Alarming reports are coming to the Santa Barbara Tenants Union (SBTU) from several CBC & The Sweeps tenants regarding on-site managers telling them the urgency ordinance passed by the Board of Supervisors on April 6 does not protect them. Core Spaces executive Christine Richards parroted this sentiment to reporters recently as well (and reporters took the bait). Anyone spewing this nonsense either has not read the urgency ordinance passed on April 6, doesn’t understand its contents, or is lying.

Let’s start with a quote from the urgency ordinance passed on April 6:

“The requirements herein shall apply to… any unlawful detainer action initiated after the effective date of this ordinance”

The requirements are to have acquired permits from the county, post them in notices to vacate, explain the type and scope of work and why tenants can’t be in their units safely for at least 30 days, and so on (just read the law, there’s more!). Core Spaces has not only not met those (and other) requirements or served any notices meeting even a fraction of these requirements — they have not even applied for permits according to the county Accela portal.

For readers unfamiliar with the term “unlawful detainer” and the eviction process, generally: An unlawful detainer is a lawsuit initiated by a landlord against a tenant for failing to vacate the unit only after a valid notice to vacate has been properly served and the number of days stated in the notice have expired. If you get a 60-day notice — and the notice is served properly and you haven’t left on day 61 — you may be served with the unlawful detainer as filed with the court by your landlord. Now you have five business days to respond to the court; if you don’t, you lose the suit by default. But if you have a good defense — and in this situation every tenant has a guaranteed defense — the landlord loses the suit.

“The requirements herein shall apply to… any unlawful detainer action initiated after the effective date of this ordinance”

There is zero ambiguity in the way the urgency ordinance is written. Some slimy law firm may lyingly promise Core they will win these cases because they’ll be paid lots of money to file 260 unlawful detainers, but they will lose every single one and they know it.

County supervisors’ next move in helping CBC & The Sweeps tenants should be to pass a moratorium on no-fault evictions. While their urgency ordinance does buy several months more for the remaining tenants who haven’t fallen for Core’s tricks, a moratorium until regional vacancy rates are higher, would offer far more protection to far more tenants. And tenants deserve it.


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