It’s a landlord victory: Costa-Hawkins Act repeal fails

The law stops cities from capping rent on new construction

TRD LOS ANGELES /
Jan.January 11, 2018 02:45 PM
California State Capitol Building, David-Chiu and Richard-Bloom (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Landlords in the Golden State were all smiles on Thursday. A bill that would have repealed the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Act failed to pass in the Assembly’s Housing and Community Development Committee.

AB 1506’s failure means local rent ordinances, which limits rent control to only buildings built prior to October 1978, will remain in place. Under Costa-Hawkins, single-family houses, duplexes and condominiums can’t qualify for rent caps, and landlords are allowed to reset the cost of a unit once a tenant voluntarily moves out.

The bill, authored by San Francisco Assemblyman David Chiu and Richard Bloom of Santa Monica, was put on pause for almost a year.

“The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act prescribes statewide limits on the application of local rent control with regard to certain properties,” the bill read. “This bill would repeal that act.”

Other local groups, such as the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, have joined the fight against Costa-Hawkins. Various groups filed a ballot initiative to repeal the law in October. If it garners the required 365,880 signatures, voters will have a chance to vote on the polarizing law in November 2018.


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