California Legislature Passes Historic Rent Control Bill

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California tenants will have protections against how much landlords can increase their rent for the first time in state history, after legislators approved the measure. Assembly Bill 1482 will cap annual rent hikes to no more than 5% plus inflation over the next decade, and will also feature improved protections against being evicted without cause. 

Governor Newsom worked closely with legislators on this measure, and promised to sign the bill immediately after hearing of its passing. The rent cap and eviction protections will go into effect starting January 1. 

“These anti-gouging and eviction protections will help families afford to keep a roof over their heads, and they will provide California with important new tools to combat our state’s broader housing and affordability crisis,” the governor said.

These protections make California the third state to enact comprehensive limits on rent, following Oregon and New York. It will also be the most restrictive in comparison, pulling no provisions for landlords to skirt around the bills stipulations. 

The legislation does not change any rules for tenants that are already under rent control rules in cities throughout California. The cap will not apply to apartments built within the last 15 years or single-family home rentals unless they’re owned by corporations or institutional investors. 

As for the eviction protections, landlords will not be able to evict tenants unless they have a year of documented lease violations. If landlords wish to convert a building or make renovations resulting in the eviction of tenants, they will have to pay relocation assistance equal to one month’s rent. 

The bill has garnered widespread support from tenants and politicians alike. Some economists have warned that the bill could lead to landlords increasing the amount of apartments converted into condominiums, consequently decreasing the amount of homes available to rent in an already sparse rental market. 


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1 Comment

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    September 12, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Boy is this going to hurt a lot of people. I’ve always kept rents far below market rate and I have a great group of tenants that have been able to enjoy living in a great city at a very reasonable price. Our politicians telling me what I can do over the next ten years is the reward I get for being good to others. In the letter my tenants should receive today it explains that the huge rent increase that they are now faced with is a gift from our sad elected state officials. Another piece of news they will be receiving is that I will be able to give them their projected rent increase for the next ten years. As I’ve said we’ve been well below market rate for years and have kept increases to about 3% per year but now I have no choice but to push to the max estimated 8% per year. Even though this is going to be a large $ windfall for us I really feel bad for my tenants. I know some will have to move but they aren’t stupid and will understand that this is because of California’s leadership and not me. I’ll go to sleep knowing that I’ve always done what I could to let people have an affordable home and a better life. My Ca. birth state has become such a joke to so many of us and I really can’t wait until I can leave this circus and spend our California rental income in a place I can again feel welcome. Who wins here? Sadly I guess I do.

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