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Bill capping rent increases advances in Sacramento

Posted at 5:09 PM, May 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-08 23:07:49-04

A rent-control style bill that would cap annual rent increases is advancing in Sacramento.

The bill, by Democrat Assemblyman David Chiu, would limit annual rent increases to 5 percent plus inflation.

Currently, market landlords in San Diego County can raise the rent as much as they want at the end of a lease.

Adam Moody, of Pacific Beach, just saw his rent go up by $100 a month, or 10 percent.

"We're thinking about moving somewhere because if it's going to keep increasing, we'd rather maybe get a house or something," said Moody, who lives with his wife.

The bill, AB 1482, made it out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee Wednesday. It will now advance to the full assembly floor before moving to the state senate side.

With inflation, the cap in San Diego County would be 7.2 percent, which is nearly three times faster than wage growth.

Molly Kirkland, public affairs director for the Southern California Rental Housing Association, said the organization opposes the bill.

She said legislation like this turns off developers from building more much-needed housing, and can lead to the current supply going unrepaired.

"The five percent plus CPI (inflation) may be enough if you don't have significant operational costs, if you don't need a new roof, but that's not a certainty," she said.

Moody says he supports the cap. He says there must be a happy medium for landlords to be profitable, while allowing renters to keep affording where they live.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has not indicated whether he would sign the bill. If it passes, it would take effect Jan. 1, 2020.