Joining cities throughout California, Morro Bay adopted an urgency rental ordinanceTuesday to help protect residents against exorbitant rent increases or evictions.

The Morro Bay City Council voted 4-0 in favor of an ordinance designed to prevent landlords from taking advantage of a legal loophole in advance of a new state law that goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. 

Other local cities such as San Luis Obispo and Grover Beach have also passed similar ordinances, as well as California communities including Los Angeles, San Mateo and Redwood City.

Morro Bay Mayor John Headding, who said he owns two rental units, recused himself from the vote. But Headding spoke in public comment as a citizen in favor of the ordinance.

“It’s necessary to protect citizens from potential evictions,” Headding said. “I’ve heard horror stories across the state of people being evicted.”

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