Protecting Costa-Hawkins





WHAT IS COSTA-HAWKINS?  The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act is a California state law that exempts certain kinds of residential rental units from rent control ordinances and allows landlords to reset the rental rate on rent-controlled rental units where they become vacant or where the last rent-controlled tenant no longer permanently resides at the unit (including where they move and leave behind subtenants).

In simpler terms, the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act places limits on the ability of local governments to enact rent control. Specifically it exempts single family homes/condominiums and post 1995 construction from rental control. It allows landlords to establish initial rental rates for a new tenant — a policy known as vacancy decontrol.

BIGGEST THREAT TO PROPERTY OWNERS!  The AIDS Healthcare Foundation and activist Michael Weinstein  have qualified a 2024 ballot initiative, the so-called “Justice for Renters Act that abolishes Costa-Hawkins protections and directly threatens your rights as a property owner. 

How the Initiative Threatens Your Investment
The proposition authorizes your city and county politicians to immediately enact ordinances that:
•    Prevent owners from charging market rents to new tenants upon vacancy (“vacancy decontrol”).  Yes, if this passes the government, not you, will set rents.
•    Allow rent control of single-family homes and condominiums.
•    Expand local government bureaucratic hurdles thereby increasing your operating costs.

The proposition is guaranteed to:
•    Decrease your rental income.
•    Decrease the resale value of your property. In New York, a similar proposal reduced property values by 30 percent to 40 percent.   
•    Create a patchwork of local ordinances that complicate compliance and increase your expenses.

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO? Learn more about the initiative and help raise awareness by sharing the link to this page.