San Diego Tenants Face Illegal Rent Hikes
San Diego renters are facing a crisis. Landlords across the city are illegally raising rents beyond the limits set by California's Tenant Protection Act.
This leaves many tenants struggling to afford rent or even facing eviction.
What the Law Allows
The Tenant Protection Act, passed in 2019, caps annual rent increases in California to 5% plus inflation, or 10% maximum. This law protects tenants from excessive hikes that could force them out of their homes.
However, some San Diego landlords are flouting this law by raising rents 15-30% - well beyond the legal limit. Tenants have little recourse but to pay the excessive rents or move out.
Lower-income tenants relying on rental assistance are especially vulnerable to illegal rent hikes. Programs like Section 8 provide vouchers to subsidize rent, but landlords can undermine this by illegally inflating rents beyond what the vouchers cover.
The city's tenant protection laws prohibit discrimination against Section 8 recipients. But without enforcement, landlords often get away with illegal hikes that price out tenants who rely on rental assistance.
Calls for Change
Affordable housing advocates are calling on the city's Housing Commission to deny illegal rent increase requests exceeding 10%. The Commission has the authority to enforce rent control laws by rejecting unconscionable hikes.
Community groups are also pushing the city to strengthen tenant protections and rental assistance programs. With rents continuing to soar, more San Diegans are struggling to afford housing.
Expanding rental subsidies and legal aid for tenants could help more families stay in their homes.
The Tenant Protection Act was meant to shield renters from burdensome rent hikes. But without proper enforcement, landlords can disregard the law at the expense of vulnerable tenants. As San Diego faces an affordability crisis, protecting renters from illegal practices is imperative.