A California housing crisis mystery: Rents are way up this decade, but eviction filings are way down

Despite a major run-up in rents, California landlords are using the courts far less frequently to remove tenants. What’s going on?

News Story (California)

Matt Levin
CalMatters
December 22, 2019
READ THE FULL STORY HERE

Tags: Housing: Eviction, Housing: Landlord-Tenant

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County (California)


DETAILS

Now, if the renter takes the case to a jury trial — an option tenants have increasingly threatened over the last decade on the advice of counsel, says Evans —it costs his clients between $10,000 and $15,000. And a jury trial is a gamble for landlords.

Tenant attorney Gibson cites San Mateo as an example of how expanded tenant legal services can change landlords’ eviction calculus. Her legal aid organization, buoyed by increased philanthropic support, has seen its practice expand from a one person team to a six-person team over the last 12 years.

“Suddenly there’s more lawyers in the community, more defense to (court eviction proceedings), so it’s getting harder and more expensive for landlords,” she said.