Sacramento City Council Approves Rent Control

The Sacramento City Council has approved a rent control and tenant protection measure, and has accelerated the implementation of the new ordinance to prevent landlords from evicting tenants before it takes effect.

The measure effects tenant who rent on a month-month basis or longer in the city’s approximately 42,000 apartments and duplexes, mobile home parks and single room occupancy hotels built before February 1, 1995.  It does not include condos or single family homes unless they have been converted to multiple units.

Sacramento City Council Approves Rent Control

The act creates a set of renter protections for tenants including the amount on how much rent can be increased to 6% plus inflation per year.  The inflation rate is based on the “consumer price index” percentage for the West Region per year. Annual rents are capped and cannot exceed 10% a year total including inflation, even if the inflation rate exceeds 4%. Rent can only be increased once a year.

The ordinance allows a landlord to set the base rent with a new tenant.

Tenants living in a unit for a year or longer cannot be evicted without cause. A landlord must renew and cannot terminate a rental housing agreement except under certain circumstances including failure to pay rent, violating the rental agreement, criminal activity, or failure to give access to landlords to the premises with appropriate notice.

Landlords covered by the legislation are required to submit an annual fee to administer the program.

Tenants can file a petition alleging violations of the rent control and eviction protection provision with a hearing examiner who will make a determination. Penalties are established for noncompliance making the landlord subject to sanctions, civil actions and/or administrative penalties.

The City of Sacramento’s rent control and tenant protection measure will take effect September 12, 2019 – moved up a month sooner than initially expected to prevent landlords from taking advantage of the window of opportunity before the bill takes effect from evicting tenants.

Landlords and organizations like the California Apartment Association are frustrated by the law and feel it’s an invasion of private property rights.

Chris Airola is president of the Rental Owners Association and is also a property manager. He says landlords already have enough costs with repairs and maintenance and shouldn’t have to foot the bill for enforcement of rent control too.  Airola says rent control will make Sacramento less attractive to investors, which hurts rather than helps the introduction of more affordable housing into the community.

“This is the beginning of a very long battle in Sacramento,” he said.

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