Earlier rent control changes ratified for San Jose

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Stricter rent control limits in San Jose will take effect June 17 – many months earlier than expected.

Under the changes, owners can raise rents on rent-controlled units by 5 percent per year. That’s down from the current 8 percent.

The council ratified the June start date on a 9-2 vote at its May 17 meeting.

The lower rent cap is among sweeping changes to the city’s 40-year-old rent control law. The council approved the revisions in April on a 6-5 vote, despite strong opposition from CAA and hundreds of rental owners over the past year.

At the time of the vote in April, the council planned to implement the changes later in 2016.

But fears emerged that rental owners would rush to raise rents during the interim. This concern spurred proposals for a rent freeze.

The city’s rental owners and many council members objected to such a drastic measure. The council, though, continued to entertain concerns that rents would rise markedly if the new limits weren’t applied for several months. This led to the decision for earlier implementation.

As a result, any rent increase that takes effect on June 17th, 2016, or later for units subject to the San Jose Rent Control Ordinance cannot exceed 5 percent unless a rental owner files for a petition to pass through capital improvements or debt service before Sept. 1, 2016.

Rental owners are still required to comply with applicable state laws governing proper notice for rent increases, and CAA continues to encourage rental owners to give as much notice as possible. At this time, these new changes do not impact the rules governing termination of tenancies or the requirements to file copies of those notices with the City of San Jose’s Rental Rights & Referrals Program.

CAA recognizes that these immediate changes cause disruptions to how rental owners manage their units.  CAA remains steadfastly opposed to the changes being made to San Jose’s Apartment Rent Ordinance and will continue working with the city to address the many concerns that have been raised about how some of these changes are crafted and implemented.

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