The City Council tentatively approved an ordinance to strengthen the city's laws prohibiting discrimination in the rental market against families with children.
If the ordinance is passed, a landlord could not evict a tenant who gives birth to or adopts a child. Nor could the landlord evict a newly married renter whose spouse moves into the unit.
A landlord could not tell a family with children that a vacant unit is not available or advertise that a unit is not available to families with children. A landlord would be permitted to question a prospective renter about the size of his or her family.
The council also deleted a provision in the old law that permits a landlord not to rent to families with children when 40% of the building is occupied by families with children. City Atty. Robert M. Myers said such a quota may be unconstitutional.
Several landlords testified against the ordinance at a public hearing. They complained that the ordinance would drastically increase the population in the city. Some tenants testified that they had experienced discrimination in Santa Monica because they had children.