Oakland landlords lose appeal after paying $6,500 to move into a home they owned

The city-mandated payment is not unconstitutional, the court ruled

An Oakland couple forced to pay more than $6,500 to move back into their own home lost their latest legal battle Wednesday, affirming — at least for now — a controversial city ordinance.

Lyndsey Ballinger and her wife, Sharon Ballinger, sued the city in 2018, claiming the hefty sum was unconstitutional and unfair. The fee came as a shock, they said, because they began renting out their home before Oakland passed the ordinance requiring landlords to compensate some tenants for relocating. When a federal judge dismissed the case in 2019, the Ballingers appealed. On Wednesday, the Ballingers lost again after a panel of appellate judges affirmed the trial court’s ruling, throwing out the couple’s case.

“They’re disappointed and considering their options,” said the Ballingers’ attorney, J. David Breemer with the Pacific Legal Foundation. The couple may take the case to the Supreme Court, he said.

The lawsuit took aim at Oakland’s Uniform Relocation Ordinance that requires landlords to pay tenants thousands of dollars if they are evicted for no fault of their own, such as making way for the owner or a family member to move in or when an apartment is converted into a condo. Tenants’ rights advocates say the ordinance helps displaced renters afford first and last month’s rent and a security deposit in a new place — and helps prevent them from becoming homeless in the Bay Area’s expensive rental market.

DAWG SAYS: BE SELECTIVE ABOUT WHERE YOU BUY PROPERTY


DONATE

NO ADVERTISING ON DAWGS BLOG- PAID FOR BY DONATIONS

$10.00

Click here to purchase.