In San Diego, landlords can increase a tenant’s rent by any amount when their lease expires, as long as they give the required legal notice to their renters, but that could all change if Assembly Bill 1482 becomes law. The bill would ban landlords from increasing rents by more than 5% per year plus the rate of inflation. Currently, the city of San Diego has no local rent control ordinance.
Ginger Hitzke, an affordable housing developer, says the bill is a step in the right direction. “My biggest issue is with folks who are buying up existing apartment complexes… that have potential upside for rent, so they’ll go in, they’ll throw in a new kitchen… and just immediately jack up the rent,” she said. “What value did that really just add to society? What did you really do? You didn’t really do anything, you just found an opportunity in the market and you exploited it.”
Some think the bill doesn’t do enough. Catherine Mendonca is an organizer with the San Diego Tenant’s Union, a group based in City Heights that advocates for tenants’ rights.