Rent laws are typically the domain of local governments. But in February, Oregon became the first state in the nation to adopt a statewide rent-cap law. The new California law, called the Tenant Protection Act, is stronger. It limits annual rent increases to 5 percent a year plus the consumer price index, but no more than 10 percent annually. It also includes a groundbreaking provision requiring landlords to have a “just cause” when evicting a tenant, such as failing to pay rent or damaging the property.
During the campaign to pass the bill, its proponents—including its author, Assemblymember David Chiu, a San Francisco Democrat and chair of the Assembly Housing Committee—described it as an “anti–rent-gouging” law rather than conventional rent control.