Statewide rent control has arrived with the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (AB 1482). For the 1st time in the state’s history, a limit is being set on rent increases. As of January 1, 2020, it is now illegal for residential landlords to raise rent more than 5% (plus the local rate of inflation) in one year, however, it is important to note that this rent cap does NOT affect initial base rents. Also, eviction control is now extended to the entire state, requiring landlords show “just cause,” such as failure to pay rent, when terminating a lease. These rent control provisions will apply to cities that don’t already have rent control laws in place & expand rent control in those that do, but in most cases, those tenants renting in cities with rent control laws already in place (Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Culver City, Inglewood, & City of LA) will generally enjoy greater protections than the new state law provides. Below are a few helpful Q&As from an article by Curbed LA:
Will my apartment be rent-controlled? If you reside in a city that does not already have a local rent control law and your rental is at least 15 years old, the answer is most likely “yes.”
What if I live in a city that already has rent control? The state law does not override local rent control law, however, it does cover units that are not already covered by local rent control laws. In the city of LA, the local rent control law only applies to buildings constructed BEFORE 1978. So if you live in a building that was built AFTER 1978 and is at least 15 years old, the state law will apply.
How much is inflation? The rate of inflation is tied to the Consumer Price Index in each metropolitan area. In LA County, it averaged 2.5% from 2001 to 2018. Currently, the applicable CPI is 3.3% in LA & OC Counties.
REMINDER to Landlords with properties covered under the City of LA’s RSO: The annual allowable rent increase is 4%, effective 7/1/19-6/30/20. As long as it’s been at least 12 months since the last such rental increase, you are good to go! And don’t forget to give a 30-day written notice tenants!