Housing Rights Center offers insight into new rent law, tenant and landlord rights

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In an effort to inform local residents on rent and housing policies in California, the nonprofit organization Housing Rights Center held a meeting Monday to discuss a new state law and fair housing. 

The event, hosted in partnership with the city of Santa Clarita at the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library, focused particularly on Assembly Bill 1482 or the “Tenant Protection Act of 2019,” which took effect Jan. 1 and was designed to protect tenants against the most “egregious” rent hikes. 

“If you fall under AB 1482, your rent cannot increase more than 5% plus the inflation rate of that year,” said Iqra Farooq, an outreach coordinator at the Housing Rights Center. “As of now, the inflation rate is 3.3%, so your rent cannot be increased by more than 8.3% for this year.” 

The law requires landlords to prove “just cause,” such as failure to pay rent, in order to evict a tenant who has lived in a unit for at least 12 months. When it comes to remodeling, landlords will have to pay one month’s rent as relocation, added Farooq. 

The law will be in effect until 2030, and does not apply to buildings that were constructed in the last 15 years, and single-family homes and condominiums not owned by corporations, real estate investment trusts or limited liability companies with at least one corporate member. 

Besides new legislation, Farooq highlighted tenant and landlord rights. Here’s a breakdown of some of the expectations residents should know: 

For landlords:

Landlords must fix conditions that seriously affect the unit’s habitability such as: 

  • Water leaks from the roof, doors, windows or walls.
  • Plumbing, gas, heating and electrical problems.
  • Pest concerns, such as mice and roaches.
  • Structural hazards, such as an unsafe staircase.
  • Unsanitary conditions.

For tenants: 

Tenants must take reasonable care of the unit by doing the following: 

  • Keeping the unit clean and sanitary.
  • Using gas, electrical and plumbing fixtures correctly.
  • Notifying landlord when locks or security devices don’t work properly.
  • Properly disposing of trash.
  • Not removing any parts of the structure.

For additional information about fair housing laws, and tenant and landlord rights, visit housingrightscenter.org. 

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