A new law, AB-1482, was passed on October 8, 2019, limiting the amount that landlords can increase rent under each renewal term. No one should be forced to endure living in a filthy or dangerous home without basic services, much less pay rent increases while the value of what you’re paying for decreases. Every issue arising between a landlord and tenant may not always be resolved fairly, but the State of California is trying to do its part to offer more protection to tenants.
What AB-1482 means for tenants
The new law is a win for renters when it comes to housing affordability. Rent control was invented to prevent citizens from landing on the streets due to unmanageable rent increases. Prior to AB-1482 being signed into law, some areas in California saw rents more than double over a period of several years.
Extreme rent increases and at-will evictions are now a thing of the past in California. The new law prohibits rent increases of more than 5% plus the rate of inflation, which typically stays between 2-3%. In addition to the rent protection, landlords are now required to provide just cause for evicting a tenant. Some of the reasons for just cause include:
- Committing criminal activity on the property
- Failure to pay rent
- Continued lease violations after receiving notice to correct the violation
- Failure to execute a new lease after the current lease term expires
- Subletting the property
- Refusing the landlord access to the property per the Health and Safety Code
A landlord may evict a tenant by no-fault just cause; however under those circumstances, the landlord is required to either provide the tenant with one month’s rent or waive payment of the last month’s rent in order to help the renter with relocation expenses.
Problems tenants may experience due to AB-1482
Landlords may no longer be able to afford upkeep on their property. Rent increases being partially controlled makes it more difficult for landlords to save a proper reserve fund to handle necessary repairs. This means that tenants may experience a decline in services if, say, a water heater or HVAC unit breaks and the landlord can’t afford to replace or repair it. Maybe it means structural repairs from age or natural disasters don’t get fixed. All of these willful violations place the health and safety of renters in jeopardy.
Once the property is no longer viable income for a landlord and it becomes a liability, the chances are good that he or she will sell the property. Typically, buyers are larger real estate holding companies, which invest the bare minimum into rentals in order to increase their profit margin. It all trickles down to the renter who may wind up living in slum conditions after all.
McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP strives to persevere in every case that we take on, because restoring your dignity means having the ability to live in habitable conditions. To speak with one of our landlord-tenant attorneys, schedule your free consultation in our Los Angeles office by calling 310-474-1582, or reach out to us through our contact page.