Renters’ rights: California advocates chip away at landlords’ political influence

When state Sen. María Elena Durazo introduced a bill in March to bolster the California Tenant Protection Act, she called for lowering the cap on rent increases to 5%, while closing loopholes landlords use to evict tenants when there’s no “just cause.”

By the time her “homelessness prevention” bill moved to the Senate floor on May 31, negotiations and compromise had watered it down. The rent cap provision was gone and several other provisions were significantly curbed. 

Those victories are evidence, advocates say, that renters are gaining influence in the Capitol. Though groups representing landlords and real estate continue spending millions on lobbying and supporting candidates, tenants rights groups are starting to chip away at their influence. 

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