This article was posted on Wednesday, Jul 01, 2020

Below is a copy of an email received by one of our members as a response to his complaint
about AB 828.

Thank you for contacting me regarding Assembly Bill 828 by Assembly Budget Committee
Chairman Phil Ting and numerous co-authors. I appreciate hearing from you on this important
In short, AB 828 would unconstitutionally force a 25 percent reduction in rents and make it even
more difficult for property owners to manage their properties. AB 828 will make our pandemic
induced economic crisis and our long existing housing crisis worse. This is a horrible bill that I
strongly oppose and will actively work to defeat. The text of the legislation and a list of its co-
authors can be found at the following link:

Assembly Bill 828 was introduced in February 2019 to address human trafficking issues and it
passed unanimously in the State Assembly in April 2019. Fast forward to April 2020 and AB
828 has been gutted and amended to target rental properties and their owners. Two recent
opinion pieces by Steven Greenhut in the Orange County Register and Katy Grimes in the
California Globe encapsulate just how bad AB 828 is for our state. The California Apartment
Association, the California Rental Housing Association, and the Southern California Rental
Housing Association have written letters to the author detailing the numerous problems with this
legislation. Here is what they are saying about AB 828:

“Rent-reduction bill a vast abuse of power”
“Rents are high because there’s not enough of it available. AB 828 – and Senate Bill 939, which
applies similar provisions to commercial properties – could bankrupt some owners and force
others out of the business and thus reduce the available stock. Legislators cannot help tenants by
destroying the incomes of those who provide much-needed rental housing.”

“Bill to Reduce CA Rents by 25% Using Coronavirus Crisis as Opportunity to Erode
Property Rights”

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“AB 828 denies equal justice to housing providers by:

  • Forcing landlords to reduce rents by 25% — even if a tenant cannot show a COVID-19
    hardship or need.
  • Allowing the courts to set rents and change rental agreements already in place.
    Assuming every tenant is facing a COVID-19 hardship and must be compensated for it.
  • Protecting nuisance tenants. The bill does not require tenants to answer an unlawful detainer complaint.
  • Mandating that rental property owners demonstrate an economic hardship to collect the contracted rent.”

Letter from the California Apartment Association Regarding AB 828
“We must remember that owners are already facing the following: a statewide halt on evictions
of all types; a state of emergency that caps rents; local measures that freeze rents and provide
extended deferrals of unpaid rent; and state and local rent control laws that, in some cases for
years, have limited rent increases to less than inflation.”

Letter from the Southern California Rental Housing Association
“The amendments create a duplicative statewide prohibition on evictions, establish a court-
ordered, blanket reduction of rent by twenty-five percent (25%) during, and after, the COVID-19
State of Emergency and create a convoluted repayment schedule for rent that was unpaid as a
result of COVID-19.”

Letter from the California Rental Housing Association
“We want the ability to work with our renters during this difficult time. We encourage the state
government to help us rather than making our business, and the lives of our renters, more
difficult now and in the future.”

While I am strongly opposed to AB 828, there is reason to be alarmed about its prospects. As an
Assembly bill that has been gutted and amended, it is already in the Senate and could move
quickly. The Assembly Democratic leadership is strongly behind this legislation. The bill is
authored by Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting. Among the notable co-authors are Assembly
Speaker pro Tempore Kevin Mullin, Assistant Majority Leader Rob Bonta, Democratic Caucus
Chair Mike Gipson, and Assembly Appropriations Committee Chair Lorena Gonzalez.
As noted above, rental property associations have come out in opposition to the bill and at least
two opinion articles have been published in the media. There is a lot more that needs to be
done to educate legislators and the public about the dangers of this type of legislation.
Rental property owners will need to be a lot more vocal to get noticed in the COVID-19 focused
media and public discourse. I also encourage you to contact your local Assemblymember and the
Governor to let them know that you oppose AB 828.
Again, thank you for contacting me. It is an honor to represent the residents of the 36 th Senate
District (Orange and San Diego Counties).

Sincerely, PATRICIA C. BATES, Senator, 36 th District