Digging Deeper into California Rent Control
Since Assembly Bill 1482 was approved, residential property owners and tenants have been anxiously waiting to see if the Governor would sign the bill. Owners have been concerned that this bill may impact the value of their property, the ability to raise rents, and vacate tenants. Tenants have been concerned about rent increases and the possibility of being evicted. Now that Governor Newson has signed the bill and we have had more time to review the law, we can address any concerns.
Let's address the owner's concerns, first. How will this impact the value of your property? The new law will not decrease the value of your property if you have kept your rent at or just shy of market value. If your rents are more than 8.3% below market value, call us for strategies on how to legally increase rents and the value of your property.
In LA County, the average rent increase in 2019 was 4%. The new law allows for a much higher rent increase. Owners can raise rents 5% + CPI (Consumer Price Index). Current CPI in LA County is 3.3%. At the current rate, owners could raise rents 8.3%. Be warned, as of January 2020, if you raised rents after March 15, 2019, you will have to reduce rents to the rate as of March 15, 2019, plus the allowable increase.
There are exceptions to this law. The rent increase cap will not apply to apartments built within the last 15 years. Single-family home rentals, unless owned by corporations or other institutional investors, are not impacted by the rent increase cap. Limits on rent increases will not change for those units that are currently under rent-control.
Owners are also asking, "Can I evict tenants?" The answer is, "yes." As of January 2020, landlords/owners need to provide proof of documented lease violations for tenants who have lived in apartment for more than a year. Landlords/owners may also evict tenants if they intend to do a major remodel on the unit.
In our experience, with the owners we work with, the 4% average annual rent increase IS average. The average owner/landlord wants to keep lease abiding tenants in the units and not randomly evict tenants. A vacant unit does not make money. So, the two major issues, rent increase and eviction, are not concerns of ours. We strongly believe LA County is a great place to invest in residential real estate. Remember, a major player in the housing shortage and rising costs is that people want to live here. Southern California still has its beautiful beaches, amazing weather, and close proximity to many destination areas. Location, location, location! It still remains one of the top considerations when buying any real estate.
If you would like help managing your property, increasing its value, and/or staying current with property management laws, market rents and trends, give us a call. We are never too busy for you or your referrals.
(Stay tuned! We will address tenant concerns, soon.)