Rent Control: What to know about California's newly-approved bill

SAN FRANCISCO -- If you've been scrolling through the news, you probably saw this headline: "Big rent hikes are about to be illegal in California."

RELATED: Big rent hikes are about to be illegal in California

The rent cap bill, AB1482, essentially makes rent control the law of the land in California. There's only one other state in the country do this and that's Oregon.

So, here's what you need to know:

  • Under this new law, for the next decade landlords will only be able to raise rent for an existing tenant by 5% after inflation -- no more. Meaning a landlord can't just raise your rent some crazy amount that no normal person can afford.

  • On top of that, it will be harder for a landlord to kick a tenant out. They will actually have to have a legitimate reason (i.e. the tenant isn't paying rent).

  • There are few exceptions. For instance, the rent cap will initially only apply to California apartments built before 2004. It would also exempt single-family homes (unless owned by a corporation) and duplexes where the owner lives in one of the units.

  • In parts of the Bay Area, the rent control bill may not have too much of an impact. San Francisco and Oakland, for instance, already have their own rent control laws and this new law doesn't override those.

  • Additionally, a Zillow report found that last year only about 7 percent of properties in the state had an increase larger than 5 percent.

Those in favor of the bill, including San Francisco state Assemblyman David Chiu, who was the bill's lead author, say the rent cap will help with the state's shortage in affordable housing.

Those against the bill disagree and argue it could ultimately encourage landlords to raise rents higher than they might have otherwise, and could make it harder to build more housing.
The one fact we do know: The bill has passed and Governor Newsom is expected to sign it. That means come Jan. 1, 2020 rent control is likely to become law.
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