California governor signs law capping rent hikes

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FILE – In this Sept. 11, 2019 file photo assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, right, flanked by assemblyman Mike Gipson, D-Carson, smiles as his measure to cap rent increases is approved by the Assembly in Sacramento, Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign the bill Tuesday, Oct. 8. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

SACRAMENTO, California (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 seven percent 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.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he will sign a law limiting rent increases for some people over the next decade as the nation’s most populous state continues to struggle with a housing crisis.

Newsom is scheduled to sign a bill into law on Tuesday that will cap rent increases at 5% each year plus inflation. The bill will also ban landlords from evicting tenants without just cause.

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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