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‘Good cause’ bill that protects tenants from unfair eviction moves forward

The bill would offer more protection to renters from eviction

A bill that aims to provide more protections to Philly renters from unfair eviction just took another step forward this week and is now in the hands of City Council.

Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr.’s “good cause” legislation passed through committee on Tuesday, PlanPhilly reports. Bill 170854 would require good cause for certain tenant evictions and require landlords to provide a first option for existing renters to renew a their leases.

Essentially, the bill would require landlords to take more steps prior to evicting a renter at the end of his or her lease.

Jones, Jr. introduced the bill in October 2017 around the same time the city took the major steps to address Philly’s eviction crisis. Earlier that year, the city put $500,000 toward efforts to combat the crisis, established an Eviction Prevention Task Force, and in 2018, announced a new set of legal and financial services for renters in danger of losing their home.

Under the proposed new law, a landlord could evict under good cause if the renter hasn’t paid rent, hasn’t followed lease terms, or if there has been property damage, according to PlanPhilly. Even then, though, the landlord would be required to notify the tenant at least 30 days before the eviction date. In addition, the tenant would have the right to contest the good cause by filing a complaint with the Fair Housing Commission.

The bill will now be considered by City Council.