Despite what you might have heard, California does not have a statewide rent control provision. This leaves rent control up to cities or counties. If you live in a unit that is applicable to your local rent control ordinance, then you have a number of additional rights as a tenant compared to another renter in a non-rent controlled unit. Your landlord can only raise your rent a certain amount at a certain interval, and must give you a specific amount of notice regarding the increase. Each of these elements, including how much, will be dictated by your local law. If you believe your unit is rent controlled and your landlord is violating the ordinance, contact a local tenants rights attorney to find out how to protect your rights.
Look up Your Local Law
When you are wondering if your unit is rent controlled, the first question you should ask is whether your city has a rent control ordinance. Some cities do, and some do not. The following cities have some type of rent control ordinance in California:
- Beverly Hills
- East Palo Alto
- Los Angeles
- Los Gatos
- Palm Springs
- San Francisco
- San Jose
- Santa Monica
- West Hollywood
Determine Whether the Local Rent Control Ordinance Applies to Your Unit
Just because your city has a rent control ordinance does not mean it applies to your building. Many rent control provisions only apply to certain types of units. For instance, in San Francisco, new construction is exempt from rent control. You must live in a unit with a certificate of occupancy before June 13, 1979. You can look up your building’s construction and occupancy date online. If you are in an illegal unit, you are probably covered by the rent control ordinance unless the unit is exempt for another reason. Also in San Francisco, you are not covered by rent control if:
- You live in a residential hotel and have less than 32 days of continuous tenancy
- You live in a dorm, hospital, monastery, or nunnery
- You live in a single family home or condo
- You live in government subsidized housing, such as by using a Section 8 voucher
Or if you live in San Jose, your unit is only covered if the building has three or more units and was built and occupied prior to Sept. 7, 1979. If you live in a duplex, condo, single-family home, or in a government subsidized unit, the apartment is exempt from rent control.
Ask an Experienced California Tenant Rights Attorney
If you have looked up your local law and are still unsure of your unit’s standing in relation to a local rental ordinance, do not hesitate to seek legal advice. Without understanding the regulations that apply to your apartment, it is impossible to fully know and protect your rights as a tenant.
Or if you are sure your unit is covered by a local rent control ordinance and you believe the landlord is violating your rights by raising the rent too much or too soon, contact an attorney right away. The experienced tenant rights lawyers of Brod Law Firm are here to review the situation and protect you and your home. Call today at (800) 427-7020 to schedule a free consultation.
(image courtesy of Brandon Griggs)