Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Senate Passes Bill - Prevents Domestic Violence Victims from Being Evicted

The California Senate just passed Bill SB 782, which prevents landlords from evicting domestic violence victims. This new bill will encourage victims to defend themselves and not face eviction from their home. Eviction has discouraged victims, female and male, to file complaints of domestic violence or sexual assault. SB 782 will encourage women to step forward.

Many landlords have a nuisance clause in their rental agreement that allows them to evict tenants if there is a lot of noise, disturbance, police activity or complaints. When landlords evict domestic violence victims, it's like being victimized again by being pressured to move. Many of these domestic violence victims which are mostly women, end up homeless. Under SB 782, landlords would not be allowed to use their lease clause to evict women under these circumstances. Landlords however can evict the perpetrator of the abuse. It should also be stated that the law presently allows a victim to break their lease and go to a victim's shelter if they choose to do so.

SB 782 will protect victims, women or men, from being evicted only if they show a written statement by a qualified third party, such as a police officer, licensed clinical social worker or therapist. The tenant however, will still be responsible for the lease payments and other clauses.

If you are a victim of domestic violence or if you want to report an incident of domestic violence, call the 24-hour-a-day toll-free National Hotline at 1-(800) 799-SAFE or 1-(800) 787-3224 (TDD).
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