California Lawmakers Seek New Ways to Relieve High Rents
Following a recent failure to overturn limits on rent regulation, California legislators are continuing the push to strengthen tenant protections throughout the state, the Los Angeles Times reports.
This time around, instead of repealing Costa-Hawkins—the state law that has curbed new rent regulations since 1995—a package of proposed legislation would reform various aspects of the law. One bill would allow municipalities to extend rent stabilization to single-family homes and apartments over 10 years old, with exemptions for small landlords. Another would cap annual rent increases at a certain percentage while allowing for inflation. A third proposal would extend just-cause eviction protections to rental properties across the state, while a fourth would create a statewide rental registry.
Meanwhile, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which sponsored the 2018 ballot campaign to repeal Costa-Hawkins, plans to sponsor another initiative in 2020 that would introduce vacancy control—preventing rent-stabilized units from reverting back to market rate after tenants move out.
More than half of California tenants spend 30 percent or more of their income on rent, according to a UC Berkeley study.