is one such municipality that discourages premature termination of a tenancy by requiring landlords to cough up relocation funds and moving expense allowances when they part ways with tenants, without tinkering with how much rent can be raised or under what conditions a tenant can be evicted.

Pasadena already has the Tenant Protection Ordinance (TPO) on its books, obligating landlords to provide relocation benefits to displaced tenants under limited circumstances, but this law has been recently amended to require relocation payments in more instances.

So, while Pasadena City Council has not had an appetite to consider draconian rent control measures, the Crown City has said to landlords: If you evict a tenant through no fault of the tenant or demand a huge rent increase, it will come with a price. The pot is sweetened for seniors, the disabled, or households with dependents, and so what we have, essentially, is a group of "protected classes" carved out by the new rules in Pasadena..

Read the full ordinance here

When relocation and moving expense allowances are triggered

» Demolition or permanent removal of the unit from the rental market (Ellis Act eviction).
» Occupancy by landlord or landlord's family member (Owner move-in or Relative-move-in eviction).
» Landlord's compliance with a Government Order to Vacate
» Change in ownership with an ensuing termination or "large rent increase" within 18 months of ownership changing hands.

Relocation and moving expense allowance amounts

Landlords will payout to the tune of two and one half (2 1/2) months fair market rate rents as established by HUD for a rental unit of similar size.

If applicable, landlords must additionally soften the landing for the tenant by paying out moving expense allowances, specifically $1,306 for adult households or $3,935 for households with dependents, disabled, or senior members. This amount will be adjusted annually, pegged on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Los Angeles-Long Beach).

However, the ordinance seems to recognize that long-term tenants will have a particularly hard time being uprooted. If otherwise qualified, tenants who have stayed planted for 10 or more years will be entitled to additional money.

IN THE MEDIA: Tenant Claims Landlord Denying Tenant Protection Funds

Who qualifies, anyway?

Pasadena extends these protections to tenants who are in "good standing" who live at or below 140% of the median income, by household size. MT Evictions punctuates this point because it's entirely possible that some well-to-do tenants exceed this income threshold and are not entitled to relocation assistance.

Many other nuances apply

Transitioning tenants out of the rental unit require carefully choreographed steps under ordinary circumstances, but in light of newly minted relocation payments and convoluted math, it is prudent to seek the help of experts like MT Evictions to ensure the termination of the tenancy goes smoothly.