At a special meeting Wednesday, Aug. 5, the Richmond City Council officially approved its rent control and just-cause-for-eviction ordinance and scheduled it to take effect in 30 days.

The council had previously planned to implement the law effective Dec. 1. A council member, however, pushed to fast-track the process, leading to a series of special meetings over the past week.

After Wednesday’s second reading of the ordinance, the council ratified it by a 4-1 vote, becoming the first Bay Area city to adopt rent control in decades. Other cities in the Bay Area also are examining rent control and may follow suit, a trend mentioned by the Richmond council before its vote.

The California Apartment Association continues to battle rent control on several fronts. CAA’s efforts include commissioning an economic study expected to illuminate the negative impacts of rent control, including the deterioration of the existing rental housing stock in communities that institute it.

Richmond now joins about a half-dozen other Bay Area cities that have the policy. Under Richmond’s ordinance, rent control will apply to approximately 10,000 of the city’s 21,000 rental units.  The just-cause portion of the ordinance will affect all 21,000.  The ordinance will add seven full-time city employees and will cost the city up to $2.2 million annually. To cover these costs, landlords, regardless of whether they have rent-controlled units, will be charged administrative fees of $170 to $230 per unit. Under revisions to the ordinance, owners can pass along 40 percent of these yearly fees to tenants.

Related content:

  • Update: Richmond landlords could share rent control fees with tenants (CAA, Aug. 3)
  • Richmond: Tenants to pay 40% of fees from rent control, council rules (Contra Costa Times, Aug. 1)
  • Richmond rent control could now take effect sooner (CAA, July 30)
  • Rent control stalls in Richmond, at least for now (San Francisco Chronicle, July 30)
  • Richmond: Council slowed by bickering over new rent control ordinance (Contra Costa Times, July 29)
  • Call to action: Help stop rent control in Richmond (CAA, July 10)