Inflation is on the rise, and so is cost of living, which means groceries, other products, and rent for many people.
However, there are rules to how much and at what time landlords can raise a tenant's rent. The rules depend on whether a rent is on a fixed or month-to-month lease.
Sadie Weller, a Staff Attorney for The San Luis Obispo Legal Assistance Foundation, told KSBY, “I think just sort of given the local housing market, given sort of inflation in general, we are seeing clients coming to us more with rent increases that their landlords are proposing.”
The Tenant Protection Act of 2019 protects most renters in apartment buildings, triplexes, other multi-unit buildings, duplexes that are not owner occupied and mobile homes owned by park management.
For renters on a month-to-month lease, a landlord is required to give at least a 30-day notice of rent increase.
There are also caps that determine how high the increase can go.
“Their landlord cannot increase their rent more than a certain percentage of the state legislators legislature is set and that percentage is 5% plus the change in the Consumer Price Index over the past year,” explained Weller. This can only add up to 10% total.
The Consumer Price Index is a number than can change every year. Weller says the CPI went up by 7% from 2021 to 2022.
“So that would be a 12% increase. But the law sets a cap, regardless of what the change in CPI is, tenants protected by this act cannot face more than 10% rent increase over any 12 month period,” she explained.
Some big exceptions to these protections include new housing - many dwellings that were built in the last 15 years and single family homes. There is not a limit on how much a landlord can raise rent in those cases.
There are notice requirements, however, for all rent increases. In any case, a landlord cannot increase rent without at least 30 days' written notice ahead of time, and that time frame is increased if the notice is delivered by mail.