AUSTIN (KXAN) — Since 2016, the Tenant Relocation Ordinance has been one of the best renter protections in all of Austin.
Instead of a typical 30-day eviction notice, it requires landlords seeking demolition permits to provide a 120-day eviction notice.
However, this has brought about plenty of confusion between landlords and renters.
On Thursday, Austin City Council unanimously approved an amendment to the original ordinance.
This will support Claudia Dominguez, who lives in an apartment complex in east Austin.
A new owner recently purchased the property and is rumored to convert it to condos.
“It’s incredibly frustrating, because the tenants are the ones that have the burden of having to find a new place to live,” Dominguez said.
Her friend Beatriz Garcia used to live in the same complex but recently moved out because of the possibility of being served an eviction notice.
“Thirty to 40 days is not enough time to move, “she said.
For this reason, Austin City Council member Jose “Chito” Vela proposed changes to the original ordinance.
“It was not being applied as broadly as council intended in 2016,” he said.
The amended ordinance does not represent a substantive change — no additional tenants are covered that were not covered previously — it simply clarifies language and wording which will ultimately protect tenants.
“Anytime that there are more than five units being remolded, resulting in the eviction of those tenants, the ordinance kicks in,” Vela explained.
For Dominguez, this gives her a great deal of relief.
“I’m very happy to know that the city is looking out for us, to make sure that we are protected,” she said.
These changes to the Tenant Notification and Relocation Ordinance will take effect immediately.