The California Legislature on Wednesday passed a bill known as the Tenant Protection Act of 2019.
The bill includes several provisions aimed at protecting tenants. First, it provides that “after a tenant has continuously and lawfully occupied a residential real property for 12 months,” the owner of that property “shall not terminate the tenancy without just cause, which shall be stated in the written notice to terminate tenancy.” The bill describes just cause as including at-fault just cause, such as failure to pay rent and criminal activity on the property by the tenant, as well as including no-fault just cause, such as the rental property no longer being on the market.
The bill also provides rules for how property owners can increase their rent prices. Under the bill, property owners can not increase “the gross rental rate” for a property “more than 5 percent plus the percentage change in the cost of living, or 10 percent, whichever is lower, of the lowest gross rental rate charged for that dwelling or unit” during the past year. This only applies “to subsequent increases after that initial rental rate has been established” and does not apply to any new tenants.
The bill has passed and is awaiting the governor’s approval.