What Landlords Need to Know About New Rent Control, Eviction Laws

Key and sticker with inscription rent control pinned to the board.

Your life as a landlord in California is not easy, and few people understand how difficult it is to navigate state restrictions. New state laws protect tenants in the areas of rent control and eviction. You need protection, too. It starts with understanding the new rent control and eviction laws.

The Impact on Your Right to Raise Rents

Under the law, annual rent hikes cannot exceed 5%. Adding a regional cost-of-living allowance pushes the maximum increase to 10%. This scenario limits landlords in the Bay Area to an estimated increase of 7.7%.

There are, of course, exceptions that add complications for landlords. The law does not apply to duplexes where the owner lives in one of the units, for example. Apartment buildings constructed in the past 15 years also are exempt.

Another law blocks landlords from turning away tenants who pay with housing vouchers. The federal subsidies under Section 8 help about 300,000 tenants in the state pay their rent.

The Impact on Your Right to Evict Tenants

The laws protect tenants who have lived in an apartment for a year from eviction without “just cause.” Some acceptable reasons for eviction include:

  • Failure to pay rent
  • Violating the rental agreement
  • Creating a nuisance
  • Criminal activity

Thanks to the California Apartment Association, landlords won some concessions under the new laws. The one-year protection from eviction, for example, is reset when a new roommate moves in.

The exceptions and other complexities of the new laws create burdens for landlords who, like their tenants, are trying to make a living.

The Impact on Your Future

Opponents of the recent measures say they discourage the construction of new housing. They also argue the laws encourage landlords to raise rents by the maximum amount every year.

The state is suffering from a housing crisis; 17 million renters need places to live. Too often, though, the state overlooks the needs of its landlords.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. No attorney-client relationship is established, and readers should consult with counsel regarding any information contained herein.