Statewide Rent Cap and Just Cause Eviction Law Takes Effect in January

As widely predicted, California’s rent control law (Assembly Bill 1482, or, the Tenant Protection Act of 2019), was signed into law in September of 2019. Landlords should note these changes and take the appropriate steps to comply with the law, which takes effect January 1, 2020.

The following changes apply to most multi-family residential properties in California, excluding those constructed within the past fifteen years. Single family homes are exempted from rent control limitations, except when the home is owned by a corporation.

Rent increases capped annually. Each year, rent increases will be capped at 5 percent plus the rate of inflation (as determined by the Consumer Price Index).

The law might apply retroactively to some rents raised in 2019. Any rents raised between March and December of 2019 will be rolled back, in the event that the increase exceeded the maximum amount allowed under the law.

Evictions might become more complicated. With limited exceptions, the new law also states that landlords cannot evict tenants without “just cause.” While the list of acceptable “just causes” is quite long, some items are not as well defined as landlords might prefer. Subjective definitions open up the possibility for contested evictions for property owners.

Compensation for tenants. Under the new law, Landlords may have to pay tenants relocation assistance or waive the last month’s rent for tenants evicted for “no fault just cause.”

To ensure they are in compliance, landlords should seek full understanding of the new laws before raising rent or proceeding with any eviction action. Call our real estate attorney with any questions; we can help determine if, and how, the new tenant protection regulations apply to you.

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