Preston, Dean


Dean Preston is the Executive Director of Tenants Together, California’s statewide organization for renters’ rights.

Tenant Legislation to Watch in 2015

By Dean Preston

Tenants Together

Landlords and tenants in Sacramento are in a bit of a standoff these days, with each side having far more success killing the other’s bills than advancing their own agenda. This means that most logical solutions to today’s problems for tenants will not be introduced or adopted in Sacramento this year. Don’t hold your breath waiting to see a bill introducing statewide rent control this session. That said, there will be important bills tackling major tenant issues in 2015. Potential state bills include legislation to fund the renters’ rebate, ban Section 8 discrimination, reform the Ellis Act, and extend protections for tenants who are victims of domestic violence.

Big Real Estate Loses Key Anti-Tenant Democrats

By Dean Preston

Tenants Together

Many ambitious legislators in Sacramento believe that their path to victory is by selling out tenants and aligning with realtors and landlords. No doubt they get campaign money for playing this game. But several Democrats around the state have learned the hard way that supporting Big Real Estate to the detriment of working people is not a good strategy for re-election.

Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva (D – Fullerton) sold out tenants by casting the deciding vote to kill Ellis Act reform. She thought this would keep Big Real Estate at bay in her effort to win reelection. She had a rude awakening and lost her seat 55-45%.

No Evidence That Prop 46 Will Affect Community Clinics' Services

By J.G. Preston

Consumer Attorneys of California

Proposition 46, the patient safety initiative on California’s November ballot, would adjust the state’s 39-year-old cap on compensation for non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases to give it the same economic value it had when it was enacted in 1975 (it has not changed since). “Non-economic damages” are awarded as compensation for such harm as the loss of limbs, brain damage, ongoing crippling pain, or the death of a child, just to name a few.

California State Senator Ron Calderon Should Resign

By Dean Preston

Tenants Together

Assemblymember Christina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) deserves credit for being the first state legislator to call on Senator Ron Calderon (D – Montebello) to resign following the release last week of evidence that Calderon accepted tens of thousands of dollars in bribes from an FBI agent as part of an undercover operation. Senator Calderon would be well advised to heed the call or face an escalating campaign from constituents, activists and colleagues who have lost faith in his ability to govern with any credibility.

Clean Sweep for Tenants in Sacramento

By Dean Preston

In a highly successful legislative session for renters, the Governor signed into law every bill supported by Tenants Together this year. Starting January 1, 2013, California law will prevent unfair nonpayment evictions after ownership changes (AB 1953, Ammiano), require at least 90 day eviction notice for any tenant evicted after foreclosure (AB 2610, Skinner), prohibit landlords from imposing online only rent payment rules (SB 1055, Lieu), require landlords to notify tenants of foreclosure filings (SB 1191, Simitian), and bar landlords from requiring their tenants to declaw or devocalize their pets (SB 1229, Pavley). In a state capitol where renters' rights are so often ignored, times appear to be changing.

Good Week for California Renters: Four Tenant Rights Bills Land on the Governor’s Desk

By Dean Preston
Tenants Together

We don’t get to say this much, but this was a good week for renters in Sacramento. Despite realtor and landlord campaign contributions and the undue influence they bring, a number of good renters’ rights bills have made it through the minefield of the California State Legislature and are now on the Governor’s desk. Governor Jerry Brown has 30 days to sign or veto the bills.

New Report: One Million California Tenants Directly Impacted by Home Foreclosures

By Dean Preston
Tenants Together

Yesterday, Tenants Together, California's statewide organization for renters' rights, released its fourth annual report on California renters in the foreclosure crisis. The report reveals a shocking statistic: over one million California renters have been directly impacted by their landlord’s foreclosure since the mortgage meltdown began.       

According to Leah Simon-Weisberg, Legal Director at Tenants Together and principal author of the report, “We are five years and a million tenants into this crisis in California.  Anti-eviction laws and aggressive enforcement efforts are needed to protect tenants from further abuse.”

Robo-signing California Attorney Should be Disbarred, Not Suspended, For Illegal Evictions after Foreclosure

By Dean Preston

The State Bar of California has issued an order suspending Davis attorney David Endres for illegally evicting residents of foreclosed properties. Endres has been notorious for pursuing eviction cases on behalf of major banks after foreclosure in violation of federal, state and local law. The order calls for Endres to be suspended from practice for six months and required to pay the costs of the proceeding in the amount of $4,000.

It is encouraging to see the Bar taking action to police unethical eviction lawyers in California. These attorneys are displacing massive numbers of renters and homeowners, using illegal tactics to do the banks’ dirty work. Meanwhile, the banks that hire these lawyers falsely claim that they are following all tenant protection laws.

Renters’ Right to Redemption Bill Moves Forward

By Dean Preston
Tenants Together

Imagine that you pay your rent faithfully for years and then one month something extraordinary happens and you need to pay late.  That’s exactly what recently happened to a Los Angeles tenant named Jorge, a former Marine and automotive tech who lived in his rent-controlled apartment for thirteen years with his wife and three children paying rent timely each month. In February, the family was not able to pay the rent until the 10th of the month, and conscientiously advised the landlord of the situation.

The landlord responded with a three-day notice to pay or quit and immediately filed an eviction action, refusing to accept this one-time late payment of rent. The tenants now have an eviction on their record and will likely become homeless. When the judge at trial noted that the landlord’s actions were extremely harsh, the landlord’s lawyer replied, “that is what the law permits.”

The Truth About AB 934 – Restoring Tenant Protections Across the State

By Dean Preston
Tenants Together

When tenants violate the law, they get evicted. When landlords violate the law, they get immunity. At least that has been the situation in California since 2007 when California courts began improperly extending the so-called “litigation privilege” to protect landlords who illegally evict tenants.