What percentage of tenants are aware of their rent control and eviction rights under the Tenant Protection Act (TPA)?

  • Less than 25% (62%, 21 Votes)
  • Over half (24%, 8 Votes)
  • 25%-50% (12%, 4 Votes)
  • Zero (3%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 34

California has some of the most equality intense housing laws in the nation, partially brought about by the state’s high housing costs which has forced the majority of tenants into housing-burdened financial status. Meanwhile, landlords evict tenants or simply raise rents with conduct that is out of step with the state’s landlord-tenant laws.

From both the tenant’s and the landlord’s perspective, it is all about vying for money when housing is in very short supply. Construction starts is another method for leveling the pricing of rentals in contrast to rent control, a legislated zoning condition builders are settling into.

For four years and counting, 2019’s Tenant Protection Act (TPA) has provided the most comprehensive set of tenant-centered laws. However, the TPA got a late start with implementation and thus understanding, as pandemic-era tenant protections superseded the Act through much of 2022.

Now that the TPA is fully in effect, California’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) as the enforcement agency is meeting resistance from landlords reluctant to follow — or simply unaware of — the rules.

Broadly, the TPA:

  • caps annual rent increases at 5% plus the rate of inflation for much of California’s multi-unit residential properties; and
  • requires “just cause” to evict tenants in place for 12 months or more.

The applicability of the TPA covers most multi-unit housing in California and those single family residential (SFR) units owned by a REIT, a corporation or an LLC with a corporate member. To complicate landlord compliance, numerous exemptions for multi-family units and conditions for SFRs exclude some properties.

Read more about who is exempt from the TPA.

TPA violations

Requiring a just cause for eviction creates another roadblock for landlords seeking to re-rent their properties to new tenants at a higher rate by evicting current tenants. Further, when a tenant is being evicted at no fault of their own, the landlord may be required to provide modest financial relocation assistance.

Still, while some landlords continue to work the loopholes in the TPA, others attempt to make their own loopholes.

Related article:

Lease renewals rise as housing options dwindle for California tenants


As one of the original authors of the TPA, the Attorney General has a special stake in making sure landlords are paying attention.

For example, the OAG recently made explicit that landlords renting to Section 8 recipients are not exempt from the TPA.

When landlords are guilty of violating the TPA, landlords may face consequences such as a:

  • court trial;
  • penalty fine; and
  • jail term of one year or less.

For example, the OAG recently reached a settlement with a housing developer — Green Valley Corporation — for violating the TPA.

Green Valley Corporation unlawfully issued rent increases and eviction notices to its employee-tenants. Green Valley Corporation acted on the erroneous belief that the TPA did not apply to the tenants in their employ.

As part of the settlement, it will be required to pay $391,130, including:

  • refunding 15 months of overpaid rent, totaling $331,130; and
  • paying $60,000 in penalties to the state.

It will also return the units to the rental rates in place before the unlawful increases. Further, its staff is required to complete annual training on fair housing laws. The landlord will provide annual reports to the OAG regarding any rent increases, eviction notices and the annual training completed.

Related article:

California continues to crack down on landlords pursuing unjust evictions

Stay up to date with new housing laws and informed about laws being considered by the state legislature – follow the latest at firsttuesday’s Legislative Gossip page.