Last Saturday, Committee to Protect Oakland Renters volunteers walked door-to-door asking residents to vote yes on a ballot measure called Measure JJ that would regulate Oakland rent increases and evictions. The committee is an umbrella of organizations such as the Oakland Tenants Union and Causa Justa: Just Cause that advocate for Oakland renters and policy changes related to housing.
Current rent protection laws limit rent increases to 2 percent annually. Landlords can exceed that increase if they provide tenants with a notice and can justify their reasons. It’s up to tenants to challenge an exceedingly large increase by contesting it within 60 days of receiving notice.
Measure JJ would require owners to file a petition to increase the rent if it exceeds the 2 percent allowable rate. They must do this before they can notify tenants of an increase. This would lift responsibility from the renters to contest an increase. If passed, the measure would also extend Just Cause for Eviction protection to residents living in units constructed before 1996. Now, Just Cause for Eviction protects tenants in units constructed before 1980.
Residents who have experienced rent increases said they hope it will pass in November. Some landlords said the measure would transfer more responsibilities onto them, making it harder to evict non-compliant tenants. Committee to Protect Oakland Renters plans to walk door-to-door every Saturday until the November 8th election.