2009 California Civil Code - Section 1954.50-1954.535 :: Chapter 2.7. Residential Rent Control

CIVIL CODE
SECTION 1954.50-1954.535

1954.50.  This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the
Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.

1954.51.  As used in this chapter, the following terms have the
following meanings:
   (a) "Comparable units" means rental units that have approximately
the same living space, have the same number of bedrooms, are located
in the same or similar neighborhoods, and feature the same, similar,
or equal amenities and housing services.
   (b) "Owner" includes any person, acting as principal or through an
agent, having the right to offer residential real property for rent,
and includes a predecessor in interest to the owner, except that
this term does not include the owner or operator of a mobilehome
park, or the owner of a mobilehome or his or her agent.
   (c) "Prevailing market rent" means the rental rate that would be
authorized pursuant to 42 U.S.C.A. 1437 (f), as calculated by the
United States Department of Housing and Urban Development pursuant to
Part 888 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
   (d) "Public entity" has the same meaning as set forth in Section
811.2 of the Government Code.
   (e) "Residential real property" includes any dwelling or unit that
is intended for human habitation.
   (f) "Tenancy" includes the lawful occupation of property and
includes a lease or sublease.

1954.52.  (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an owner
of residential real property may establish the initial and all
subsequent rental rates for a dwelling or a unit about which any of
the following is true:
   (1) It has a certificate of occupancy issued after February 1,
1995.
   (2) It has already been exempt from the residential rent control
ordinance of a public entity on or before February 1, 1995, pursuant
to a local exemption for newly constructed units.
   (3) (A) It is alienable separate from the title to any other
dwelling unit or is a subdivided interest in a subdivision, as
specified in subdivision (b), (d), or (f) of Section 11004.5 of the
Business and Professions Code.
   (B) This paragraph does not apply to either of the following:
   (i) A dwelling or unit where the preceding tenancy has been
terminated by the owner by notice pursuant to Section 1946.1 or has
been terminated upon a change in the terms of the tenancy noticed
pursuant to Section 827.
   (ii) A condominium dwelling or unit that has not been sold
separately by the subdivider to a bona fide purchaser for value. The
initial rent amount of the unit for purposes of this chapter shall be
the lawful rent in effect on May 7, 2001, unless the rent amount is
governed by a different provision of this chapter. However, if a
condominium dwelling or unit meets the criteria of paragraph (1) or
(2) of subdivision (a), or if all the dwellings or units except one
have been sold separately by the subdivider to bona fide purchasers
for value, and the subdivider has occupied that remaining unsold
condominium dwelling or unit as his or her principal residence for at
least one year after the subdivision occurred, then subparagraph (A)
of paragraph (3) shall apply to that unsold condominium dwelling or
unit.
   (C) Where a dwelling or unit in which the initial or subsequent
rental rates are controlled by an ordinance or charter provision in
effect on January 1, 1995, the following shall apply:
   (i) An owner of real property as described in this paragraph may
establish the initial and all subsequent rental rates for all
existing and new tenancies in effect on or after January 1, 1999, if
the tenancy in effect on or after January 1, 1999, was created
between January 1, 1996, and December 31, 1998.
   (ii) Commencing on January 1, 1999, an owner of real property as
described in this paragraph may establish the initial and all
subsequent rental rates for all new tenancies if the previous tenancy
was in effect on December 31, 1995.
   (iii) The initial rental rate for a dwelling or unit as described
in this paragraph in which the initial rental rate is controlled by
an ordinance or charter provision in effect on January 1, 1995, may
not, until January 1, 1999, exceed the amount calculated pursuant to
subdivision (c) of Section 1954.53. An owner of residential real
property as described in this paragraph may, until January 1, 1999,
establish the initial rental rate for a dwelling or unit only where
the tenant has voluntarily vacated, abandoned, or been evicted
pursuant to paragraph (2) of Section 1161 of the Code of Civil
Procedure.
   (b) Subdivision (a) does not apply where the owner has otherwise
agreed by contract with a public entity in consideration for a direct
financial contribution or any other forms of assistance specified in
Chapter 4.3 (commencing with Section 65915) of Division 1 of Title 7
of the Government Code.
   (c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the
authority of a public entity that may otherwise exist to regulate or
monitor the basis for eviction.
   (d) This section does not apply to any dwelling or unit that
contains serious health, safety, fire, or building code violations,
excluding those caused by disasters for which a citation has been
issued by the appropriate governmental agency and which has remained
unabated for six months or longer preceding the vacancy.

1954.53.  (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an owner
of residential real property may establish the initial rental rate
for a dwelling or unit, except where any of the following applies:
   (1) The previous tenancy has been terminated by the owner by
notice pursuant to Section 1946.1 or has been terminated upon a
change in the terms of the tenancy noticed pursuant to Section 827,
except a change permitted by law in the amount of rent or fees. For
the purpose of this paragraph, the owner's termination or nonrenewal
of a contract or recorded agreement with a governmental agency that
provides for a rent limitation to a qualified tenant, shall be
construed as a change in the terms of the tenancy pursuant to Section
827.
   (A) In a jurisdiction that controls by ordinance or charter
provision the rental rate for a dwelling or unit, an owner who
terminates or fails to renew a contract or recorded agreement with a
governmental agency that provides for a rent limitation to a
qualified tenant may not set an initial rent for three years
following the date of the termination or nonrenewal of the contract
or agreement. For any new tenancy established during the three-year
period, the rental rate for a new tenancy established in that vacated
dwelling or unit shall be at the same rate as the rent under the
terminated or nonrenewed contract or recorded agreement with a
governmental agency that provided for a rent limitation to a
qualified tenant, plus any increases authorized after the termination
or cancellation of the contract or recorded agreement.
   (B) Subparagraph (A) does not apply to any new tenancy of 12
months or more duration established after January 1, 2000, pursuant
to the owner's contract or recorded agreement with a governmental
agency that provides for a rent limitation to a qualified tenant,
unless the prior vacancy in that dwelling or unit was pursuant to a
nonrenewed or canceled contract or recorded agreement with a
governmental agency that provides for a rent limitation to a
qualified tenant as set forth in that subparagraph.
   (2) The owner has otherwise agreed by contract with a public
entity in consideration for a direct financial contribution or any
other forms of assistance specified in Chapter 4.3 (commencing with
Section 65915) of Division 1 of Title 7 of the Government Code.
   (3) The initial rental rate for a dwelling or unit whose initial
rental rate is controlled by an ordinance or charter provision in
effect on January 1, 1995, may not until January 1, 1999, exceed the
amount calculated pursuant to subdivision (c).
   (b) Subdivision (a) applies to, and includes, renewal of the
initial hiring by the same tenant, lessee, authorized subtenant, or
authorized sublessee for the entire period of his or her occupancy at
the rental rate established for the initial hiring.
   (c) The rental rate of a dwelling or unit whose initial rental
rate is controlled by ordinance or charter provision in effect on
January 1, 1995, shall, until January 1, 1999, be established in
accordance with this subdivision. Where the previous tenant has
voluntarily vacated, abandoned, or been evicted pursuant to paragraph
(2) of Section 1161 of Code of Civil Procedure, an owner of
residential real property may, no more than twice, establish the
initial rental rate for a dwelling or unit in an amount that is no
greater than 15 percent more than the rental rate in effect for the
immediately preceding tenancy or in an amount that is 70 percent of
the prevailing market rent for comparable units, whichever amount is
greater.
   The initial rental rate established pursuant to this subdivision
may not substitute for or replace increases in rental rates otherwise
authorized pursuant to law.
   (d) (1) Nothing in this section or any other provision of law
shall be construed to preclude express establishment in a lease or
rental agreement of the rental rates to be applicable in the event
the rental unit subject thereto is sublet. Nothing in this section
shall be construed to impair the obligations of contracts entered
into prior to January 1, 1996.
   (2) If the original occupant or occupants who took possession of
the dwelling or unit pursuant to the rental agreement with the owner
no longer permanently reside there, an owner may increase the rent by
any amount allowed by this section to a lawful sublessee or assignee
who did not reside at the dwelling or unit prior to January 1, 1996.
   (3) This subdivision does not apply to partial changes in
occupancy of a dwelling or unit where one or more of the occupants of
the premises, pursuant to the agreement with the owner provided for
above, remains an occupant in lawful possession of the dwelling or
unit, or where a lawful sublessee or assignee who resided at the
dwelling or unit prior to January 1, 1996, remains in possession of
the dwelling or unit. Nothing contained in this section shall be
construed to enlarge or diminish an owner's right to withhold consent
to a sublease or assignment.
   (4) Acceptance of rent by the owner does not operate as a waiver
or otherwise prevent enforcement of a covenant prohibiting sublease
or assignment or as a waiver of an owner's rights to establish the
initial rental rate, unless the owner has received written notice
from the tenant that is party to the agreement and thereafter
accepted rent.
   (e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect any
authority of a public entity that may otherwise exist to regulate or
monitor the grounds for eviction.
   (f) This section does not apply to any dwelling or unit if all the
following conditions are met:
   (1) The dwelling or unit has been cited in an inspection report by
the appropriate governmental agency as containing serious health,
safety, fire, or building code violations, as defined by Section
17920.3 of the Health and Safety Code, excluding any violation caused
by a disaster.
   (2) The citation was issued at least 60 days prior to the date of
the vacancy.
   (3) The cited violation had not been abated when the prior tenant
vacated and had remained unabated for 60 days or for a longer period
of time. However, the 60-day time period may be extended by the
appropriate governmental agency that issued the citation.

1954.535.  Where an owner terminates or fails to renew a contract or
recorded agreement with a governmental agency that provides for rent
limitations to a qualified tenant, the tenant or tenants who were
the beneficiaries of the contract or recorded agreement shall be
given at least 90 days' written notice of the effective date of the
termination and shall not be obligated to pay more than the tenant's
portion of the rent, as calculated under the contract or recorded
agreement to be terminated, for 90 days following receipt of the
notice of termination of nonrenewal of the contract.


Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. California may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.