California governor signs law capping rent hikes

Rent Control graphic Photo: Eric Fischer and MGN graphic.
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California is now the second U.S. state to cap rent increases statewide.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law Tuesday that will cap rent increases at 5% each year plus inflation. The bill also bans landlords from evicting tenants without just cause.

Earlier this year Oregon enacted rent caps of 7% plus inflation.

Sasha Graham, board president of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, said the law would have helped her three years ago when her rent increased 150%. She was later evicted for no reason and was homeless for three years.

But Russell Lowery, executive director of the California Rental Housing Association, said the law will force landlords to increase rents to account for potential costly evictions.

There are many exceptions. The law would not apply to housing built within the last 15 years and would exempt single family homes except those owned by corporations or real estate investment trusts. It would not cover owner-occupied duplexes.

The law authored by Democratic Assemblyman David Chiu would take effect Jan. 1 and expires in 2030.

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