Leases and Rental Agreements FAQ

How do rent control laws work?

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How do rent control laws work?

Communities in only five states -- California, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York -- have laws that limit the amount of rent landlords may charge.

Rent control ordinances (also called rent stabilization or maximum rent regulation) limit the circumstances and the times that rent may be increased. Many rent control laws also require landlords to have a legal or just cause (that is, a good reason) to terminate a tenancy -- for example, if the tenant doesn't pay rent or if the landlord wants to move a family member into the rental unit.

Landlords and tenants in New York City, Newark, San Francisco, and other cities with rent control should be sure to get a current copy of the rent control ordinance and any regulations interpreting it. Check the phone book for the address and phone number of the local rent control board or contact the mayor or city manager's office.

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