California Lawmakers Pass Statewide Rent Control

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This week, the California State Legislator passed Assembly Bill 1482, which would cap annual rent increases. The bill was aimed to provide renters with eviction protections.

The passage came after an announcement by Governor Gavin Newsom, Senate President Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Assemblymember Chiu of an agreement on the final form of the bill.

The State Senate passed the bill 25-10 while the State Assembly passed the bill 48-26 on Wednesday.

According to the Bill:

  • Caps annual rent increases in California to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 5%. CPI varies by metro area, but it averages roughly to 2.5 percent in California. Under the bill,  annual rent increases would be capped to approximately 7.5 percent throughout the state. Rent increases could not exceed 10 percent under the bill.
  • The bill would give tenants “just cause” protections, prohibiting a landlord from evicting a tenant without showing a reason for the eviction in an effort to prevent discriminatory, arbitrary, and retaliatory evictions. Protections would only be in effect after a tenant has lived in a unit for more than 12 months and would be limited to those rental units also subject to the limit on rent increases.
  • The bill sunsets after 10 years and exempts new rental units up to 15-years old. AB 1482 also exempts all single family homes not owned by corporations or real estate investment trusts.

Prop 10 in 2018 was rejected by voters with 59% rejecting rent control while 40% supported it. Had the measure passed, it would have allowed local governments to adopt rent control on any type of rental housing, thus repealing the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.

As for AB 1482, the Bill heads to the Governors which he said he would sign. On Wednesday, Governor Newsom stated:

“In this year’s State of the State address, I asked the Legislature to send me a strong renter protection package. Today, they sent me the strongest package in America. 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. I would like to thank Assembly Speaker Rendon, Senate President pro Tempore Atkins, Assemblymember Chiu and the bill’s co-authors for passing this legislation, as well as the broad coalition of stakeholders whose persistence allowed this bill to move forward.”

AB 1482 is authored by Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), Timothy Grayson (D-Concord), and Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland).

“Renters—who work in our schools, hospitals, small businesses, and emergency services—deserve to be protected from egregious rent increases and capricious evictions that could leave them homeless,” Atkins said. “It’s not every day where you’re able to get tenant groups and business interests to come together to compromise on getting some very significant relief to renters, and I want to thank Assemblymember David Chiu, and all those who have negotiated the bill, for bringing us this important legislation.”

“In the midst of the most intense housing crisis in California history, we must take decisive action to stem the tide of displacement and homelessness,” said Assemblymember Chiu. “Keeping renters in their homes is crucial to addressing our housing crisis. Thank you to my colleagues in the Senate for approving this bill to protect millions of renters from large rent increases and unfair evictions.”

“This is a historic day in the California legislature. Our state’s renters have been heard and are now poised to gain the legal protections they need and deserve,” said Assemblymember Bonta. “AB 1482 will fight rent gouging and unjust evictions to help protect millions of Californians who rent the place they call home. I’m proud to be a joint author of this transformative legislation and look forward to it becoming law.”

“This is a huge step towards delivering stability and security to millions of Californians,” said Assemblymember Grayson. “AB 1482’s coalition of support continues to grow, encompassing not only tenants, but also property owners, builders, and some of the largest employers in the state. I’m looking forward to working with leadership and my fellow authors to move this bill past it’s final hurdle.”

“Our housing crisis is causing instability for renters across our state,” said Assemblymember Wicks. “AB 1482 provides some much-needed relief, with stronger protections to keep tenants in their homes — by protecting renters from the most egregious of rent increases and unjust evictions.”

Assembly Vote: 48-26

Ayes
Aguiar-Curry, Bauer-Kahan, Berman, Bloom, Boerner Horvath, Bonta, Burke, Calderon, Carrillo, Cervantes, Chau, Chiu, Chu, Cooley, Eggman, Friedman, Gabriel, Cristina Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Gipson, Gloria, Gonzalez, Grayson, Holden, Jones-Sawyer, Kalra, Kamlager-Dove, Levine, Limón, Low, McCarty, Medina, Mullin, Muratsuchi, Nazarian, Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Reyes, Luz Rivas, Robert Rivas, Rodriguez, Santiago, Mark Stone, Ting, Weber, Wicks, Wood, Rendon
Noes
Bigelow, Brough, Chen, Choi, Cunningham, Daly, Diep, Flora, Frazier, Gallagher, Gray, Irwin, Kiley, Lackey, Mathis, Mayes, Melendez, Obernolte, Patterson, Petrie-Norris, Ramos, Blanca Rubio, Salas, Smith, Voepel, Waldron
NVR
Arambula, Cooper, Fong, Maienschein, O’Donnell
State Senate Vote: 25-10
Ayes
Allen, Atkins, Beall, Bradford, Caballero, Dodd, Durazo, Glazer, Lena Gonzalez, Hertzberg, Hill, Hueso, Jackson, Leyva, McGuire, Mitchell, Monning, Pan, Portantino, Roth, Rubio, Skinner, Stern, Wieckowski, Wiener
Noes
Bates, Borgeas, Chang, Dahle, Grove, Jones, Morrell, Nielsen, Stone, Wilk
NVR
Archuleta, Galgiani, Hurtado, Moorlach, Umberg