Eviction Protections and Rent Regulations
Welcome to the City of Larkspur's resource page on Just Cause Eviction and Tenant Protections, Rent Stabilization, and important state laws that impact tenant-landlord relationships. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable housing options for all residents and fostering a thriving community.
Just Cause Eviction and Tenant Protections Ordinance
On July 19, 2023, the City of Larkspur adopted Ordinance 1068 establishing Just Cause Eviction and Tenant Protection Regulations. Ordinance 1068 aims to provide essential protections for tenants facing eviction, ensuring fairness and stability in housing. You can access the full text of the ordinance by clicking the link below:
Rent Stabilization Ordinance Information
On September 6, 2023, Larkspur City Council passed Ordinance No. 1067, which established rent stabilization regulations, capping annual rental rate increases for residential properties. A petition titled "Referendum Against Amendments to Larkspur Municipal Code Relating to Residential Real Property Rental Rates" was filed on September 28, 2023, to challenge the ordinance. The petition contained sufficient signatures and was verified by the Registrar of Voters. In the November 1, 2023, Larkspur City Council Regular Meeting, Council directed staff to return with a resolution to submit the referendum on Ordinance 1067 to the voters. The Council decided to place the matter on the March 5, 2024 ballot.
What is Rent Stabilization?
The most common form of regulation concerning rent increases is known as rent stabilization (often called “rent control”). Rent stabilization ordinances establish a ceiling (or maximum amount) by which the rent of a residential unit may be increased in a given period of time. The ordinances identify under what circumstances the rent increase might be allowed to exceed the ceiling – usually relating to the incurrence of capital improvement and other extraordinary costs. Local jurisdictions that control land use are allowed to create rent stabilization regulations as a form of police power, meaning that the local jurisdiction has determined that rent stabilization is needed to protect the health and welfare of the community. Rent stabilization is perceived as a tool to protect tenants from displacement. Creating a ceiling gives tenants greater certainty about their cost of living as it relates to housing.
City Council Recordings and Staff Reports:
AB 1482 is a statewide act that has two main functions: it limits rent increases and removes the right of landlords to evict tenants without just cause.
- Rent Increases: AB 1482 restricts the allowable annual rent increase to 5% plus a local cost-of-living adjustment of no more than 5%, for a maximum increase of 10%. The law is retroactive, calculating the starting rent from March of 2019. There is no maximum rent or limit on how much landlords can raise rents between one tenant and the next.
- Eviction Protection: Landlords can only evict tenants for a number of legal reasons. This applies to tenants who have lived in the unit for more than one year.
- “At fault” just causes for eviction include not paying rent, criminal activity in the rental unit, or breaching the lease contract. Landlords must give tenants a chance to fix lease violations.
- “No fault” just causes for eviction include the owner moving into the unit, converting the apartment to a condo, or renovating or demolishing the unit. Landlords must offer the tenant a “relocation fee” equal to one month’s rent in these cases.
The act does not, however, enforce these rules. Tenants have to hire an attorney and sue their landlord if they believe their rights are being violated. AB1482 will expire on January 1, 2030, unless legislators extend it.
The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (1995)
Introduced three limitations:
- First, it exempted certain types of rental units from local rent stabilization (most notably single-family homes and condominiums).
- Second, it exempted units built after the February 1, 1995, effective date of the Act.
- Third, it prohibited “vacancy control.” Vacancy control refers to regulating the amount a landlord may charge for a new lease of a vacant unit. Under Costa-Hawkins, when a unit becomes vacant, a landlord is not restricted in the amount of rent charged in a new lease.