“Berkeley residents may be able to set some of their own rent control rules if Californians vote to repeal the 1995 Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act in November.

Costa Hawkins bars cities from imposing rent control on houses and condominiums as well as “new construction” — any housing built either after 1995 or after a city first established rent control. Since Berkeley first established rent control in 1980, anything built in the past 38 years has been exempt from rent control under Costa Hawkins.

If the statewide proposition to repeal Costa Hawkins passes in November, Berkeley’s 1980 rent control ordinance would go back into effect. That ordinance also had a “new construction” exemption as well, but the exemption was never updated since Costa Hawkins was passed 15 years later and overruled Berkeley’s ordinance.”

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