California Rent Increase Laws 

By PropertyClub Team
May 9th 2024
California Rent Increase Laws are regulations put in place to protect tenants and promote affordable housing in the state. The laws, particularly AB 1482, the Tenant Protection Act of 2019, limit how much landlords can increase rents each year and ensure tenants are given ample notice before any changes. In this article, we'll discuss the main rules surrounding rent increases, the exemptions for certain property types, and how often landlords can raise rents. Additionally, we'll provide an overview of cities that have stricter local rent control laws, giving tenants and landlords alike a clear understanding of the regulations.

hash-markTable of Contents

How Much Can a Landlord Raise Rent in California?
California Rent Increase Exemptions
How Often Can a Landlord Raise Rent in California?
How Much Notice Is Required When Raising the Rent in California?
Cities in California with Additional Rent Control
California Rent Increase Laws Bottom Line

hash-markHow Much Can a Landlord Raise Rent in California?

The California rent increase limit is between 5% to 10%, depending on several factors. As stated in the California Rent Increase Laws known as AB-1482, the Tenant Protection Act of 2019, the maximum that landlords can raise rents in California is 5% per year, plus the percentage change in the cost of living according to the consumer price index, or 10%, whichever is lower. 

For example, with the high inflation of 2022 and 2023, many landlords are raising the rent by 10% because it's considerably lower than keeping up with the consumer price index. This is a statewide limit, but some cities in California also have their own rent control laws.

hash-markCalifornia Rent Increase Exemptions

Not all property types are subject to California rent increase laws. Properties that are exempt from California's rent increase laws include the following:

  • Single-family homes and condos that are not owned by a corporation, REIT, or a corporation-owned LLC
  • A duplex where the landlord lives in one of the units
  • Mobile homes
  • Schools and college dorms
  • Hotels
  • Commercial properties
  • Buildings constructed within the past 15 years
  • Rental properties managed by non-profit organizations
  • Rental properties subject to a pre-existing local ordinance

Landlords with properties exempt from rent control can raise the rent as much as they like, as long as there are no other local laws they must obey. But they are required to provide notice of exemption from AB 1482 to their tenants so they are aware.

hash-markHow Often Can a Landlord Raise Rent in California?

California landlords can raise the rent once or twice per year, depending on the length of the lease agreement. For longer leases, tenants can only raise the rent once per year, at the end of the lease term, while for short leases, including month-to-month leases, California landlords are limited to two rent increases.

That means that in most instances, landlords will only have the ability to raise the rent once every year if the lease period is that long. But, even if the lease period is shorter, landlords can only increase the rent twice per year in properties subject to rent control laws.  

hash-markHow Much Notice Is Required When Raising the Rent in California?

When serving a rent increase notice in California landlords are required to give a between 30 and 90 days advanced notice to tenants. The precise amount of notice landlords must provide depends on several factors. For rent increases over 10%, landlords are required to give the tenants at least 90 days' notice. For all rent increases under 10%, landlords must provide 60 days' notice if the tenant has lived in the unit for more than a year. For tenants who have lived in the building for less than one year, 30 days notice is required.

hash-markCities in California with Additional Rent Control 

In addition to the statewide rent increase limits, multiple cities impose additional rent controls. Those cities are:

  1. Berkeley: Multi-family properties built before June 1980 are subject to rent regulation. Local laws put a cap on not only rent prices, but also garbage and parking fees and set security deposit laws and eviction protocols.
  2. Beverly Hills: Rent increases are capped at 8% annually or shift with the consumer price index. Buildings constructed before September 20, 1978, with two or more units and a move-in rent of less than $600 are subject to rent control. 
  3. East Palo Alto: Landlords can only increase the rent from June 1 to June 30 of a given year. Rent increases should not exceed 10%, including any fees for utilities, parking, or other services the landlord charges. 
  4. Hayward: Annual rent increases are limited to 5%, and banked rent increases are capped at 10%. Any unit constructed before July 1, 1979, is subject to rent control.
  5. Los Angeles: Rent increases are capped at 8% annually and can only happen once yearly. But the landlord may increase up to 10% if a new roommate moves in.
  6. Los Gatos: Rent increases can go over 5% of the current monthly rent or 70% of the annual consumer price index change. 
  7. Oakland: Annual rent increases shouldn't be greater than the current rate by 10% per year or 30% in 5 years. 
  8. Palm Springs: Landlords are permitted to raise rents to 75% of the consumer price index. 
  9. San Francisco: The San Francisco Rent Board determines annual rent increase rates. But landlords are permitted to submit requests to increase beyond the limits the Board reviews imposed. 
  10. San Jose: Annual rent increases are capped at 5% unless the tenant vacated voluntarily or following a lawful eviction.
  11. Santa Monica: Annual rent increases are limited to 75% of the consumer price index of Los Angeles for the past 12 months. 
  12. West Hollywood: Maximum rent increases are determined by the West Hollywood rent stabilization division and are typically based on 75% of the CPI. 

hash-markCalifornia Rent Increase Laws Bottom Line 

California has comprehensive laws that establish clear limits on rent increases and how frequently they can occur, ensuring tenants are protected from sudden, significant hikes. These laws, including AB 1482, set state-level rules while allowing for additional local regulations in many cities.

Whether you're a tenant or landlord, understanding these statewide and local guidelines is crucial for knowing your rights and responsibilities. Ultimately, these rent increase laws aim to balance tenant protection with property owners' ability to manage their investments fairly.