Albuquerque City Council votes against tenant protection ordinance

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Two pieces of rent control legislation were seemingly evicted Monday at the state and local level.

In a 5-4 vote, Albuquerque city councilors did not pass an ordinance that would protect residential tenants from certain undisclosed fees and potentially overwhelming fines.

Before the decision came down late Monday night, city councilors heard from multiple community members and local property owners. Many argued against the legislation, one man claiming it conflicts with the Uniform Owner Resident Relations Act and would only confuse owners and residents.

Mayor Tim Keller voiced his disappointment over the ordinance’s failure in the following statement:

“Our city is in a housing crisis that is putting pressure our most vulnerable. Now is the time for additional resources to protect tenants and increase transparency in the rental process, and we are disappointed this ordinance did not pass. The proposed changes were conservative safeguards, needed especially now as so many people are struggling to find affordable places to live.”

Earlier in the day, the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee voted 5-2 to table Senate Bill 375, which would have capped annual rent increases at 5%, plus inflation, and required landlords to stay on top of maintenance for air conditioning units and swamp coolers.

Lawmakers agreed something needs to change, but argued this specific proposal still needs work.