San Jose rent control &
The San Jose Rent Control Apartment Rent Ordinance

As one of the most expensive rental markets in the country, it is no wonder why San Jose rent control has become a divisive issue. The City Council, now dominated by progressive policymakers, has recently adopted both the San Jose Rent Control Apartment Rent Ordinance, which regulates rent increases, and San Jose Eviction Control, which bars landlords from evicting tenant without citing a “just cause”.
Approximately 45,820 units are impacted by the San Jose rent stabilization law, which limits rent increases to a maximum of 5% per year. Interestingly, the council rejected the initial policy of allowing landlords to “bank” unused rate hikes and apply them down the road. Given such a politically contentious issue, you can bank on further debates and changes we will keep you abreast of at Bornstein Law.
If your property was build prior to September 7, 1979, it may be subject to San Jose Rent Control. There are exemptions for two-unit buildings, single family homes, and condos. San José, Cal., Mun. Code Title 17, c. 17.23.150 (2017), as well as some other exceptions – when in doubt, contact our real estate attorneys to determine if the law applies to your rental units.
Landlord-tenant disputes oftentimes end up in mediation and arbitration, where a hearing officer will make determinations on a host of factors that are best journeyed with lawyers that specialize in San Jose rent control. Within seven days of the mediator’s determination, either party may appeal the mediator’s decision to arbitration.
The San Jose Tenant Protection Ordinance is particularly complex, because it is an enrollment-based program whereby a resident may enroll an eligible unit into “just cause” protections based on a tenant complaint or legal status. As if this was not complicated enough, the enrollment can take the shape of “limited term enrollment” lasting six months, or “full enrollment” lasting two years. We will go more in depth on this topic future posts (follow us on Facebook to be stay in the know)
At Bornstein Law, our office has fielded many inquiries from landlords pursuing San Jose Owner Move-In Eviction (OMI). This may be viable when the owner has a 50% or more interest in the property and desires to transition the tenant out of their property for the owner’s own use, or to move a spouse, domestic partner, children, or brother/sister. In this event, the landlord or their relative must move into the unit within 3 months. After occupying the unit, the owner or relative must make this their principal residence for at least 36 continuous months.
There are several other contingencies and rules that apply – contact our office for the information you need to ensure the OMI is compliant with San Jose rent control rules.
Please be aware that with Owner Move-In Evictions and other no-fault evictions, the tenant may be entitled to relocation assistance. In parting thoughts, landlords should know that wrongful evictions and other violations of San Jose rent control can carry severe penalties in the form of injunctions, money damages, costs and attorney fees, penalties that can tripled by the court if the landlord is found to willfully flaunt the rules.
This should punctuate the need to contact Bornstein Law, the preeminent rent control attorneys that have protected the rights of property owners for over 23 years.

Rent control applies in some form or fashion in the following locales.


» San Francisco
» Oakland
» Berkeley
» San Jose
» Emeryville
» Alameda
» Hayward
» Richmond
» Mountain View


For informed advice when controversies arise in your rent controled unit, reach out to Bornstein Law. 

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