California Limits Residential Rent Increases Under New Bill

It’s no secret that California has an affordable housing problem. And the state government is taking action.

According to news sources, tenants across California will for the first time have protections against how much landlords can increase their rents after legislators on Wednesday narrowly approved a measure to cap annual rent hikes.

Under Assembly Bill 1482, most yearly rent increases over the next decade will be limited to 5% plus inflation and tenants will receive protections against being evicted without cause. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who brokered the deal that led to its passage, pledged to sign the bill in a statement issued immediately after the vote. The rent caps would take effect Jan. 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.

The legislation does not change the rules for tenants already under rent control rules in Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities across the state. But more than 2 million additional apartments in those cities and elsewhere in California will be covered by some limitation on annual rent increases, according to an estimate by UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation. The cap does not apply to apartments built within the last 15 years or single-family home rentals unless they’re owned by corporations or institutional investors.

Research by the Terner Center and others has found that the bill would not affect the majority of rent increases in the state but could limit substantial, one-time rent hikes while the state is mired in a deep housing affordability crisis. Some 9.5 million renters — more than half of California’s tenant population — are burdened by high rents, spending at least 30% of their income on housing costs, according to a recent estimate by UC Berkeley’s Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society.

More on the case:

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-09-11/california-renters-relief-legislation-gavin-newsom-rent-cap