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A. Retaliatory eviction.
1. If the primary intent of the landlord in terminating a tenancy or refusing to renew a tenancy is retaliatory in nature, and if the tenant is not in default as to the payment of rent, then the landlord may not terminate the tenancy or refuse to renew the tenancy or otherwise cause the tenant to vacate the rental unit.
2. Retaliation against a tenant because of the tenant's exercise of rights under this subchapter is prohibited. In an action to recover possession of the rental unit, proof of the exercise by the tenant of rights under this subchapter or other applicable law within six months prior to the alleged act of retaliation shall create a rebuttable presumption that the landlord's act was retaliatory.
3. Retaliation claims may be raised as a defense in an unlawful detainer action or may be raised in other appropriate judicial proceedings and the court may consider the protections afforded by this subchapter in evaluating a claim of retaliation. Landlords shall not be subject to the city's enforcement of this § 15.09.340.A under § 15.09.345.
B. Anti-harassment. No landlord, agent, contractor, subcontractor or employee of the landlord shall violate the tenant protections in Cal. Civil Code § 789.3 and § 1940.2, California's Fair Employment and Housing Act, the federal Fair Housing Act, or similar state and federal laws, or engage in any acts or omissions of such significance as to substantially interfere with or disturb the comfort, repose, peace, or quiet of any person lawfully entitled to occupancy of a rental unit, including but not limited to the following:
1. Acting in bad faith, interrupt, terminate, or fail to provide housing services required by the rental agreement or by federal, State, county, or local housing, health, or safety laws;
2. Acting in bad faith, fail to perform repairs and maintenance required by the rental agreement or by federal, State, county or local housing, health, or safety laws;
3. Acting in bad faith, fail to exercise due diligence in completing repairs and maintenance once undertaken or fail to follow appropriate industry standards or protocols designed to minimize exposure to noise, dust, lead, paint, mold, asbestos, or other building materials with potentially harmful health impacts;
4. Abuse the landlord's right of access into a rental unit as established and restricted by State law. This includes, but is not limited to, entries for inspections that are not related to necessary repairs or services; entries that are unreasonable in frequency or duration; entries that improperly target individual occupants or are used to collect evidence against an occupant or are otherwise beyond the scope of a lawful entry;
5. Repeatedly mistreat an occupant of the rental unit during in-person conversations, through social media postings or messages, or other communications, with language that a reasonable person would consider likely to cause fear or provoke violence;
6. Influence or attempt to influence a tenant to vacate a rental unit through fraud, intimidation or coercion, which shall include but is not limited to threatening to report a tenant to the United States Department of Homeland Security;
7. Threaten an occupant of the rental unit, by word or gesture, with physical harm;
8. Knowingly and intentionally violate any law which prohibits discrimination against the tenant based on race, gender, sexual preference, sexual orientation, ethnic background, nationality, religion, age, parenthood, marriage, pregnancy, disability, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), occupancy by a minor child, or source of income;
9. Make a sexual demand on a tenant in order for the tenant to obtain needed maintenance on the rental unit, or to obtain a rent concession or additional housing services, or to avoid an eviction, or make other quid pro quo sexual demands on a tenant; subject a tenant to severe or pervasive unwelcome touching, kissing, or groping; make severe or pervasive unwelcome, lewd comments about a tenant's body; send a tenant severe or pervasive unwelcome, sexually suggestive texts or enter the rental unit without invitation or permission; or engage in other actions that create a hostile environment;
10. Take action to terminate any tenancy, including serving any notice of termination or bringing any action to recover possession of a rental unit, based upon facts which the landlord has no reasonable cause to believe to be true or upon a legal theory which the landlord knows is untenable under the facts known to the landlord. No landlord shall be liable under this § 15.09.340.B.10 for bringing an action to recover possession unless and until the tenant has obtained a favorable termination of that action;
11. Remove from the rental unit personal property, furnishings, or any other items without the prior written consent of the tenant, except pursuant to enforcement of a legal termination of tenancy;
12. Offer payments to a tenant to vacate, including the offer of a buyout agreement under § 15.09.335, more frequently than once every six months, after the tenant has notified the landlord in writing that the tenant does not desire to receive further offers of payments to vacate;
13. Attempt to coerce a tenant to vacate with offers of payment to vacate, including offers of a buyout agreement under § 15.09.335, which are accompanied with threats or intimidation. This shall not include settlement offers made in good faith and not accompanied with threats or intimidation in pending unlawful detainer actions;
14. Refuse to acknowledge receipt of a tenant's rent payment made during the term of the tenancy and in accordance with the rental agreement;
15. Refuse to cash a rent check for over 30 days when the check is given to cover rent during the term of the tenancy and in accordance with the rental agreement;
16. Request information that violates a tenant's right to privacy including, but not limited to, residency or citizenship status, protected class status, or social security number, except as required by law or, in the case of a social security number, for the purpose of determining the tenant's qualifications for a tenancy; or release any such information that is in landlord's possession, except as required or authorized by law;
17. Violate a tenant's right to privacy in the rental unit, including but not limited to, entering, photographing, or video recording portions of a rental unit that are beyond the scope of an authorized entry or inspection;
18. Interfere with a tenant's right to quiet use and enjoyment of a rental unit as that right is defined by State law;
19. Other acts or omissions that cause, are likely to cause, or are intended to cause any person lawfully entitled to occupancy of a rental unit to vacate such rental unit or to surrender or waive any rights in relation to such occupancy; or
20. Interfere with the right of tenant to:
(a) Organize as tenants and engage in concerted activities with other tenants for the purpose of mutual aid and protection;
(b) Provide access to tenant organizers, advocates, or representatives working with or on behalf of tenants living at the property;
(c) Convene tenant or tenant organization meetings in an appropriate space accessible to tenants under the terms of their rental agreement; or
(d) Distribute and post literature in common areas, including lobby areas and bulletin boards, informing other tenants of their rights and of opportunities to participate in organized tenant activities.
(Ord. No. 2020-015 § 2)