After rent-control’s defeat, California lawmakers propose tenant protections

Thursday, March 14, 2019

SACRAMENTO — Four months after California voters rejected an effort to expand rent control, lawmakers are back with a proposal to loosen decades-old restrictions, allowing local governments to place more properties under rent control.

That bill and three others aimed at protecting renters — through anti-gouging caps, a statewide rental registry and eviction protections — will be debated amid an unprecedented run-up in market-rate rents over the past five years and a growing homelessness crisis. Such legislation is routinely challenged by the same powerful real-estate interests that spent over $70 million last year to defeat Proposition 10, the rent-control measure. But the lawmaker behind the proposal to change California’s landmark rent-control law said he hoped that renter and landlord groups — who previously were miles apart on their stances and apparently unwilling to budge — would forge an agreement this time.