California Will Enact Rent Cap Bill Limiting Rent Increases to 5% Plus Inflation

By By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | September 18, 2019
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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

California legislators passed a bill that limits rent increases across the state to 5% plus inflation on apartments built at least 15 years ago. Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign the bill into law. The measure includes exemptions for owners who live with their tenants, and owners who live in one part of a duplex and rent out the other unit. Landlords will be allowed to raise rents to market rates when a tenant moves out.
 
The measure will have little impact on large cities such as Oakland and San Francisco, which already have rent restrictions, but it is expected to significantly affect places like the wealthy suburbs of the Bay Area. The law also includes eviction restrictions. Landlords will be prohibited from kicking out renters who follow the rules of their lease unless the owner is moving in, tearing down the residence, renovating it, or taking it off the rental market.
 
The California Association of Realtors and most of the state’s Republican lawmakers opposed the bill, saying it would decrease the value of rental properties and deter developers from building more housing. Democrats and renter advocacy groups said the measure is necessary to stem a serious homelessness crisis and help families anticipate rent increases.

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