Apartment owners give up fight against Santa Ana rent control

Trade group didn’t collect enough signatures for referendum

Santa Ana Mayor Vicente Sarmiento (City of Santa Ana, Getty)
Santa Ana Mayor Vicente Sarmiento (City of Santa Ana, Getty)

The California Apartment Association has given up its fight to stop Santa Ana’s recently passed rent control laws.
The Santa Ana City Council approved rent control ordinances in October.

CAA was collecting signatures to put the issue to voters in a referendum, but missed this week’s deadline to turn in the signatures needed to do so, according to the Orange County Register.

The passage of the Monday deadline means Santa Ana will become the first city in Orange County to pass and put in effect rent control measures.

Some community members accused the CAA-backed signature canvassers of misinforming Santa Ana residents. Some people claimed that canvassers told people that they were signing a petition in favor of rent control when in fact they were signing their petition opposing it.

The ordinances are similar to rent control measures in place in Los Angeles County and some of its cities, including Inglewood and Culver City.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

By signing up, you agree to TheRealDeal Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

One of the Santa Ana ordinances institutes an annual rent cap on properties built before February 1, 1995. The cap is 3 percent or 80 percent of the percent change in the Consumer Price Index, whichever is lower. That cutoff date is to comply with the state’s Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.

The other ordinance institutes so-called just-cause eviction protections. For the most part, landlords must have a valid reason to evict a tenant, such as failure to pay rent or committing a criminal activity on the rental property.

There are a handful of no-fault just-cause evictions allowed, including when a landlord wants to occupy the unit themselves or when they will take the property off the rental market for 24 months or longer.

No-fault evictions require the landlord to pay three months of relocation assistance or waive the last three months of rent. Tenants can also request an exception to those requirements on a case-by-case basis.

[OC Register] — Dennis Lynch