Updates on California Rent Control and Rent Stabilization Laws

City-by-city rent control rules in California, with information on eviction protection.

By , Attorney Mitchell Hamline School of Law
Updated by Jessica Gillespie, MSLIS Long Island University
Updated 6/28/2024

In California, rent control (also known as rent stabilization) traditionally referred to city or county ordinances that limited the rent landlords could charge. (Popular perceptions of rent control include restrictions on evictions, as explained below.) Rent control laws typically specify a maximum percentage by which landlords can increase rent (for example, 5%) along with corresponding limits on the frequency of increases (typically once annually). Often the percentage of increase is tied to the area's annual Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is the price for items like gasoline, food and utilities.

The California Tenant Protection Act caps rent increases statewide for qualifying units at either 5% plus the increase in the regional consumer price index (CPI), or 10% of the lowest rent charged at any time during the 12 months prior to the increase—whichever is less. Additionally (and subject to the rent cap), rent may be raised only twice over any 12-month period. As of August 1, 2023, landlords are allowed to increase rent up to 9.2% annually. (This amount is adjusted every year on August 1.) Note, though, that cities and counties can enact their own rent control. If your county or city has a lower rent "cap," that local cap might apply instead of the statewide cap.

This chart indicates which California cities and counties have rent control laws, along with a summary of the local law. Information about limits on evictions and other protections for renters is below the chart. Keep in mind the chart provides only rent-cap summaries, and the actual law might contain important additional details and tenant protections that apply to your situation. For more information on the many local ordinances that affect rent and evictions, including relocation assistance and owner move-ins, see our detailed Rent Control Chart for California.

Municipality

Restrictions on Rent

Ordinance

Alameda (City of)

Landlords are limited to the base rent charged on covered units as of 9/1/19 plus the Annual General Adjustment (AGA). For tenancies beginning after 9/1/19, the base rent is the initial rent amount. The AGA is calculated using 70% of the regional CPI, with a 1% floor and 5% ceiling. Each year in May the Program Administrator announces the AGA effective September 1. The AGA is then in effect from September 1 through August 31 of the following year. A Landlord who does not increase rent by the full amount allowed annually can "bank" the unused portion and impose it in a later year. See the Alameda Rent Program FAQ.

Alameda, California Code of Ordinances §§ 6-58.10 to 6-58.155

Antioch

Landlords may increase rent on covered units once every 12 months, limited to 60% of the local CPI or 3%, whichever is less. Single-family homes without accessory units, condominiums, and cooperatives are exempt, as are units first certified for occupancy after 2/1/95. The current increase limit is available on the Antioch Rent Program website.

Antioch Municipal Code §§ 11-1.01 to 11-3.13

Baldwin Park

Landlords may raise rent on covered units once per 12-month period. Rent is effectively limited to the local CPI or 5%, whichever is lower, of the "base rent ceiling" (rent in effect on 3/5/19, or, if none, the initial rent charged on the first day of tenancy). Landlords may always increase rent 1% regardless of the CPI.

Baldwin Park
Code of Ordinances §§ 117.01 to 117.26

Bell Gardens

Rent increases on covered units are limited to 50% of the change in local CPI or 4%, whichever is less. Landlords may not raise rent more than once per 12-month period. Find more information on the City of Bell Gardens rent stabilization page.

Bell Gardens Municipal Code §§ 5.62.010 to 5.63.120

Berkeley

On January 1, rent ceilings on covered units are increased by the Annual General Adjustment (AGA). The AGA is set by October 31 of the preceding year, but has been 65% of the percentage increase of the regional CPI since 2005. Landlords or tenants may petition for exceptions. You can find more information—including whether your unit is covered—on the Berkeley Rent Board's website.

Berkeley Municipal Code §§ 13.76.010 to 13.76.190

Beverly Hills

For leases in multi-unit (2+) buildings constructed before 9/20/78 with initial rent of $600 or less, landlords may increase rent once every 12 months up to 8% or by the local CPI increase percent on the date of the notice of rent increase, whichever is less. (Beverly Hills Mun. Code § 4-5-303.) Landlords are also allowed to add various surcharges and "pass-through" fees. (Beverly Hills Mun. Code §§ 4-5-301 to 4-5-309; 4-5-402.)

For leases in multi-unit (2+) buildings constructed before 2/1/95 with initial rent greater than $600, landlords may increase rent once every 12 months up to 3% or by the regional CPI percent increase, whichever is greater. (Beverly Hills Mun. Code § 4-6-3.)

The city's rent stabilization website has more details.

Beverly Hills Municipal Code §§ 4-5-101 to 4-5-403 and 4-6-0 to 4-6-12

City of Commerce

Rent increases are expressly subject to the provisions of AB 1482 California Tenant Protections Act (Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1946.2 and 1947.12).

City of Commerce Municipal Code §§ 9.95.010 to 9.95.040

Concord

Annual rent increases on multi-family units built before 2/1/95 are capped at the lower of 3% of the current rent or 60% of the CPI. See the city's rent stabilization page for more information.

Concord Municipal Code §§ 19.40.010 to 19.40.140

Cudahy

Landlords may increase rent on covered units once every 12 months, limited to 3% of the current rent or the change in the regional CPI, whichever is lower. The base rent is the rent charged for a unit in effect on April 11, 2022. You can find the current increase limit on Cudahy's rent stabilization website.

Cudahy Municipal Code §§ 5.13.101 to 5.13.170

Culver City

The rent as of 10/30/20 on then-existing tenancies, or the initial rent charged on tenancies beginning thereafter, is the "base rate" from which increases on covered units are calculated. Increases are limited per 12-month period to the average annual change in the CPI with a cap of 5%; if the CPI increase is less than 2%, the cap is 2%. Landlords can petition for an increase above the cap amount. (CCMC § 15.09.220). See the city's rent control and tenant protection page for more information.

Culver City Municipal Code §§ 15.09.200 to 15.09.270

East Palo Alto

Annual rent increases on covered units are limited to 80% of the percentage increase in the regional CPI. Overall increase may not exceed 10% in any 12-month period. You can find the current increase limit on East Palo Alto's rent stabilization website.

East Palo Alto, California Code of Ordinances §§ 14.04.010 to 14.04.250

Fairfax

Effective October 6, 2023, rent increases are on covered units are limited to 75% of the percentage increase in the regional CPI annually. Overall increase may not exceed 5% total. The cap is retroactive to 2/2/22. For 9/1/23 - 8/31/24, the maximum increase is 2.52% (60% of the April 2023 CPI of 4.2%). The town's renter protections page has more information.

Fairfax Town Code

Title 5, Business.

Chapter 5.55 "Rent Stabilization Program" §§ 5.55.010 to 5.55.120

"Floating home marinas"

"Floating home marinas" with five or more floating home berths cannot increase rent by more than 3% plus inflation up to a maximum of 5% per year.

Cal. Civ. Code §§ 800.40 and following

Gardena

Rent increases exceeding 5% are subject to mediation and binding arbitration. Get the details on the city's rent mediation program here.

Gardena Municipal Code §§ 14.04.010 to 14.04.300

Glendale

No limit on rent increases, but increases exceeding 7% over any 12-month period may trigger relocation payments if tenants choose to vacate rather than renew.

Glendale Municipal Code §§ 9.30.10 to 9.30.100

Half Moon Bay

Rents increases on covered units are limited to 3% or 80% of the change in the regional CPI, whichever is less. Landlords may increase rent only once in any 12-month period. Find more information on the city's Rent Control and Tenant Protections page.

Half Moon Bay Municipal Code §§ 6.06.010 to 6.06.180

Hayward

Rent increases on covered units are limited to 5% per year absent exception. Landlords may "bank" annual increases, but aggregate rent increases cannot exceed 10% in any year.

Hayward Municipal Code

§§ 12:1.01 to 12:1.21

Inglewood

The base rent amount for calculations is the rent in effect on 6/18/19 or the initial rent for tenancies starting thereafter. Only one increase is allowed every 12 months, calculated from the day the increase first takes effect.

For residential properties with five or more units, the maximum increase is 3% or the cost of inflation (whichever is greater), as measured by the local CPI. The increase cannot exceed 10%.

For residential properties with four or fewer units, the maximum increase is 5% plus the cost of inflation as measured by the local CPI. The increase cannot exceed 10%.

You can find the current allowable increase figures and more details on the city's program here.

Inglewood Municipal Code §§ 8-125 to 8-135

Larkspur

Only one rent increase is allowed on covered units every 12 months which cannot exceed 5% plus the regional CPI or 7%—whichever is lower. Base rent is the rent in effect on May 8, 2023. Find more information and current allowable rent increase figures on the Larkspur eviction protections and rent regulations webpage.

City of Larkspur Municipal Code, Chapter 6.20. Rent Stabilization Ordinance. §§ 6.20.030 to 6.20.110

Los Angeles (City of)

Only one rent increase is allowed on covered units every 12 months based upon the regional CPI as determined by the Rent Adjustment Commission (RAC). Effective February 2/1/24 - 6/30/24, the cap is 4% plus various surcharges and "pass-through" fees. You can find more details, and whether your unit is subject to the Rent Stabilization Ordinance, here.

Los Angeles Municipal Code §§ 151.00 to 155.10

Los Angeles County (Unincorporated)

Only one rent increase is allowed on covered units annually, based on the change in the regional CPI up to a total of 8% including pass-throughs and fees. Note: a temporary 4% cap on rent increases is in effect 1/1/24 through 12/31/24 for covered rental units.

Los Angeles County Code §§ 8.52.010 to 8.52.200

Los Gatos

For properties with 3+ units, rent may be increased only once annually, and the increase cannot exceed the greater of 5% of existing rent, or 70% of the regional CPI. Landlords may "pass through" increased maintenance costs and certain regulatory fees. Landlords can also increase rent with tenant's written consent.

Los Gatos Town Code §§ 14.80.010 to 14.80.315

Mountain View

For properties with 3+ units, rents may be raised starting September 1 of each year by board-determined amount that is no less than 2%, nor more than 5%, of the existing rent. Rent may be raised only once per 12-month period. Landlords may "bank" annual rent increases. You can get more information and check whether your unit is covered on the Mountain View Rent Stabilization Division website.

Mountain View Code of Ordinances, Part I, Article XVII, Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act. §§ 1700 to 1720

Oakland

Rent on covered units may be increased once in any 12-month period. Increases are limited based upon the local CPI or to prior "banked" increases, but cannot exceed 60% of the percentage increase in the CPI for April of that calendar year from April of the immediately preceding calendar year, or 3%, whichever is lower. Effective 8/1/23, the limit is 2.5%; effective 8/1/24, the limit will be 2.3%. However, landlords may petition to increase rent up to 5% for each qualifying additional occupant. Owners may also petition to increase the rent when a tenant doesn't use the unit as a principal residence. Subtenants are also protected from overcharging by primary tenants. You can find the current annual cap on the City of Oakland's website.

Oakland Municipal Code §§ 8.22.010 and following

Oxnard

Rent increases on covered units are limited to 4% annually, and one increase in any 12-month period. Learn more on the City of Oxnard's rent control and tenant protections page.

Oxnard City Code §§ 27-20 to 27-30

Palm Springs

Only one rent increase is allowed on covered units annually, limited to 75% of the increase in the regional CPI. Rent control is permanently removed after the tenant voluntarily vacates or is evicted for cause. As a result, few properties remain subject to rent control.

Palm Springs Municipal Code §§ 4.02.010 to 4.08.190

Pasadena

For covered units, only one rent increase is allowed annually, limited to 75% of the increase in the regional CPI. See Pasadena's rent control overview page for more details.

Pasadena Municipal Code, Part I, Article XVIII, The Pasadena Fair and Equitable Housing Charter Amendment. §§ 1801 to 1824

Pomona

For covered units, only one increase is allowed annually, limited to the lower of either the increase in the regional CPI or 4% of the rent in effect on August 1, 2022 or the initial rent for tenancies that started after August 1, 2022. More information and the current allowable rent increase can be found on the city's rent stabilization website.

Pomona Municipal Code §§ 30-571 to 30-582

Richmond (City of)

For covered units, only one increase is allowed annually, limited to the lower of either 60% of the increase in the regional CPI or 3% of current rent, whichever is lower. You can find the current annual cap on Richmond's rent increase website.

Richmond Code of Ordinances §§ 11.100.010 to 11.100.130

Sacramento (City of)

For covered units rent increases cannot exceed 5% plus the percentage of annual increase in the cost of living adjustment promulgated by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. The total increase is capped at 10% annually, and only one increase is allowed in any 12-month period. You can find the current annual cap on Sacramento's tenant protection website.

Sacramento City Code

§§ 5.156.010 to 5.156.150

San Anselmo

Landlords may increase rent on covered units once every 12 months, limited to 5% of the current rent or 60% of the increase in the regional CPI, whichever is lower.

San Anselmo Municipal Code §§ 20-1.101 to 20-1.114

San Francisco

For covered units, annual rent increases are limited to 60% of the Bay Area CPI but cannot exceed 7%. Landlords can increase rent only once every 12 months. You can determine whether your unit is covered and find the current annual cap on SF.gov.

San Francisco Administrative Code §§ 37.1 to 37.3

San Jose

The "Annual General Increase" for covered units is limited to the monthly rent for the previous 12 months, multiplied by 5% via one annual increase. The landlord must petition for a greater increase. You can determine whether your unit is covered on San Jose's housing website.

San Jose Municipal Code §§ 17.23.300 to 17.23.350

Santa Ana

For multi-unit buildings constructed on or before 1/1/95, annual rent increases are limited to 3% per year, or 80% of the change in the CPI over the most recent 12-month period—whichever is lower. The allowable increase is published no later than June 30 of each year on the city's Rent Stabilization Division's website.

Santa Ana Municipal Code §§ 8-3001 to 8-3200

Santa Barbara

Rent increases are expressly subject to the provisions of AB 1482 California Tenant Protections Act (Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1946.2 and 1947.12).

Santa Barbara Municipal Code §§ 26.50.010 to 26.50.070

Santa Monica

The Rent Control Board determines each year's increase ("General Adjustment" or "GA") based on 75% of the CPI. The Maximum Allowable Rent (MAR) for any unit is its base rent plus the GA.

In November 2022, voters approved Measure RC, which implemented a "rollback" on the 2022 GA, capped future GAs at 3% total beginning February 2023, and reduced the MAR to .8% through August 2023—effectively bringing the 2023 average rent increase to 3%.

Based on that 3%, the 2023 MAR was 2.8% starting September 1, 2023. The Board also set a maximum $67.00 increase limit on units paying in excess of $2,375.

The city has a helpful website for determining allowable increases.

Santa Monica City Charter Amendment §§ 1800 to 1821

Thousand Oaks

Rent control is very limited–it applies only to tenants who have resided in the same unit since 1987.

Thousand Oaks Rent Stabilization Ordinances Nos. 755-NS, 956-NS, 1284-NS

West Hollywood

For covered units, rent increases are limited to the Annual General Adjustment (AGA), which is based upon 75% of the increase in the regional CPI during the preceding 12 months. Landlords may increase rent by the amount of the AGA between September 1 and August 1 of each year. You can find more information, including the current AGA, on the West Hollywood Tenant FAQs website.

West Hollywood Municipal Code §§ 17.04.010 and following

Property Subject to Rent Control

Rent control laws apply to typical rental units, like apartments within a complex. But not all rentals in California are subject to rent control. A 1995 state law, the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, says that local rent-control regulation doesn't apply to single-family homes, condominiums, and units built after February 1, 1995 (many ordinances also exempt properties built after the Act's effective date). The Costa-Hawkins Act also allows "vacancy decontrol" of rent-controlled units, meaning landlords can raise rents to market levels when tenants move out (voluntarily or after being evicted for rent nonpayment).

Other properties that might be exempt from rent control include owner-occupied buildings with no more than three or four units, short-term rentals (such as those listed on Airbnb), government-subsidized tenancies (Berkeley and San Francisco excluded), and detached "granny" units that could not be sold independent of the main house.

Evictions in Rent Control Areas

A tenancy typically ends either when a fixed-term lease expires or after a landlord or tenant in a month-to-month lease gives notice. A landlord can legally ask a tenant to vacate the rental in either situation, without specifying a reason (but cannot do so if the reason is retaliation for the tenant having exercised a tenant right, or for a discriminatory reason).

But for rent control to work—especially because landlords can raise rent to market levels following a legitimate vacancy—the law must also limit evictions. Otherwise, landlords could simply (and repeatedly) evict current tenants in favor of new tenants willing to pay higher rents. To head off this possibility, most rent control ordinances require "just cause"—acceptable reasons—to evict.

Examples of just cause include:

  • violating a significant term of the lease—for example, failing to pay rent or having unauthorized roommates
  • engaging in illegal or prohibited activities like drug dealing, disturbing neighbors, or damaging property
  • the landlord wanting to move into the unit or have a covered family member do so, and
  • the landlord wanting to do a remodel that can't be done while tenants are living in the property. (Sometimes, landlords in this situation must offer tenants a similar unit to rent or the opportunity to re-rent the remodeled property at the same rent after the project.)

Landlords who violate these restrictions often face stiff civil and even criminal penalties.

Other Protections for Renters

Rent control ordinances often have additional rules that protect tenants. For example, your local ordinances might include rules about:

  • Buyout agreements. Local ordinances might have strict rules regarding any agreements a landlord and tenant make about ending the lease before the term is up. For example, an ordinance might require a landlord to pay the tenant a sum of money (such as a month's rent) in the event the landlord asks the tenant to move out early.
  • Mediation or arbitration. Mediation services are designed to help landlords and tenants negotiate rent and other disputes without having to go to court. Some ordinances make the parties participate in mediation or arbitration, where an independent third party makes a non-binding recommendation (mediation) or a binding determination (arbitration).
  • Minimum lease terms. Local ordinances might require landlords to offer written leases for a minimum amount of time, typically for at least a year.
  • Relocation reimbursements and moving expenses. Landlords might be required to pay tenants' moving expenses when a unit is being remodeled, converted, or demolished.
  • Notice periods. A local ordinance might require landlords to give more notice than state law requires when the landlord wants to evict a tenant or raise the rent. An ordinance might also give longer notice periods to certain tenants, like people with disabilities, senior citizens, and families with school-aged children. The landlord might also be required to provide tenants with a copy of the ordinance or with written notice about specific tenant rights under the ordinance (like rent review or mediation).
  • Illegal discrimination. For example, a local ordinance might state that landlords cannot discriminate against low income tenants or recipients of government assistance.

Where to Get More Information About Rent Control

Helpful resources for learning more about rent control in general include:

  • Nolo Books. Nolo's books The California Landlord's Law Book: Rights & Responsibilities, The California Landlord's Law Book: Evictions, and California Tenants' Rights provide comprehensive summaries of landlord-tenant law.
  • Your city's rent control board. Your local rent control board should be able to provide a copy of the current local ordinance(s), and possibly a brochure with explanations (visit their offices or find them online). Your city or county government's website might also link to local rent control laws.
  • Local tenants' organizations. Almost every city with rent control has at least one active tenants' group. These organizations typically monitor the rent board, court decisions, and proposed ballot amendments that affect renters. These groups can usually provide written explanations of the relevant law, and sometimes have volunteer staff available to answer questions. Some even provide free or low-cost legal assistance.
  • Local attorneys who specialize in landlord-tenant law. Getting a referral to an attorney is a good option. Tenants' organizations and legal aid offices can often provide references to attorneys specializing in landlord-tenant law.
  • Legal aid offices. Low-income landlords and tenants might be eligible to receive assistance from state or local legal aid offices.

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