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City of Dallas Working on New Eviction Ordinance

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The City of Dallas is working to establish a new eviction ordinance.

The city’s Housing and Homelessness Solutions (HHS) committee was recently briefed on the status of the new permanent ordinance.

The eviction ordinance, originally approved on November 9, replaced the City’s previous eviction ordinance and reduces the time landlords must wait to evict tenants, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

While the previous ordinance was tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, the new one is geared toward helping those falling behind on rent because of “unforeseen economic hardship.” The new ordinance is only temporary and will remain in place until a new permanent ordinance is approved.

“The [city] council adopted the temporary eviction ordinance, and now we are, per instructions from the council, in the drafting mode of the permanent one,” said Assistant City Manager Liz Cedillo-Pereira.

Cedillo-Pereira shared a memo with the committee that explained that the permanent eviction ordinance enables residential landlords and tenants to work collaboratively.

She said it “allows tenants to understand their rights and responsibilities to cure lease violations and help prevent the loss of housing while maintaining lease obligations.”

Councilmember Cara Mendelsohn, District 12, noted, “The original COVID ordinance allowed a cure for nonpayment of rent.”

She then questioned Cedillo-Pereira, “but you’re now saying ‘cure lease violations,’ so what other items beyond nonpayment of rent are you expecting would be cured?”

“It would be pursuant to the terms of the lease,” Cedillo-Pereira replied.

“Philosophically, I have some problems with that,” said Mendelsohn. “When somebody has signed a contract to lease, and they knowingly violate it, … they shouldn’t then get a chance to cure it. They should have followed it, to begin with.”

Mendelsohn said her district struggles with “people allowing off-lease guests to stay for a very long time — meaning they’re another tenant, but they’re not on the lease.”

“If that’s happening, I want landlords to evict people,” she continued. “Because they’re causing all sorts of crime and problems in my district. That should not be something to cure.”

Mendelsohn said she wants to go through every other potential lease violation to determine whether the violation is something that should be cured under the provisions of the city’s ordinance.

“I think we probably have a difference of opinion on some of that,” she said to the assistant city manager.

Mendelsohn then questioned how many times a single tenant could have their nonpayment of rent cured, suggesting that it should be “a one-time deal per lease.”

Councilmember Paul Ridley, District 14, echoed Mendelsohn’s concerns.

“What is a landlord supposed to do if he’s got a tenant who’s dealing drugs out of his apartment? Who’s assaulting other tenants? Who’s lighting the building on fire?” he asked.

“They need to be able to terminate the lease immediately,” Ridley added. “It’s just the financial issue that I think should be the focus of this ordinance.”

Cedillo-Pereira said there are “notice requirements that are exceptions” to the concerns raised by the council members.

The Dallas Express will continue to monitor and report on the development of this ordinance.

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J S
J S
2 months ago

Fact is the city board members have money and power. They could absolutely careless about the problems this city faces and real solutions. Amongst those solutions is they don’t care about renter’s nor do they care about the amount of protectiions they continously give landlords even when landlords blatantly break the law of violate renter’s rights. I’ve lived here too long and put up with it too long to say or believe otherwise. The city refuses to fix the real issues and continue to punish the poor and homeless the disabled etc.

David
David
2 months ago

When you sign a lease or rental agreement you sign a contract that states you will abide by that contract as well as pay your rent on time. Doing otherwise is a breech of contract. Landlords aren’t in the charity business. I’ve always had an atty draw up a separate addendum that protects My business and My property.

Legaltenate
Legaltenate
Reply to  David
2 months ago

You are absolutely right, however contracts are for both parties and slumlords breach these contracts all the time. If you want me to uphold the lease then you had better as well !!! It’s a two way contract.

Dallas resident
Dallas resident
2 months ago

Mendelshon’s remarks are pretty insensitive. Stating one’s lease should be terminated because they have a person (not on lease) living with them …have you seen the economy young adults 18-24 have moved back home with parents because it’s too expensive to live on their own. Young adults are trying to build and establish their credit putting them on the lease could disqualify the initial person from an apartment because of finances of that 2nd person.