As development in San Jose explodes and housing prices continue to soar, the City Council on Tuesday night adopted changes to the city’s housing polices that could benefit renters and provide protections for landlords.
At the Housing Department’s recommendation, the council agreed to prohibit landlords of rent-controlled apartments from dividing utility costs based on how many people live in each apartment and the unit’s size rather than how much gas or electricity they actually use. So the council is asking property owners to install sub meters at each apartment so families are charged only for what they actually use. The council also tweaked the tenant protection ordinance it adopted last year, and will now prevent landlords from threatening to share information about their tenants’ immigration status with immigration authorities. The city also will let landlords evict tenants with serious or violent felonies. Acknowledging concerns about the displacement of families, landlords must give renters a chance to evict such felons before ousting an entire family. Mayor Sam Liccardo supported the idea, and asked the city to provide an exception for children convicted of such crimes.