Readers from California (thank you very much) sent me comments asking for more details about the new rental housing laws in their state. Here are some highlights of the Tenant Protection Act of 2019. In short, California now has a type of statewide rent control and mandates “just cause” to terminate a tenancy.  Some details:

Rent Control.

With respect to rent control (which is subject to some exceptions), the new law prohibits a housing provider from increasing the rental rate by more than 5% plus the percentage change in the cost of living, or 10%, whichever is lower, over the course of a 12 month period.

Just Cause Termination.

The new law requires California property owners show “just cause” to terminate a residential lease, provided a tenant has continuously occupied a residential property for 12 months. “Just cause” can be either “no fault” or “at fault.”

“At fault” just cause includes: default in payment of rent, breach of a material term of the lease (including a violation of a provision of the lease after being issued a written notice to correct the violation), committing or permitting a nuisance; waste; certain criminal activity; assigning or subletting the rental property; refusing to permit the landlord to enter the property; using the property for an unlawful purpose; and failure to deliver possession of the unit after notice.

“No fault” just cause includes: an intent by the owner (or a close family member) to occupy the property (for leases entered into after July 1, 2020, this provision applies only if the resident agrees in writing to the termination or if this type of provision is included in the terms of the lease); withdrawal of the residential property from the rental market; and if the landlord is complying with any of the following—(1) an order issued by a government agency or court relating to habitability that necessitates vacating the residential real property; (2) an order issued by a government agency or court to vacate the residential real property; (3) a local ordinance that necessitates vacating the residential real property; or (4) intent to demolish or to substantially remodel the residential real property.

Property owners desiring to use a “no-fault” lease termination must either waive payment of the last month’s rent or pay for the resident’s relocation.

Again, there are a number of exceptions built into the laws, but these are the highlights. There will be more to come here in California. Hope this helps.

Just A Thought.