Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a bill by San Francisco Assemblyman David Chiu allowing domestic violence victims to break a lease in order to move to safer housing.
Current state laws allowing domestic violence victims to terminate a residential lease were set to expire at the end of this year. Assembly Bill 418 makes those laws permanent and makes it easier to terminate a lease without filing a police report or obtaining a restraining order, according to Chiu.
In addition, the bill reduces the obligation for victims to pay the remaining rent from 30 days to 14 days following termination, a change intended to make it easier to afford new housing.
“By reducing the rent obligation to 14 days, this bill frees up funds that could be the difference between a domestic violence survivor securing safe housing and experiencing homelessness,” said Anya Lawler, a legislative advocate with the Western Center on Law and Poverty.