Starting January 1st 2020, the Tenant Protection Act will cover 8 million tenants with:
- Protections against outrageous rent increases
- Protections against unjust evictions
You could be covered!
What You Need to Know:
#1 Rent increases are capped at 5% plus the cost of inflation - in total around 7 or 8% this year. The exact rent cap depends on the regional Consumer Price Index (CPI) but in no case can a rent increase exceed 10%, even if inflation is high.
#2 After you’ve lived in your home for 1 year, landlords cannot evict you without a “just cause” - that means they can’t just arbitrarily push you out to make more money. They have to provide a reason - like failure to pay rent or vandalizing the property. Here are some examples of “Just Causes” for eviction:
- Failure to pay rent
- Continued violation of a part of the lease
- Doing significant damage to the property
- Using the building for illegal purposes
- If the landlord wants to move into the property. In this case, or in other "no fault" eviction cases, the tenant is due one month's rent as a relocation assistance payment.
- Etc. for more information click here for an item by item description of your rights under just cause.
#3 The law goes into effect on January 1st, 2020. But if you were given a rent increase above the rent cap between March 15th 2019 and January 1st 2020, your landlord is required to lower the increase to the rent cap standard no later than January 1, 2020.
#4 Some 8 Million renters in California who have NEVER had rent protections before will be protected by the law. However, not all units are covered. Without getting into the boring nitty gritty of it, here are some of the main exemptions you should know about:
- Buildings less than 15 years old are not covered. As buildings age, and cross the 15 year threshold, they will be covered
- If you live in a single family home that IS NOT owned by a corporation, you are not covered, and IF your landlord has given you notice that the home is exempt.
- If you live in a single family that IS owned by a corporation, you ARE covered.
- If you live in a duplex and your landlord lives in one of the units, you ARE NOT covered.
#5 Do you live in a city that already has rent control? The Tenant Protection Act of 2019 plugs some loopholes in our local rent control ordinances. If you already have rent control this doesn’t change it! You get to keep the same good old renter protections you’ve already had.
For example: If you live in a city that has rent control (like Oakland, San Francisco or Los Angeles County), but you are denied protections by the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act (remember Prop 10?) because you live in newer building or a single family home - the Tenant Protection Act may cover you! For instance, if you live in a building built after 1978 in Los Angeles, Costa Hawkins denies you the benefits of rent control, BUT the Tenant Protection Act does extend the rent cap to all buildings built before 2014... Meaning there’s thousands more Angelenos that will now have protections!
The Tenant Protection Act is not a silver bullet to resolve California’s displacement crisis but it is what renters had the power to win this year. With more of us getting involved, we can pass even stronger protections for more people! Download the Know Your Rights Flyer in English or Spanish here!
Let’s pass even stronger tenant protections! Join ACCE!