California state law that allows rent hikes to rise with inflation and landlords are allowed rent increases up to 10% — as long as those properties aren’t covered by local rent control. That has increased pressure to pass stricter forms of local rent control in some cities.  Below are cities that have recently adopted their own rent control laws.

Pomona

On August 1, Pomona passed rent control and just cause eviction protections through their city council by a 5-2 vote. Efforts to pass urgent tenant protections began back in 2017. After five long years of struggle, which has included two efforts to collect signatures for a ballot measure, the community of Pomona finally has its own rent control. Rents are now capped at the increase in CPI or 4%, whichever is less.

Bell Gardens

The City of Bell Gardens passed a strong rent control measure, capping rent increases to 50% of the growth in CPI or 4% per year, which ever is less. There has been a two-year long campaign for a 3% rent cap, The vote was unanimous after several previous attempts had stalled out.

Antioch

The City of Antioch passed a rent control measure that caps rents to 60% of the increase in CPI or 3%, whichever is less. The vote was split 3-2. This measure does not include eviction protections but their Mayor said that would be consider in the future.

Pasadena – Measure H

The “Pasadena for Rent Control” campaign just received its ballot letter. It is Measure H and will soon start arriving in homes. In addition to burdening rental housing providers, the rent and eviction control initiative going before Pasadena voters this fall would create a city bureaucracy costing taxpayers nearly $6 million per year.

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West Hollywood

The West Hollywood City Council voted to phase out the current pandemic-related freeze on rent increases on rent controlled properties by the end of this year. The city, however, will also consider tightening its rent control ordinance once rent adjustments are allowed to resume.

Under the plan, the freeze on rent increases would remain in effect for the duration of 2022, with rent increases of up to 3% being permitted in 2023.

Below are bills in which you should be aware:

AB 2259

This bill seeks to standardize reusable tenant screening reports. It would prohibit housing providers from accepting rental application fees for the reusable report. However, housing providers could still charge for reports other than the standardized report. It has passed in both the house and senate.

SB 731

This bill would seal criminal records for some offenders that are able to keep a clean record for four years after release from prison. As of 8/29, it sits on Governor Gavin Newsome’s desk. This is a horrible bill for employers and housing providers.

Santa Monica’s Temporary Eviction Moratorium and Ballot Measure

The Santa Monica City Council approved an emergency ordinance allowing a temporary eviction moratorium to take effect immediately for rents due September 1, 2022 for residential tenants in rent-controlled units. The moratorium, effective immediately, is a measure to safeguard Santa Monica residents who may be unable to afford potential rent increases of up to 6% due to an increase in the maximum allowable rent (MAR) for rent-controlled housing.

This eviction moratorium narrowly applies to tenants in rent-controlled housing who face eviction for nonpayment of rent due to COVID-19 related financial distress for the period between September 1, 2022 and January 31, 2023. The eviction protection applies to those tenants whose rent will be increased by more than 3% starting in September 2022. The moratorium will not apply to an owner who agrees not to collect rent increases over 3% for the September rent.

The Ordinance is intended to prevent evictions and allow protected tenants to stay housed when unable to pay the increased rents.

This moratorium is separate from Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 tenant eviction protections, which remain in place for qualifying low-income households through December 31, 2022.

To learn more about the Rent Control Adjustment Relief Program, visit santamonica.gov/programs/rent-control-adjustment-relief. For more about how the temporary eviction moratorium for rent controlled units works, read the staff report.

Ballot Measure:  Also, the Santa Monica City Council approved a resolution to place a measure on the November 8, 2022 ballot that would amend the City Charter to establish for 2022 an average General Adjustment (GA) cap of 3% or $70 and establish a maximum GA of 3% for future years.

Los Gatos Group Says “No More Apartments!”

Despite a statewide housing crisis, a group of Los Gatos residents is launching a ballot-box challenge to the town’s 2040 General Plan for planning too many housing units. The Los Gatos Community Alliance filed a referendum against the plan that was — by a small margin — approved by the town council in June. The residents are also claiming that town officials should outline more incentives for constructing affordable housing and should draft a fiscal impact analysis. While Los Gatos town planners chose to concentrate new housing in high-density neighborhoods instead of bringing denser development to single-family communities, the alliance believes that more apartment complexes will negatively impact the “small town atmosphere” and aesthetics of Los Gatos. If the group gathers 2,200 signatures, the Town Council would be forced to either place the referendum on an upcoming ballot or rescind the General Plan of its own volition.