“Fasten your seat belts, ladies and gentlemen. The rent control fight of our time is upon us. Only this time, the fight will have lasting effects on residents statewide.
After several unsuccessful attempts by the state Legislature to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act — the landmark legislation protecting the rights of property owners against extreme forms of rent control — an alliance of advocacy groups filed a statewide ballot initiative — Proposition 10 — to repeal the legislation.
Before the law’s inception in 1995, five major cities — including Berkeley and West Hollywood — placed limits on rent increases regardless of whether rental units were vacant. Today, Costa-Hawkins remains the one law standing in the gap for property owners to charge market rent for their units. Under the act, apartments and single-family homes built after 1995 are exempt from local rent control laws. Without Costa-Hawkins, property owners would be left to the mercy of unrestrained rent limitations imposed by municipalities.
Beyond that, Costa-Hawkins spurs an economic engine for our state in that it exempts new construction of single-family homes from rent control. This incentivizes construction companies to build housing units throughout our state, enabling us to keep up with the skyrocketing demand for housing.”