Long Beach : New Law Forces Landlords to Act Against Drug Dealers

In an effort to reduce blatant drug dealing in apartment complexes, the Long Beach City Council has passed an ordinance to force landlords to take action against drug peddling tenants.

Under the new law, the council can hold a public hearing to determine whether a tenant is using his apartment building to traffic in drugs. If, based on evidence from police and neighbors, the council concludes that illegal drug transactions have been occurring in the complex, the council can order the city attorney to take action against the landlord under the state public nuisance law.

If the landlord refuses to do anything, the city could go to court to force the landlord to take steps to stop the drug dealing, including evicting the offending tenants.

The proposal, advocated by Councilman Clarence Smith, passed unanimously.

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