A new California law allows those evicted since march of 2019 to be eligible for financial compensation.
There are two protections under the new state of California tenant protection act of 2019: eviction protection and rent-ceiling protection. Under eviction protection, a landlord can only evict a tenant for fifteen reasons, or just causes. The rent-ceiling protection caps rent increases to five percent per year, plus the annual percent change in the annual cost of living adjustment. Determining whether your unit and tenancy are covered by just-cause eviction protection and rent caps is a very complicated analysis.
Determining whether you have just-cause eviction protection is a two-step analysis. First, you must determine whether your unit qualifies. Second, you must determine whether you have met the length-of-tenancy requirement. Below, we explain how to determine whether you have eviction protection.
All units in California that have certificates of occupancy that are fifteen years or older have eviction protection, except the following:
A tenant or group of tenants who have continuously and lawfully occupied a unit for twelve months from the beginning of the tenancy have eviction protection. However, if another adult tenant is added to the unit after the beginning of the lease, the household does not have eviction protection until either (1) all adult tenants have continuously and lawfully resided in the unit for twelve or more months, or (2) at least one adult tenant in the unit has continuously and lawfully resided in the unit for twenty-four months.
There are fifteen just causes under the Tenant Protection Act of 2019:
A landlord who evicts a tenant for an owner move in, a relative move in, demolition, substantial remodel, pursuant to city or county abatement, or to withdraw the unit from the rental market, must provide one of the following forms of tenant assistance at the landlord’s discretion:
The eviction notice must inform the tenant of the right to relocation assistance. If the tenant does not vacate at the expiration of the notice, the landlord may recover the relocation assistance as damages. A landlord is entitled to credit the relocation against relocation required by a different statute or ordinance.
A tenant cannot waive their rights under the Tenant Protection Act of 2019. Any waiver of rights by a tenant is void against public policy.
Any lease signed or renewed after July 1, 2020 must include the below disclosure. By August 1, 2020, a landlord must disclose the below in writing to existing leaseholders. This disclosure requirement does not apply to tenants already covered by more stringent city or county rent control. Nor does it apply to units that will never be covered by eviction protection or rent-ceiling protection.
“California law limits the amount your rent can be increased. See Section 1947.12 of the Civil Code for more information. California law also provides that after all of the tenants have continuously and lawfully occupied the property for 12 months or more or at least one of the tenants has continuously and lawfully occupied the property for 24 months or more, a landlord must provide a statement of cause in any notice to terminate a tenancy. See Section 1946.2 of the Civil Code for more information.”
All units in California are covered by the rent-ceiling limitations of State of California rent control except:
For units covered by the rent-ceiling limitations of State of California rent control, a landlord may only increase the rent each year by 5% plus the annual percent change in the Consumer Price Index, up to a maximum of 10%. If the landlord chooses to do smaller increases, the landlord can only increase the rent two times in one year. The law is retroactive to March 15, 2019. If a landlord has raised the rent above the allowable amount from March 15, 2019 to January 1, 2020, the rent will be rolled back, but the landlord shall not be liable to the tenant for any rent overpayments.
Under State of California rent control, a master tenant cannot charge subtenants more than the master tenant is paying to the landlord.
In cities and counties with rent control, single-family homes and condominiums are covered by state-law rent caps where the units are not otherwise covered by local rent caps, as long as the units are not otherwise exempt under state law. For example, the San Francisco Rent Ordinance does not have rent caps for single-family homes and condominiums for post-1996 tenancies. As long as the single-family home or condominium is built more than fifteen years ago (and the tenancy and unit meet all other state rent control requirements, state rent control would apply to limit rent increases.
If you had just cause eviction protection for your tenancy before California state rent control was enacted, your local ordinance will apply to your tenancy, even if the state law rent control offers more protection. However, if your city or county enacts a new ordinance with just-cause eviction protection after September 1, 2019, the local ordinance will only apply if it offers stronger protections than the state law.
If your tenancy is subject to rent caps under an existing local rent-control ordinance, the local ordinance will apply if it is a more restrictive that state rent control. For example, if your local rent-control ordinance allows a 10% annual increase and the state rent control statute allows 8%, the state rent control statute will apply.
Under State of California rent control, if a landlord does not take a rent increase in any given year, the landlord cannot bank the prior rent increase.
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