California has a fairly new tenant protection act that limits how much and how often a landlord can raise the rent. The law also limits evictions and specifies the conditions under which a landlord can evict a tenant. Understanding the rent control laws in California is imperative for landlords and renters alike.
Rent Control in California
California tenant protection laws apply to all renters in California, regardless of whether they live in a city or a home owned by a landlord. California tenant protection laws apply to all landlords and renters unless they fall under an exception.
Landlords must be aware if they should abide by the California Tenant Protection Act. It is also important to stay up to date with any legal amendments or municipal changes.
California Tenant Protection Act
In California, the state legislature can control increases in rental prices in the interest of tenant rights. The California Tenant Protection Act, or AB 1482, is a law that protects renters from unfair evictions and unfair rent increases. Some California cities have their own rules regarding rent control, like San Francisco.
California Tenant Protection Act: Landlord Limitations
The landlord can only raise the rent to whichever is lower:
- No more than 5% of the existing rent plus the Consumer Price Index (CPI)
- Or 10% of the existing rent
Exceptions to the California Tenant Protection Act
There are a few situations where a landlord is exempt from the California Tenant Protection Act. It is crucial to double-check exemptions for rental increases and just cause evictions before proceeding with any changes.
Some exemptions include:
- Units built in the last 15 years, and this is not a fixed bracket of time. Just because a property is exempt today does not mean it will still be exempt in a few years.
- A property with two units if the owner lives in one of the units during the entire rental period.
- Units that already follow a strict local ordinance that caps rent increase below 5% plus CPI.
Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO)
In a few California cities, there are rules in place that limit what a landlord can charge a tenant for rent. The city has a law called Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO). RSO defines how much and how often a landlord can raise the rent. The law also limits evictions and specifies the conditions under which a landlord can evict a tenant.
If a city does not have its own RSO, then the state’s percentage rental increase rules apply.
Need Help with Compliance?
Given these laws, property managers must know what the rules are regarding rent control. The best way for landlords to understand the rent control laws in California is to work with a property management company. Property management companies are familiar with the legal nuances, and they can help keep you informed and in compliance.