Rent and Eviction Control Laws Will Likely be Enacted in the City of Concord in April 2024

The Concord City Council recently voted to implement a rent and eviction control ordinance, which caps yearly rent increases and requires landlords to have “just cause” before evicting a tenant. 

The new rent control provisions will limit annual rent increases to the lower of 3% or 60% of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which applies specifically to multifamily units built before Feb. 1, 1995.  Different parts of the ordinance will apply differently to various types of housing. For instance, rented single-family homes and condominiums are subject to just cause eviction regulations but not to the proposed rent stabilization regulations. Conversely, multifamily units built after Feb. 1, 1995, would be subject to just cause for eviction regulations but not local rent control. Some of these units, however, are covered by the rent cap under the California Tenant Protection Act (AB 1482). Additionally, the ordinance does not apply to accessory dwelling units and duplexes where the owner lives in one of the units. 

The ordinance will come before the council for further consideration before it becomes official.  In the likely event it is formally approved, the ordinance will become effective in April, with rent rollbacks setting rents to their amount in April 2023, plus the increases allowed by the ordinance applying to the previous year.  The ordinance requires a second vote for ratification scheduled on March 5, which would allow further public comment.

The “just cause” eviction provisions in the ordinance are harsher than California’s Tenant Protection Act, which currently protects renters from excessive rent increases and unjust evictions. The eviction control provisions also require landlords to cover certain moving expenses in “no fault” eviction scenarios, further adding to the financial burdens of property owners.

For example, the ordinance’s just cause section will address owners needing to evict so they can move into their units. The council decided, in the case of single-family home evictions in which the owner would move in, the owner would compensate the tenant by paying them first and last month’s rent, plus $2,000 in moving expenses.

The ordinance would also establish a process utilizing a hearing officer whereby tenants could appeal their rent increases if they believed them to be inconsistent with the ordinance. Property owners could also request higher rent increases above what the ordinance would otherwise allow to obtain a fair return on their investment property.

Lynx Legal believes this ordinance and others like it are unnecessary and punitive nature toward housing providers.  Additionally, the ordinance’s strict rent control and relocation fee provisions will lead to financial hardships for small landlords and discourage investment in rental properties.`

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