Overview of the Apartment Rent Ordinance
In 1979, the San José City Council appointed a task force to address issues in rental housing. In July 1979, the City Council adopted a rent stabilization ordinance for mobilehome parks and apartments, and created the City's Rental Dispute Program (now known as the Rent Stabilization Program) to administer the Ordinance. In 1985 the City Council voted to separate the Rent Stabilization Ordinance into two ordinances - one for mobilehome parks and another for apartments.
On May 10, 2016, the City Council amended the Apartment Rent Ordinance to lower the allowable annual rent increase from 8% to 5%.
The Apartment Rent Ordinance, found in San José Municipal Code Chapter 17.23, and its companion regulations limit rent increases on approximately 19,000 apartments in San Jose.
Below is a short video regarding the Apartment Rent Ordinance:
Apartment Rent Ordinance Coverage
How to determine if a property is rent stabilized
Allowable Rent Increase Under the Ordinance
Exceptions To the Allowable Rent Increases
Housing Code Violations
Freedom to Exercise Rights
On April 24, 2018, San Jose City Council voted to require utility charges to be included in the rent charged for rent stabilized apartments. The Ordinance allows landlords to file a one-time rent increase petition between July 5, 2018 to October 31, 2018 if they are currently charging utilities through a ratio utility billing system (RUBS) or similar unmetered allocation arrangements. Starting October 31, 2018, landlords will not be allowed to bill utilities to tenants through those means if a petition has not been submitted or after a final decision is submitted on a filed petition.
A one-time rent increase may be permitted provided that certain requirements are met as set forth in the Ordinance and Regulations. If approved, the one-time rent increase may equal the average monthly utility charges in the 2017 Santa Clara County Housing Authority Utility Allowance rates.
To file a RUBS petition, landlords must submit the following supporting documents:
A landlord can petition to pass through costs to tenants for the following reasons:
•Threaten to sue, evict or terminate the tenancy of the tenant(s).
•Harass you until you leave.
•Reduce your services.
•Increase your rent.
•Impose a security deposit or any other new charge.