San Diego Landlords Face Pressure to Comply with Rent Control Laws

Manuel Simonis
Published Nov 15, 2023

San Diego landlords are under scrutiny for violating the city's rent control ordinance by illegally raising rents on tenants.

The Tenant Protection Act caps rent increases at 10% annually, but some landlords have hiked rents by 15-30% or more, putting tenants in a precarious position.

Crackdown on Offenders

The San Diego Housing Commission has the authority to enforce rent control laws by rejecting excessive rent increase requests from landlords.

Affordable housing advocates are calling on the Commission to deny any rent hike requests that exceed the 10% legal limit.

Landlords found violating the Tenant Protection Act could face penalties, including being ordered to reimburse tenants for overcharges. Repeat offenders may also face legal action from the city to force compliance.

Impact on Landlords

While rent control protects tenants, some landlords argue that capping rent hikes below market rates cuts into their profits and property rights. However, the Tenant Protection Act allows for reasonable rent increases to account for rising costs, while preventing price gouging.

Landlords can also apply for exemptions to the rent cap if they can show substantial capital improvements that justify a higher increase. But excessive hikes without cause or approval are illegal, regardless of landlords' concerns.

A Balancing Act

Rent control aims to balance the needs of both tenants and landlords.

Capping rent increases protects tenants from being priced out of their homes, while still allowing landlords to earn a profit and make a fair return on their investment. 

However, when landlords skirt the law with illegal rent hikes, it undermines this balance and stability in the housing market. Ensuring all parties comply with rent control is key to managing San Diego's housing crisis and keeping homes affordable for renters across the city.

With rents continuing to rise, San Diego must take action against unlawful practices that threaten tenants.

Enforcing rent control laws and protecting vulnerable renters is critical, even as landlords push back against what they see as overregulation.

Achieving an equitable and sustainable housing market depends on fairness and compliance from all sides.

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