The topic of rent control in Santa Rosa is a rapidly progressing and ever-changing issue. The developments in May of 2016 have put us right into the middle of negotiations over what rent control will actually look like in Santa Rosa. So, let’s review what type of properties it’s likely to affect. Remember that the devil is in the details, and most of those have not yet been established.
Buildings Affected by Rent Control
Rent control throughout California is governed and limited by the Costa-Hawkins Act, which states that municipalities can only institute rent control on multi-unit buildings that were constructed prior to Feb 1, 1995. Therefore, single family residences are not restricted by rent control. Buildings – even multi-unit buildings – constructed after 1995 do not fall under rent control. At present (as reflected in the recently-enacted rent control moratorium), the Santa Rosa city council has also carved out an exclusion for all duplexes and for certain triplexes, those where one of the three units is occupied by the building owner. Lastly, these regulations will presently only affect properties within Santa Rosa city limits. So, if you have an investment property in Sonoma County and you’re worried about the impact of rent control, first verify whether your property actually falls within these parameters: if your property is not in the city of Santa Rosa, this issue does not affect you – yet. If you are in Santa Rosa and you have a single family residence, rent control will not directly affect you. Same if you own a duplex. But if, for example, you have an eight unit building built in 1956, this will substantially impact your future operation and finances.
Moratorium and Just Cause Eviction
That’s the primary issue – which properties are affected and which are not. There are more details to review, in terms of what latitude will be permitted re rent increases year over year, and there is also the thorny issue of “just cause eviction.” In many ways, Just Cause Eviction is even more problematic than rent control itself. You also have to be familiar with the Moratorium that is already in effect, implemented as a temporary measure while the city of Santa Rosa creates and executes their final rent control ordinance. The moratorium is designed to provide emergency a rent freeze – but once again, only to certain tenants.
I’ve said it previously: property management can be complicated. It’s our goal to help simplify your life. On this particular topic, there are many interlocking pieces adding up to a very complex picture, so we’ll continue to follow it closely. Check out our other blogs on rent control or any of the various subjects we’ve addressed. Alternately, feel free to contact us directly at DeDe’s Rentals.