NEW CALIFORNIA RENTAL HOUSING LAWS!
RENT CAPS, JUST CAUSE AND OTHER LAWS EFFECTIVE STATEWIDE 1/1/2020 RENT CAP BASICS: DETAIL > NEW CALIFORNIA RENTAL HOUSING LAWS! In a 12-month period, total rent increases cannot exceed 5% plus the change in cost of living* (CPI), or 10%, whichever is lower. Maximum of 2 rent increases in any 12 month period (the total of which cannot exceed the rent cap). If any rent increase between March 15, 2019 - January 1, 2020 was above the allowable Rent Cap (CPI + 5%), the landlord must decrease the rent on January 1, 2020 to the previous rent amount plus allowable Rent Cap (CPI + 5%). If there was a rent increase less than CPI + 5% since March 15, 2019, any further rent increase in 2020 would be subject to the maximum described in 2.
above. Housing units where rent cap does NOT apply: Hotels Units in structures built less than 15 years ago. Care facilities Dorms Lodgers Government subsidized or below-market housing where rent is set based on income-level Units that are covered by a local law with stricter limits on rent (i.e. units covered by a city’s rent stabilization law) The law defines the cost of living as "the percentage change from April 1 of the prior year to April 1 of the current year in the regional Consumer Price Index ("CPI") for the region where the residential real property is located... If a regional index is not available, the California CPI, as determined by the Department of Industrial Relations, shall apply." Civ.
Code § 1947.12(g)(2) 1.
2. 4. 3. Where permitted, rent increases over 10% require 90 days’ written notice (formerly 60 days). Tenant may house a person at risk of homelessness as a “Lodger.” Landlord approval required. Discrimination based on Section 8 and other rental assistance prohibited. Fair housing / employment laws now include veteran or military status as a protected class. Fair housing laws apply to short-term rentals. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. OTHER NEW HOUSING LAWS EFFECTIVE 1/1/2020: Limits security deposits for active duty service members: 1x rent if unfurnished, 2x furnished, 3x poor credit.
JUST CAUSE RULES NEXT PAGE © 2019 Project Sentinel, Inc.
Single family home or condos with no corporate ownership. Landlord must provide notice of this exemption, otherwise rent cap applies! For Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties: regional CPI change from 4/1/2018 to 4/1/2019 was 4%; current Rent Cap is 9% (4% + 5%) for those counties. All other Northern California counties: the Dept. of Industrial Relations California CPI change from 4/1/2018 to 4/1/2019 was 3.3%; current Rent Cap is 8.3% (3.4% + 5%) for those counties. * Change in cost of living / CPI
JUST CAUSE BASICS: "Just cause for eviction” means Landlords must specify a valid reason to evict or terminate a tenancy. Housing NOT COVERED by these Just Cause Rules: Short-term stay hotels, motels, hostels Single family home or condos with no corporate ownership (Notice of exemption required!) Units in structures built < 15 years ago Care facilities, religious facilities, non-profit hospitals Dorms Government subsidized or below-market housing where rent is set based on income-level Units that are subject to a local just cause ordinance adopted before 9/1/2019 1.
5. 2. Just cause protections apply only after 12 months of tenancy or 24 months if new tenant added.
3. "At-fault" termination v. "No-fault" termination If "no-fault" of Tenant, Landlord MUST pay relocation. "At-fault" causes for termination/eviction: a. (i) Failure to pay rent (ii) Withdrawal of unit from rental market (Ellis Act) (viii) Breach of material lease term (if not (iii) Damage to Property (vi) Refusal to allow (iv) Criminal activity (xi) Failure to move out after tenant (v) Using the unit for an (ix) Lease violation re: subletting (if not (vii) Refusal to renew same lease terms (ii) Nuisance (x) Employee termination from "No fault" causes for termination/eviction: b.
(i) Owner or family member intends to occupy the unit (vi) Intent to demolish or substantially remodel unit, with permits (iii) Government orders to vacate (e.g. habitability issues) 4. Relocation payment is equal to one month's rent. a. Payment must be made within 15 days of the no-fault termination notice. b. A landlord can waive the last month's rent in writing in lieu of a relocation payment. c. If tenant receives a relocation payment but does not vacate, the owner can recover the payment in an eviction lawsuit. d.
Tenant resides in other unit of duplex; or no more than two tenants (including ADUs) reside on single family property.
Tenants share bathroom & kitchen facilities with owner; or Owner-occupied properties where: - - - Noticing requirements Landlords must give tenants written notice of being covered by just cause and rent cap rules. a. Landlords must give notice to tenants of single family homes or condos with no corporate ownership that they are not covered by just cause or rent cap rules. If no notice, tenancy will not be exempt.
b. For tenancies beginning or renewing on or after 7/1/2020, Notice must be an addendum to lease or a notice signed by the tenants (tenants receive copy of notice). c. For tenancies existing prior to 7/1/2020, Notice must be given no later than 8/1/2020. d. © 2019 Project Sentinel, Inc. Project Sentinel’s Dispute Resolution Programs offer neutral counseling & mediation services, but not legal advice or legal representation. For legal services, please contact an attorney or a lawyer referral service.
Have more questions? Call or visit our website. (408) 720-9888 | www.housing.org Project Sentinel *This flyer is for informational use only* unlawful purpose lawful landlord entry employee housing cured after notice or uncureable) cured after notice) gives notice (after 3 days' notice)
- Limiting the amount your landlord can increase rent in a single year to prevent excessive rent increases.
- Requiring your landlord to have and state a fair reason if he/she wants to evict you after you have lived at the property for a year (also known as “Just Cause” eviction protection). IS MY UNIT COVERED BY AB 1482? Most rental units are covered by AB 1482, including:
- Most apartments. If you live in a newer building built after 2004, however, AB 1482 will not apply to you.
- Duplexes built before 2004 if the owner of the duplex does not live in the duplex.
- Single-family homes built before 2004 if a corporation owns the home. Certain rental units are covered by AB 1482’s protections against rent gouging, but aren’t covered by AB 1482’s protections against arbitrary evictions:
- Single-family homes where the landlord also lives there and rents out two or fewer units on the property.
- Any housing where the landlord lives in the unit and the tenants share a bathroom and kitchen with the landlord (like if the tenant is a lodger).
- Some units aren’t covered by AB 1482 at all:
- Any housing—including apartments—built within the last 15 years (after 2004).
- Units that are already covered by a rent-control or “just cause” law. In Santa Clara County, this includes some units in San Jose and Mountain View.
- Duplexes if the owner lives in the duplex.
- Hotels, hostels, or other short-term housing.
- Student dormitories.
2 www.lawfoundation.org IF MY UNIT IS COVERED BY AB 1482, HOW MUCH CAN MY RENT BE INCREASED? FOR WHAT REASON? In most parts of California, if your unit is covered by AB 1482 the most that your landlord can increase your rent during one year is by 5% + CPI (CPI is the Consumer Price Index, which reflects overall inflation) or in Santa Clara County, by 8.3% or 10%—whichever is lower.
Generally, this law means your landlord cannot raise the rent more than 8.3% per year. The law allows your landlord to give you up to two rent increases a year, but the total rent increase can’t exceed the limit in AB 1482.
For example: If your rent is $1,000, the most your landlord could raise your rent is roughly $83 annually. Your landlord could give you up to two rent increases in a year, but they cannot exceed $83. IF MY UNIT IS COVERED BY AB 1482, CAN THE LANDLORD EVICT ME? FOR WHAT REASONS? If you are a tenant and your unit is covered by AB 1482, and you have lived there longer than a year, your landlord must give you a reason before evicting you. If you have lived there less than a year, your landlord only has to give you a 30-day notice. They don’t have to list a reason for evicting you on that notice.
AB 1482 lists the reasons that your landlord can give to evict you: 1.
Failure to pay the rent. 2. Violating the lease. 3. Being a nuisance. 4. Damaging the property, thereby reducing its value. 5. Refusing to sign a lease extension or renewal—provided the lease is of similar duration and with similar provisions as the previous lease. 6. Criminal activity on the residence or criminal activity/threat directed at the landlord or agent of the landlord. 7. Subletting when your lease doesn’t allow it. 8. Refusing to let the landlord enter the unit to make repairs, when there is an emergency, when the tenant abandons the property, or when there is a court order. 9.
Using the property for illegal purposes.
10. Failing to leave employer-provided housing when the tenant was terminated as an employee, licensee, or agent of the landlord. 11. Failing to leave in the time promised after they had provided written notice of their intent to vacate the property, or after an offer to surrender the property is accepted by the landlord.
3 www.lawfoundation.org Additionally, a landlord can evict for the following reasons that are not a tenant’s fault. In those cases, the tenant is entitled to relocation assistance of one month’s rent and/or waiving the final month’s rent within 15 days of the notice.
1. The landlord wants to move in or have a family member move in. 2. The landlord wants to take the building off of the rental housing market per the Ellis Act. 3. To comply with a government order (such as a court order or a code enforcement order).
4. Substantial rehabilitation to repair the property for at least 30 days. WHEN DOES AB 1482 GO INTO EFFECT? Generally, the protections go into effect on January 1, 2020. However, some of the protections against excessive rent increases start from March 15, 2019. Any rent increase after March 15, 2019 would have to comply with the rent limits. If any rent increase were above the limit, the rent starting on January 1, 2020 would be the rent on March 15, 2019 plus the allowable increase under AB 1482. In this scenario, however, the landlord doesn’t have to give the tenant back any money the tenant may have paid over the increase allowed by AB 1482 before the rent was reset on January 1, 2020.
For example: My rent is $1,000. My landlord gave me a $100 rent increase in June 2019, which is above the rent limits of AB 1482. Starting on January 1, 2020, my rent would go to $1,083, which is roughly the limit allowed by AB 1482. WHAT IF MY UNIT IS NOT COVERED BY AB 1482, CAN THE LANDLORD RAISE MY RENT? Yes. Generally, your landlord can increase the rent. If the increase is less than 10%, they must give you a 30-day notice of the rent increase. If it’s more than 10%, your landlord must give you at least a 60-day notice of the rent increase.
IF MY UNIT IS NOT COVERED BY AB 1482, CAN MY LANDLORD EVICT ME? FOR WHAT REASONS? Generally, if your unit is not covered by AB 1482, your landlord can evict you by giving you a 30- day notice if you have lived in your unit for less than a year. If you have lived there longer than a year, they can evict you by giving you a 60-day notice. WHEN DOES THE LAW EXPIRE? The law expires on January 1, 2030.
4 www.lawfoundation.org I LIVE IN MOUNTAIN VIEW. WHAT LAWS APPLY TO ME? You may live in a building in Mountain View where Mountain View’s Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act applies.
Since these laws are more protective, AB 1482 may not apply to you. Mountain View’s Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act protects Mountain View residents who live in apartment units built before 1995. If you live in one of those units, your rents can only be increased to account for inflation (as measured by the Consumer Price Index). In 2019, that is 3.5%.
Most Mountain View residents who live in apartments are covered by Mountain View’s Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act. This law means that a landlord must give you a reason before they can evict you. These reasons are generally more protective than state law. You can learn more by going to the City of Mountain View’s website. WHAT IF MY LANDLORD INCREASES MY RENT BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2020 AND IT IS ABOVE THE LIMITS OF AB 1482? You still have to pay your increased rent as long as the landlord gave you a 30-day written notice if the rent increase was below 10% or a 60-day written notice if the rent increase was above 10%.
Not paying your rent will put you at risk for eviction. On January 1, 2020, your rent will go back to the amount it was at on March 15, 2019 plus the allowable increase of 8.3%. WHAT IF MY LANDLORD SERVES ME AN EVICTION NOTICE FOR REASON BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2020?
You should get legal help. If you are in Santa Clara County, you can call the Law Foundation at (408) 280-2424. WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE QUESTIONS? If you are in Santa Clara County, call the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley at (408) 280-2424.