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The City of Santa Rosa’s Rent Control Ordinance Takes Effect On September 30, 2016

The City of Santa Rosa has enacted a residential rent stabilization ordinance the becomes effective on September 30, 2016.  The ordinance regulates both the amount of rent that a landlord may charge and the grounds for eviction of tenants. 

The ordinance does not apply to rental units that are single family dwellings, condominiums, duplexes, or triplexes (if the owner lives in one of the units of the triplex as the owner’s principal place of residence), rental units for which a Certificate of Occupancy was first issued after February 1995, and units that are exempt under any federal or state law. The ordinance also exempts, among other things, certain rental units subsidized or regulated by a government agency, but not tenants participating in the HUD Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. The ordinance does not apply to commercial property. 

For rental units subject to the ordinance, a landlord is required to have just cause, as defined by the ordinance, to terminate a tenancy. The just cause grounds for termination of a tenancy include: (1) failure to pay rent, (2) habitual late payment of rent, (3) violation of the obligations of the tenancy, (4) nuisance, (5) refusal to renew a tenancy, (6) failure to provide access, (7) owner or relative move in, (8) demolition, (9) capital improvement plan, (10) compliance with a government order. The ordinance contains certain notice requirements in addition to state law requirements. Under certain circumstances, a landlord is required to pay a tenant a relocation fee.  Additionally, the ordinance requires landlords to provide tenants and prospective purchasers with certain disclosures and report certain in information to the City. In any action brought to recover possession of a rental unit, the landlord must plead and prove compliance with the ordinance. A landlord’s failure to comply with the ordinance may be asserted as a defense to an eviction action.  

A copy of the City of Santa Rosa’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance is available from the City of Santa Rosa at

For further information, please contact Wallace, Richardson, Sontag & Le, LLP at (949) 748-3600; website: 

The law firm of Wallace, Richardson, Sontag & Le, LLP represents landlords, property management companies, institutional and private lenders, employers and insurance companies throughout the State of California in real estate, business and employment litigation. The information provided herein is for general interest only and should not be relied upon or construed as legal advice. 

September 17, 2016 | Landlord-Tenant Law |