Is Rent Control Coming to San Mateo County?

San Mateo and Burlingame have placed rent control measures on their respective ballots in the November election.

The City of San Mateo ballot will include Measure Q.  This measure would amend the city’s charter to enact new laws regulating the rental of multi-family rental properties certified before February 1, 1995.  The measure would not apply to certain designated properties including single family homes, condominiums and owner-occupied duplexes.

According to the City Attorney’s Office, if Measure Q passes, it would result in four primary changes to current San Mateo City rental laws.  First, it would set base rental rates depending on when the tenant moved in.  Second, rent increases would be capped at 4 percent per year.  Landlords and tenants would be allowed to petition for rental increases and decreases under certain circumstances.  Third, the measure would establish a Rental Housing Commission which would implement the rent regulations.  Lastly, landlords would only be able evict a tenant for “just cause” defined by the measure, such as a failure to pay rent and owner move-ins.

The Burlingame City ballot will include Measure R, which proposes similar changes as San Mateo’s Measure Q.  Burlingame’s measure repeals Measure T which currently prohibits the City of Burlingame from directly regulating rents and the sale of rental properties.  For tenancies that began on or before March 30, 2016, the base rent will be the rent in effect on that March date.  For tenancies after March 30th, the base rent is the initial rent amount on the date that the tenant moved in.

More information on these and other ballot measures is available at the San Mateo County Chief Elections Office and on official city websites.

Do you need assistance in understanding the impact of these new ballot measures?  Please do not hesitate to contact us.

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