Articles Tagged with rent control


todd-quackenbush-222-copy-300x183If you rent your home in the San Francisco area, you most likely are aware of San Francisco’s Rent Control Ordinance. Even if you currently rent or you are thinking of coming to the area and renting, there are many specifics of the ordinance you may not know about. Consider the following when looking for a new place to live or if you feel like your current landlord is not following the law.


What Does the Ordinance do?


The San Francisco Rent Ordinance provides a number of protections to tenants who rent or lease a dwelling. First and perhaps foremost, the law regulates the amount that rent can be increased annually for specific dwellings in specific situations. To this end, the law also allows only a certain amount of capital improvement costs to be passed on to the tenant by the landlord. It also allows the tenant to petition the Rent Board for a decrease in rent if the landlord has failed to provide services that have been agreed upon or that are required by law. This includes if the landlord has not maintained the premises in a habitable manner or if unit has uncorrected housing code violations. Secondly, the law regulates the circumstances under which a tenant may be evicted.

mike-wilson-175347-225x300As rents in certain areas of the country skyrocket, more and more tenants are asking why there is not some – or a better – form of rent control. As of right now, most landlords can increase the rent as much as they like as long as they give proper notice. One of the reasons for this in California is the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which was passed in 1995. The Act imposes limits on the kind of rent control policies cities can adopt. However, a measure to repeal the Act may be headed to the next November ballot in California.

The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act

There are a few significant provisions with the Act that many tenants believe are harmful in today’s real estate market. The Act bans cities from using rent caps on any unit built after February 1995. This a majority of apartments in California’s major cities cannot be rent controlled. All of the new development going up in cities like San Francisco can have exceedingly high rents and there is little local governments can do about it.