Real estate industry decries latest move by state lawmakers to cap rents statewide

The deal would set a rent-hike limit at 5 percent annually, and comes as a growing number of LA municipalities have adopted rent hike freezes and tenant protections

TRD LOS ANGELES /
September 03, 2019 10:00 AM
Governor Gavin Newsom (credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr)
Governor Gavin Newsom (credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr)

A group of California lawmakers have agreed to a rent regulation package that would cap rent increases across the state for the next decade.

Gov. Gavin Newsom and members of the state Legislature leadership announced late Friday that an agreement had been settled on for Assembly Bill 1482, which would cap rents at 5 percent plus inflation, and implement greater tenant eviction protections, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The deal comes as an increasing number of municipalities around Los Angeles have adopted new and stricter rent control laws and tenant protections. More than half a dozen cities have implemented new regulations since a statewide ballot measure to widen rent control was defeated last November.

The current bill will need approval from both houses of the state legislature within two weeks, which isn’t guaranteed. Real estate interests fought vigorously against an earlier version of the bill with a 5 percent cap and later accepted a version of the bill with a seven percent cap.

The California Association of Realtors plans to lobby state lawmakers to oppose the bill, according to its president, Jared Martin.

The bill “will not incentive production of rental housing or help more people find an affordable place to live,” he said.

Newsom pushed to tighten up that version of the bill, saying last month he wanted to “take it another notch up.”

There are other rent regulation proposals under consideration in Sacramento, but Assembly Bill 1482 is the strongest and has received the most attention.

A proposal to allow rent control for units built as recently as 2005 could be on the 2020 statewide ballot. State law currently limits rent control to units built before 1995. [LAT]Dennis Lynch