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How to Handle Legally Raising your Rent in California

Posted by Ken Meyer on Tue, Jul 10, 2018

Landlord writing up a new rental agreementCalifornia is known as a state with heavy regulation. However, it is not one of the states which has a limit on rent increases. Rent control is limited to units constructed prior to 1995 and can only apply to a current tenant.


However, there are still restrictions on raising the rent. If you are raising the rent less than ten percent you have to give your tenant 30 days notice. For a higher raise, you have to give 60 days notice. If you are under rent control, you have limits on how much you can raise the rent (for example, 5% in Los Angeles, with a slight additional increase if the landlord pays utilities). There is also a move to repeal the state-wide restriction on rent control, which will be on the November 2018 ballot as an initiative. Rent cannot generally be raised during the course of a lease that runs more than 30 days. However, you can write into the lease that rent increases may happen.


In other words, you can raise the rent as much as you want to between leases or on month-to-month tenants, but you need to give the appropriate amount of notice. It's worth noting that the 60-day notice for rent increases of more than 10% is the same period required for terminating tenancy if the tenant has been there more than a year. You also cannot raise the rent to retaliate against a tenant. That is, if a tenant withholds rent because you have not fixed a significant plumbing problem, you cannot try to regain that money by raising the rent. If something like this happens, it is best to make sure that you do not increase that tenant's rent by a different amount from other people in the building. You also cannot raise the rent in a way that is discriminatory.


As long as you abide by these rules, though, there is no law preventing you from raising rent significantly. You might want to consider other consequences, though. For more information about managing your rental property, contact Trust Deed Capital today.


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