Prop 21 fails, leaving California rent control rules unchanged, according to AP projections

ByAlix Martichoux WPVI logo
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Prop 21 would allow cities to enact more rent control
Californians will be asked whether cities should be allowed to introduce new rent control laws when they vote on Proposition 21.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Proposition 21, a ballot measure that seeks to overhaul rent control in California has failed, according to Associated Press projections.

Prop 21 would have allowed local governments to put rent control in place for all kinds of housing, including single family homes, condos and townhomes.

There are two exceptions: if the home or building is newer (first occupied in the past 15 years) and if the landlord only owns up to two properties. Those properties would be exempt from rent control.

RELATED: Results for all the California propositions here

This proposition would have replaced the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act of 1995. Costa-Hawkins disallows cities from putting rent control on units built after 1995. This proposition would've changed that fixed-date restriction, and instead adopted a 15-year rolling minimum before rent control could be established.

Also under Costa-Hawkins, landlords can raise the rent as much as they want after a tenant moves out. Prop 21 would limit on how much they can raise the rent of a vacated unit to 15% over three years.

Costa-Hawkins also doesn't allow rent control on single-family homes, condos or townhouses -- another thing Prop 21 seeks to change.

Voters rejected a similar rent control measure, Proposition 10, in 2018.