In light of the levee breach on the Pajaro River, the California Apartment Association is reminding rental property owners that, under California law, no rent can be collected when a property is subject to a government-mandated evacuation — as it renders the property “uninhabitable.” 

“In times of crisis, such as the flooding that has devastated Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, it is even more important for California’s rental housing providers to understand and follow the law,” said Tom Bannon, chief executive officer of the California Apartment Association.

In addition to prohibiting the collection of rent on units under a government-ordered evacuation, California law places limits on rent increases during governor-declared states of emergency. At present, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, along with 38 other counties, are under storm-related emergency proclamations from Gov. Newsom’s office. While these emergencies are in effect, rents in the affected counties cannot be increased by more than 10% over pre-emergency levels while the declaration is in effect. Learn more here.

“We are calling on all rental housing providers in California not only to follow the law but to act with compassion when dealing with renters who have been forced out of their homes or suffered other losses during the recent storms,” Bannon said.