New laws protecting California’s renters go into effect in 2020

California Connection
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- The new year will make way for a new way of doing business for California property managers.

A handful of new laws aims to protect renters as the state tries to tackle its housing and affordability issues. The biggest impact is likely to come from California’s new anti-rent gouging ban.

"We have seen too many stories of 20%, 50%, 100% rent increases that have resulted in pushing people out of their homes, out of the state, onto the streets," said Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco.

California's new anti-rent gouging ban caps rent increases at 5% plus the cost of living for buildings that are older than 15 years old. The California Apartment Association said it is rare for those property managers to increase rent beyond that.

"In California, there's about 6 million rental units,” said CAA CEO Tom Bannon. “I would say that you're probably looking at less than 2% of the landlords that have had to go back and roll rents back."

Other new protections taking effect in 2020 include prohibiting blanket ban policies to refuse Section 8 applicants, increasing notification time for some rent increases and requiring landlords to establish just cause to evict a tenant.

"We have to watch the rest of the laws in California because we want people to continue to invest. If the laws are too stringent, at the same time you want to protect residents, but if they're too stringent then investors won't invest in the industry and there won't be enough housing," Bannon said.

To try to increase housing production, the Housing Crisis Act goes into effect at the start of 2020. To speed up construction within the next five years it requires cities and counts to scale back on restrictions and processes that typically slow down development.

 

Ashley Zavala filed this report.

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