Tenant Protection Act of 2019
On October 8, 2019 Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1482 that will cap annual rent increases throughout the state to 5% plus the percentage change in the cost of living or 10%, whichever is less. The bill also includes just cause eviction protections for tenants in good standing.
The bill becomes effective January 1, 2020.
Link to Assembly Bill 1482: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1482
- Can rent be increased more than once a year?
Proper notice must be issued to the tenant informing them of the rent increase. For tenants on a month to month agreement, living at the property more than 12 months, rents can be increased up to two times within a 12-month period if it does not exceed the state’s rent cap.
- How is the percentage change of cost of living determined?
The percentage change in the cost of living is determined by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). It is adjusted every year for the period of April 1 of the year prior to March 31 of the current year. The percentage varies from area to area depending on where the property is located.
- What if rent was increased after March 2019?
The bill has retroactive protections that indicate that if rent was increased more than the 5% plus inflation after March 15, 2019, rent would need to be adjusted to the allowable amount once the bill takes effect. No refund will be due to the tenant for rent paid during that period.
- What type of properties are covered?
Properties older than 15 years, contain at least 2 units and the owner does not occupy one of the units, and properties that are not regulated by local rent control laws must comply.
- What type of properties are exempt?
Single family homes, townhouses, owner occupied duplexes and condos except when owned by corporations or Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT), housing that has an agreement to provide subsidies for very low, low or moderate-income.
- Who qualifies for eviction protections?
Tenants who have resided at the property for 12 months or more or if additional occupants were added and at least one of the tenants have resided at the property for 24 months. If the tenant is given notice to terminate tenancy on a no-fault cause eviction, they qualify for relocation assistance.
- What is a no-fault cause eviction?
A no-fault cause eviction is when the termination of tenancy is given to the tenant who has not breached the terms of the agreement and the housing providers wants to recover possession of the property. No-fault causes include: intent by the owner or owner-relative to occupy the unit, withdrawal of the rental property from the rental market, intent to demolish or substantially remodel the unit or the owner is complying with the local ordinance, court order, or other government entity resulting in the need to vacate the property.
- What reasons would a housing provider have to evict a tenant?
Just cause evictions could include reasons such as: nonpayment of rent, breach of the material term of the lease, nuisance, waste, unlawful/criminal activity, refusal to sign a written extension or renewal of the lease, subletting, refusal to allow owner to enter unit, the owner or family is moving into the unit, substantial renovations or removing the property from the rental market. Note: Just-cause provisions become effective after 12 months of tenancy.
- How much is the relocation assistance?
The relocation fee is equal to one month’s current rent amount or a rent waiver of the last month of tenancy. The notice to terminate tenancy must indicate which of the two options will be given to the tenant. If the housing provider opts for paying the relocation fee, it must be paid within 15 days of issuing the notice to terminate tenancy. If the housing provider fails to comply with the notice, then the notice is void.
- What if the tenant doesn’t vacate the property after the notice to terminate tenancy expires?
If the tenant fails to vacate the property, the actual amount of any relocation assistance or rent waiver provided shall be recoverable as damages in an action to recover possession.