“San Luis Obispo County voters will consider a statewide rent control measure when they go to the polls in November. But will Proposition 10 have an impact on local renters and property owners? It might, but not unless elected officials take action to regulate area housing prices. Rent control is enacted by local governments, who can use various methods to moderate housing costs. Prior to the mid-1990s, some California cities, such as Berkeley and Santa Monica, had strict rent control measures that allowed landlords to raise the rent by only a small amount each year.

Then, in 1995, the state Legislature passed the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which restricts local governments from making such stringent housing laws.

Under Costa-Hawkins, cities can still enact rent control, but it cannot apply to single-family homes, condominiums and multi-family complexes built after 1995, and sometimes even earlier, depending on the community. Local governments also can’t keep landlords from raising rents when tenants move out.

The Bay Area city of Mountain View passed a 2016 ballot initiative enacting the limited form of rent control allowed under Costa-Hawkins, according to a September Los Angeles Times story.

Proposition 10 would repeal Costa-Hawkins, allowing local officials to have more say over rent control in their communities. But unless cities already have rental regulations on the books, that would require new action by local governments.

Does SLO County have rent control?

Housing affordability has become an increasingly urgent issue in San Luis Obispo County, where about 40 percent of households live in rental units, according to 2016 U.S. Census Bureau data.

The cost of renting a two-bedroom unit in the county is up more than 50 percent since 2013 the largest increase in the state in that time. Residents paid $2,139 in median rent — meaning half of renters paid more and half paid less — for a two-bedroom unit in September, according to real estate tracking firm Zillow.com.”

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