CHULA VISTA, Calif. – The Chula Vista rental housing market, like just about everywhere in San Diego County, is tight.

Mayor Mary Casillas Salas says many families in her city are getting squeezed out of the market.

“Average rent last year in Chula Vista was raised 16%,” Salas said.

She’s now fighting for the city to take on a new tenant protection ordinance to help fight against “no-fault” evictions.

“The demand for housing is such that landlords have been really tempted to get rid of the old residents, the long-term residents, who have been in that housing and replace them with new tenants that they can raise the rents on,” she said.

Salas says most landlords are doing right by their tenants and that this ordinance is not drastic in any way.

“This does nothing to hamper or obstruct a landlord being able to get rid of a bad tenant. That has nothing to do with that — it just merely is a better form for giving them more notice, giving them a little bit more for move-out expenses,” Salas said.

Richard D’Ascoli with the Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors argues the ordinance will make it more difficult for landlords to evict a problem tenant.

“If you have a tenant who’s doing drugs, has got problems and abusing other tenants, you’ll have to go through a lot of problems and bureaucracy in order to remove the tenant,” D’Ascoli said.

D’Ascoli says under the proposed ordinance, owners will be less motivated to rent and there will be fewer rental properties available.

“The disincentive to build creates fewer properties and drives prices up. So this will make prices higher rather than lower,” D’Ascoli said.

Salas says the ordinance only applies to rental properties with three or more units.

California already has a tenant protection law that took effect in 2020. Chula Vista’s ordinance would replace it.

Chula Vista City Council meets at 5 p.m. Tuesday to consider the ordinance.