Santa Rosa formally adopts rent control; CAA reviews options


The California Apartment Association is reviewing its options after the Santa Rosa City Council on Tuesday ratified a permanent rent control and just-cause-for-eviction ordinance.

The cap on annual rent increases exceeding 3 percent will apply to more than 11,000 apartments built before 1995. Single-family homes, duplexes and triplexes are excluded, regardless of age. The law, formally adopted on a 4-2 vote, takes effect Sept. 30 and extends indefinitely a temporary rent control ordinance in place since May.

The permanent law also rolls back rents to Jan. 1, 2016, levels, a move that CAA contends violates both the state and U.S. constitutions. Legal counsel for CAA pointed out the “blatant illegality” of the rollback in a letter to Santa Rosa’s interim city attorney, urging its removal from the ordinance, but to no avail.

Mallori Spilker, vice president of public affairs for the apartment association, told the Press-Democrat that CAA is “evaluating the ordinance and discussing next steps with our legal counsel and members.”

An interim just-cause for eviction ordinance will take effect from Sept. 16 to Sept. 30, when permanent rent control and just-cause-for-eviction measures are imposed.

The cost to administer the rent control and just-cause ordinance is estimated at $1.2 million per year.

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