Rental Properties, Drug|Gang Activities:

Know Coalinga Municipal Code For Landlords

For Immediate Release:
Date: May 19, 2020
Prepared By/Contact Person: Commander Sean Young

MUNICIPAL CODE 4-6.100 / ORDINANCE 821

On October 4th, 2018, the City Council added Chapter 6 of Title 4 to the Coalinga Municipal Code. This section directly deals with issues related to rental units. More specifically, it deals with a rental unit eviction program for drug and / or gang related activities. The section covers the duties of
landlords and penalties for violating this section.

The Coalinga Police Department would like to remind those who have rental properties of this Municipal Code. The Police Department, with the assistance of the City Attorney’s Office, is already in the process of identifying properties that are in violation of this section and taking enforcement actions to help make neighborhoods safer. As long as those with rental properties take the appropriate actions when made aware of their renters violating this section, the Police Department is more than willing to assist with making sure the property owners have the resources
they need to stay in compliance of this section.

The Municipal Code reads as follows:

CHAPTER 6. – RENTAL UNITS EVICTION PROGRAM FOR DRUG- OR GANG-RELATED ACTIVITIES

Sec. 4-6.100. – Purpose and intent.
The eviction program for drug- and gang-related crimes is intended to assist owners and managers of residential rental units in keeping their properties drug and crime free. This program shall pertain to those offenses specifically listed in this chapter.
(Ord. No. 821, § 1, eff. 11-3-2018)

Sec. 4-6.200. – Definitions.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
“Controlled substance” means any drug, substance, or immediate precursor as listed in the California Uniform Controlled Substance Act (Health and Safety Code § 11000 et seq.). Excluded from this definition is Cannabis and any substance made legal under the Medical and Adult Cannabis Use Regulation Act.

“Drug-related nuisance” means any activity related to the possession, sale, use, or manufacture of a controlled substance that creates an unreasonable interference with the comfortable enjoyment of life, property, and/or safety of residents of the premises. Such activity includes but is not limited to any activity commonly associated with illegal drug dealing, such as noise, steady traffic day and night to a particular unit, barricaded units, the display or observance of weapons, drug loitering as defined in Health and Safety Code § 11532, or other drug-related occurrences when taken as a whole tend to substantially affect or interfere with any other tenant’s beneficial use and enjoyment of any rented property.

“Gang-related crime” means any crime in which the perpetrator is a known member of a gang or any crime motivated by gang membership in which the victim or the intended victim of the crime is known to be a member of a gang.

“Illegal drug activity” means a violation of any provision of Health and Safety Code div. 10, ch. 6 (Health and Safety Code § 11350 et seq.) and Health and Safety Code div. 10, ch. 6.5 (Health and Safety Code § 11400 et seq.).

“Landlord” means any owner of record, lessor, or sublessor, including any person, who receives or is entitled to receive rent for the use of any rental unit or the agent, manager, representative or successor of any of the foregoing.

“Premises” means any rental unit and the land on which it and any other buildings of a complex are located and common areas, including but not limited to garage facilities, streets, alleyways, stairwells, elevators and, as the context permits or requires, any public or private property, which is immediately adjacent to any of such areas.

“Rental unit” means any dwelling, including, but not limited to, any single-family residence, multifamily residence, duplex, and/or condominium, which is rented or offered for rent for residential occupancy in the city. This term also includes any mobile home, whether rent is paid for the mobile home, the land upon which the mobile home is located or both. It also means any recreational vehicle, as defined in Code of Civil Procedure § 799.24, if located in a mobile home park or recreational vehicle park, whether rent is paid for the recreation vehicle, the land upon which it is located or both.

“Tenant” means any tenant, subtenant, lessee, sublessee or any person entitled to use or occupancy of a rental unit or any other person residing in the rental unit. (Ord. No. 821, § 1, eff. 11-3-2018)

Sec. 4-6.300. – Administrative procedures.

The City Manager may promulgate such administrative procedures as may be necessary to implement this chapter. (Ord. No. 821, § 1, eff. 11-3-2018)

Sec. 4-6.400. – Duties of landlord.

(a) Under this chapter a landlord shall not cause or knowingly permit any premises under his control to be used or maintained for any illegal drug activity or gang-related crime or in such a manner as to constitute a drug-related nuisance.

(b) A landlord shall not cause or knowingly permit any tenant to use or occupy premises under the landlord’s control, if the tenant commits, permits, maintains or is involved in any illegal drug activity, gang-related crime, or drug-related nuisance on the premises.

(c) Effective January 1, 2019 a landlord shall advise prospective tenants of this chapter, prior to renting the property, as a condition of the property’s rental agreement. (Ord. No. 821, § 1, eff. 11-3-2018)

Sec. 4-6.500. – Enforcement.
(a) Provided that the owner of record or agent thereof and any known manager of a premises has been served with a written notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, advising that the Chief of Police has determined that the landlord is in violation of Section 4-6.400(a) and/or (b)
and has failed to comply with the subsection within thirty (30) business days of the date of service of such notice or to file an appeal within such period as provided in this section, the City may file an action for injunctive relief or utilize any other remedy provided by the law to compel compliance, including but not limited to all remedies available to abate a nuisance. For purpose of this section, the written notice shall also identify the offending tenant(s), unit number if applicable, the specific violation(s), and provide sufficient documentation describing facts necessary to show a violation of Coalinga City Code Section 4-6.400(a) and (b), or the nuisance or illegal purpose provisions of California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1161, subchapter (4), and shall further state that the landlord is required to serve and diligently prosecute either a three (3) day notice to quit or a thirty (30) day notice to vacate.

(b) No rental unit vacated pursuant to the provisions of this section may be re-rented, leased or otherwise reoccupied by the prosecuted tenant prior to the expiration of a twelve (12) month period following the vacation of the rental unit by the tenant, nor shall the landlord rent any other rental unit located within the City to such prosecuted tenant within such twelve (12) month period. The required notice shall also state that, within such thirty (30) day period, the landlord may file a written appeal of the determination of violation with the City Manager, who shall cause the matter to be set for a hearing. Written notice of the date and time of such hearing shall be served by first class mail addressed to the landlord’s last known business address. The City Manager shall thereafter conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine whether the Police Chief’s determination is supported by substantial evidence. Following the conclusion of the hearing, the City Manager may affirm, reverse, or reverse subject to conditions of the Police Chief’s determination of violation. The City Manager’s decision shall be based upon written findings and shall be final.

(c) Any individual attempting to diligently prosecute a three (3) day notice to quit or thirty (30) day notice to vacate pursuant to this section may request that the Chief of Police produce one (1) or more police officers or employees with personal knowledge of the matters indicated in the notice described in subsection(b) of this section. Upon the filing of such request with the city, the Chief of Police shall direct the appropriate police officer or employee with such personal knowledge to appear in any legal proceedings concerning the diligent prosecution of a three (3) day notice to quit or thirty (30) day notice to vacate. The failure to produce a police officer or employee with sufficient personal knowledge shall relieve the requesting individual of any obligation to prosecute a three (3) day notice to quit or thirty (30) day notice to vacate which is otherwise required pursuant to this section; provided, however, that any such request must be filed with the City Clerk no sooner than seventy-two (72) hours prior to the time scheduled for the legal proceeding.

(d) The following definitions apply to the terms used herein:
(1) “Sufficient documentation” shall include, but is not limited to, any one (1) or combination of the following: (i) police reports, (ii) police officer or witness affidavits, or (iii) documented observations of any witness or informant willing to testify before a court of law; provided that any such documentation is disclosable pursuant to the requirements of the California Public Records Act (Government Code § 6250 et seq.).

(2) The term “diligently prosecute” means exercising a reasonable effort to legally effectuate a three (3) day notice to quit or a thirty (30) day notice to vacate the rented premises. Failure to succeed in causing the premises to be vacated shall not constitute a failure to diligently prosecute, provided that the landlord exercised reasonable effort in such prosecution.
(Ord. No. 821, § 1, eff. 11-3-2018)

Sec. 4-6.600. – Lien authorized.
Any judgment for money given pursuant to this chapter, including permitted fees and costs, may be recorded as a lien against the subject’s property in an amount not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000.00). If multiple defendants exist, they shall be jointly and severally liable for any payment so ordered. (Ord. No. 821, § 1, eff. 11-3-2018)

Sec. 4-6.700. – Recovery of possession by landlord.
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of any ordinance to the contrary, a landlord may bring an action to recover possession of a rental unit upon any of the following:

(1) The tenant is committing or permitting to exist any illegal drug activity, gang-related crime, or drug-related nuisance on the premises; or

(2) The tenant has been convicted of a crime wherein the underlying offense involves illegal drug activity, any drug-related nuisance activity or a gang-related crime on the premises.

(b) Notwithstanding Government Code § 68097.2(b), a public entity may waive all or part of the costs incurred in furnishing the testimony of a peace officer in an unlawful detainer action brought by a landlord to recover possession of a rental unit pursuant to this chapter. (Ord. No. 821, § 1, eff. 11-3-2018)

Sec. 4-6.800. – Penalties.
It shall be unlawful for any person to violate any section or fail to comply with any of the requirements of this chapter. Any person violating any section of this chapter or failing to comply with any part of its requirements shall be punished as follows:

(a) For three (3) or less violations occurring within any twelve (12) consecutive month period, a violation of this chapter shall be deemed to be an infraction.

(b) The fourth and any subsequent violations of the same section occurring within any twelve (12) consecutive month period shall be deemed to be a misdemeanor. (Ord. No. 821, § 1, eff. 11-3-2018)

Sec. 4-6.900. – Civil remedies available.
The violation of any of the sections of this chapter shall constitute a nuisance and may be abated by the City through civil process by means of a restraining order, by preliminary or permanent injunction, or in any other manner provided by law for the abatement of such nuisances.
(Ord. No. 821, § 1, eff. 11-3-2018)