The Costa Hawkins Act (Costa-Hawkins) allows cities to implement local rent control laws, but within specific parameters: housing constructed after 1995, single-family homes, condominiums, and townhouses are exempt from local rent control regulations. Additionally, Costa-Hawkins allows rental property owners to establish their own rates at the time of a change in tenancy. A proposed ballot initiative entitled the “Affordable Housing Act for the California November 2018 Ballot” was submitted to the California Attorney General’s
If you’ve been reading our newsletter, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the rent control and just cause for eviction ballot initiative (Renter Protection Ballot Initiative) which has been circulating through the city. The Movement for Housing Justice has submitted 10,791 signatures to the City of Santa Cruz, well above the required number of signatures needed qualify the initiative for the November polls. The group is now awaiting the results of a 30 day signature validation process.
On Tuesday, February 13th, the Santa Cruz City Council passed temporary rent freeze and a just cause for eviction ordinances for certain rental properties within the city limits (see exceptions below). This sudden action was in response to community-member complaints that, given the impending threat of a rent-control moratorium on the November ballot, landlords have an incentive to raise rents and evict tenants to guard against losses should new laws come into effect. The following
Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) proposed legislation on January 11th to repeal Costa-Hawkins, which would have allowed local governments to implement new rent control policies. The bill failed. But this is not the end of the rent-control battle. The California Local Rent Control Initiative, which would expand local government's authority to adopt rent control and repeal the Costa-Hawkin's Rental Housing Act may be on this year's November ballot. Locally, the Sentinel reports that