Tenants Suffer as California Rent Control Law Looms

A San Diego eviction attorney said landlords are in a hurry to evict tenants and raise rents before rent cap laws take effect in 2020

An impending law meant to keep rent reasonable in San Diego County is causing problems for some tenants.

As the law stands now, landlords can increase a tenant’s rent by any amount at the end of a lease term as long as proper notification is given. Assembly Bill 1482, which goes into effect on the first of 2020, will cap rent increases throughout the state from 7% to 8% a year.

That means landlords are trying their hardest to make up for future lost profits before the law changes, according to one eviction attorney.

“What that’s doing to the housing crisis is, now you’ll have hundreds, thousand of families in San Diego alone, displaced because owners are feeling the only solution they have is to get renters out and get new ones in,” said attorney Rachael Callahan, owner of San Diego Evictions.

Callahan said she has already served more than 200 termination notices in the last 60 days.

“Over 200 termination notices. That's crazy -- and great for business -- but my passion is helping people and that's awful to see,” Callahan said.

Callahan said landlords are backed in a corner.

“People think rent control is good. It’s good for tenants, it keeps rent down and that's just not what we’re seeing,” Callahan said.

The AB 1482 rent cap will expire in 10 years. It will then be up to law makers on whether to extend it.

The San Diego Tenants Union said its pushing for a city ordinance that would cap rent increases at 2% every year, and they’re also pushing for rent freezes until the new year.

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