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Home | Newsroom | Housing | Proposition 10: California’s rent control ballot measure, explained

Proposition 10: California’s rent control ballot measure, explained

Proposition 10 would give cities the ability to expand rent control, including potentially to more buildings. It would do that by repealing the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act, a state law that limits how cities can apply rent control.

Right now, in the city of Los Angeles, for example, only buildings constructed before 1978 are rent controlled under Costa Hawkins.

Costa Hawkins passed in 1995; at the time, Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters referred to it as an “anti-rent control law.” There are three main ways it softens rent control.

Under Costa Hawkins:

    • Landlords have the right to raise rent on a rent-controlled unit to “fair market value” every time a tenant moves out.
    • Cities are not allowed to apply rent control to units built after February 1995. For cities that already had rent control on the books when Costa Hawkins was passed, the cutoff is backdated. In the LA area, the dates are even earlier: October 1, 1978 for the city of Los Angeles; April 10, 1979 for Santa Monica; July 1, 1979 for West Hollywood; and February 1, 1995 for Beverly Hills.
    • Single-family homes and condos are exempt from rent control restrictions.These provisions would be overturned if Costa Hawkins were repealed, giving cities more freedom to decide how to implement rent control.

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