The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday will consider imposing rent control and “just cause” eviction policies on most of the city’s rental housing.

The California Apartment Association urges its members to attend this meeting and speak out against the proposed ordinance, which is described in this city staff report.

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Jim Lofgren

“Sacramento needs an influx of rental housing to keep pace with demand,” said Jim Lofgren, CAA’s senior vice president. “Bringing rent and eviction controls to the city will drive out investment in new housing and exacerbate our housing shortage. It also will leave many rental property owners without the financial wherewithal to upgrade or even maintain existing properties, an invitation for blight and lower property values.”

The proposed rent control policy would cap annual rent increases at 6% plus the consumer price index and apply to multifamily units built before 1995.

“Just cause” policies require that landlords not only list a specific cause for eviction but be prepared to prove the cause in court. In cases of criminal activity, that proof may require court testimony from neighboring tenants, which can be impossible to obtain. Thus, bad tenants stay put, which is unfair to good renters at the property.”

The proposed rent control ordinance is modeled after AB 1482, the statewide rent control bill now working its way through the state Senate.

The city proposal also comes several months after tenant activists collected enough signatures to put their own rent control measure before Sacramento voters in 2020.

While some see the city ordinance as a less draconian alternative to the initiative, CAA remains steadfastly opposed to both proposals.

The bottom line is rent control is a failed policy, and if brought to Sacramento, it will worsen the city’s housing shortage, regardless of who’s behind it,” Lofgren said. “Let’s not play a ‘lesser of two evils’ game. Sacramento deserves better.”

Related content:

  • Rent control is likely coming to Sacramento. How a new plan will affect renters, landlords (Sacramento Bee, Aug. 8)