Last month, the California Legislature approved a new law (the Tenant Protection Act of 2019, or AB 1482) with various tenant protections, including rent control for the entire state. Governor Gavin Newson recently signed it into law. This is great news for Contra Costa County tenants. Currently, no city in Contra Costa except for Richmond has any rent control protections. Under the new law, starting on January 1, 2020, the majority of California tenants will be protected.
What is the rent cap?
The law caps rent increases at 5% per year plus inflation (regional consumer price index), but never more than 10%. So, this means that landlords will no longer be able double or triple the rent with only a 60-day notice.
Any rent increases after March 15, 2019 may be impacted by this new law when the new law goes into effect January 1, 2020.
Can my landlord evict me without a reason?
Probably not. Landlords will need a reason to evict a tenant that has lived in a unit for one year or more.
AB 1482 lists the reasons that your landlord can give to evict you:
- Failure to pay the rent.
- Violating the lease.
- Being a nuisance.
- Damaging the property, thereby reducing its value.
- Refusing to sign a lease extension or renewal—provided the lease is of similar duration and with similar provisions as the previous lease.
- Criminal activity on the residence or criminal activity/threat directed at the landlord or agent of the landlord.
- Subletting when your lease doesn’t allow it.
- Refusing to let the landlord enter the unit to make repairs, when there is an emergency, when the tenant abandons the property, or when there is a court order.
- Using the property for illegal purposes.
- Failing to leave employer-provided housing when the tenant was terminated as an employee, licensee, or agent of the landlord.
- Failing to leave in the time promised after they had provided written notice of their intent to vacate the property, or after an offer to surrender the property is accepted by the landlord.
The landlord can evict for a no-fault reason (like owner move in or withdrawal from the rental market). However, if the reason for the eviction is a no fault reason, the landlord must pay the tenant relocation assistance (one month’s rent).
Does the law apply to me?
It may be difficult to know at first. The law does not apply to units built within the last 15 years. Plus, there are exemptions for single-family homes not owned by corporations and for duplexes where the landlord lives in the unit.
For many rental units built before 2004, the law will apply.
Where can I go for help?
If you want to know more and you are over 60 and live in Contra Costa County, you can contact Contra Costa Senior Legal Services