don't sign any lease at all, there are parts in the Just-Cause
Eviction Ordinance that should pertain to everyone," Yousefian said.
"There are certain things in here that say landlords cannot treat
people in an unjust way. On the other hand, if we had a lease that
had some of these protections already in here, that's not a problem."
The ordinance legislates when a landlord can evict a tenant.
Yousefian's suggestion came after Councilman Gus Gomez brought up
the concept of a mandatory lease. City Atty. Scott Howard quickly
questioned the legality of a mandatory lease, and said his staff must
The Rental Housing Issues Working Committee, which recommended
changes to the ordinance, including tweaking the exemption, did not
address the idea of a mandatory lease.
"The committee did discuss the idea of a model lease, and we could
not reach an agreement what that would look like," Committee Vice
Chairman Bob Graziano said. "It wouldn't be easy to create a
The committee recommended that the exemption only apply when a
one-year lease is offered. The language in the ordinance says the
exemption applies when the landlord offers a minimum one-year lease,
so theoretically, a 100-year lease could be offered. While a tenant
probably would reject it, the landlord would be exempt from the
ordinance simply by making the offer.
Other proposed changes to the ordinance were administrative, such
as clarifying relocation reimbursements for evicted tenants.
Councilman Dave Weaver introduced an ordinance to accept the
changes proposed by the committee, and Yousefian asked for staff to
put an item on the agenda repealing the ordinance altogether. The
council is expected to vote on both items in February.
Some members of the council scoffed at Yousefian's suggestion of a
"The marketplace is so different, you have expensive rentals,
low-income rentals, singles," Mayor Frank Quintero said. "It's tough
to do a one-size-fits-all."
Committee members argued that the ordinance is not necessary
because a long-term lease provides the same protection as the
"You can't be evicted unless you break the lease," Graziano said.
The council also said that it would not put any rent-control
issues on a citywide ballot unless they come from a community-driven
"If the public wants one, they can get together and put something
on the ballot," Yousefian said. "I've been saying that for a long
time. If the public wants to do something, it's in their area."