Tell (S) Housing Members, You Oppose 5435
Applies to both residential housing and manufactured home communities.
- Prohibits a landlord from increasing the rent more than the CPI-U or 3%, whichever is greater, up to a maximum or 7%. Commerce is required to calculate and publish the maximum annual rent increase percentage.
- Contains a VERY complicated "banking" process to carry forward the ability to give an increase later if not given in that year.
- Prohibits a landlord from increasing the rent in the first 12 months of a tenancy.
- "Rent increase" is defined to include any new charges added to a rental agreement that were not identified in the initial rental agreement. For example, new parking, utility, or other charges.
- Requires a landlord that increases rent above the limit to include facts supporting the exemption in the written notice of the rent increase.
- Creates a private cause of action for a tenant to recover actual damages, punitive damages equal to 3 months' rent, and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.
- Provides the following exemptions from the maximum annual rent increase limit:
- Dwelling units that are less than 10 years old.
- Tenancies for which the landlord is required to reduce rent to 30% or less of the tenant's income because of a federal, state, or local program or subsidy.
- If a landlord has paid for improvements to the dwelling unit that cost more than 4 months' rent and the improvements were made during the 12 months preceding the notice of the rent increase, then the landlord may increase rent for the following calendar year by up to 7%, or 4% + the maximum annual rent increase percentage for the calendar year, whichever is greater.
- If a landlord is experiencing significant hardship in complying with rent control for the current calendar year due to a disparity between the local costs for providing housing and the statewide costs for providing housing, the landlord may request an individual exemption from Commerce.