The California Apartment Association is preparing to fight what’s almost certain to be a major statewide, legislative push to broaden the reach of rent control.

The rent control debate heads to the Capitol after a number of cities have considered either introducing or expanding the policy.

In Sacramento, where the 2016 legislative session began this past Monday, tenant advocates have the Costa-Hawkins Act in their cross hairs.

Under Costa-Hawkins, cities can’t impose rent control on housing built after 1995. The act also exempts single-family homes and condos, regardless of construction date. Without the protections of Costa-Hawkins, rent control would have an even chillier effect on residential development.

Local calls to weaken or circumvent Costa-Hawkins have already begun, including a proposal last month by San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin to expand rent control in The City.

With numerous pushes to expand rent regulations, it’s a matter of time before a bill emerges taking on Costa-Hawkins directly.

Another state law that protects landlords’ rights, the Ellis Act, has become a familiar target in Sacramento.

Over the past two years, Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, has tried unsuccessfully to weaken this law, which protects a landlord’s right to leave the rental housing business — particularly when staying a landlord causes a financial hardship in rent regulated communities. At this point, it’s unclear whether Leno will try again in 2016, and CAA is monitoring the situation.

Also this year, a number of bills that failed passage in 2015 are expected to resurface. These proposals cover everything from managing bed bug infestations to requiring water sub-meters in new construction to curtailing criminal background checks on prospective tenants.


To hear CAA’s Debra Carlton discuss these bills and more, click on the audio player below.