Rent Stabilization Ordinance

Important updates

City of Santa Ana has issued the Notice of Allowable Rent Increase, effective September 1, 2022. The allowable rent increase for the period effective September 1, 2022 through August 31, 2023 is 3 percent for units subject to the Rent Stabilization Ordinance.

About the Rent Stabilization Ordinance

The City of Santa Ana adopted a Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO), effective November 19, 2021. The RSO is a local law that limits rent increases to the lower of 3 percent per year, or 80 percent of the percent change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) over the most recent 12-month period for certain residential rental units and mobile home spaces in the city.

The rent stabilization cap only applies to buildings built on or before February 1, 1995 pursuant to the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. The rent stabilization cap for mobile home spaces apply to mobile home parks established before 1990, regardless of ownership.  However, the RSO does not apply to mobile homes with long-term leases (over 12 months).

Under the RSO, owners are permitted to increase tenants’ rent by the lower of 3 percent per year, or 80 percent of the percent change in the Consumer Price Index over the most recent 12-month period. If the change in the CPI is negative, no rent increase will be permitted that year. If the CPI is any less than 3.75 percent in a given year, then the maximum rent increase will be less than 3 percent. If the CPI is greater than 3.75 percent, then the maximum rent increase will be 3 percent.

The City will publish the allowable rent increase effective for this year no later than November 19, 2021.  Thereafter, the City will publish the allowable rent increase no later than June 30 of each year, which shall be effective as of September 1 of that year. However, there may be circumstances where owners may be able to raise tenants’ rent over 3 percent, subject to approval of a Fair Return Petition for relief from the cap.

Read the Rent Stabilization Ordinance

Rent Stabilization Ordinance FAQs

View and download the Rent Stabilization flyers

Maximum allowable rent increase

The maximum allowable rent increase for the period September 1, 2022 through August 31, 2023, will be 3 percent. According to the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim Metropolitan Area from May 2021 through May 2022 was 8.01 percent. Since 80 percent of this change in CPI through May 2022 is greater than 3 percent, then the maximum allowable rent increase will be capped at 3 percent for the next applicable period.

Only one rent increase is allowed in a 12-month period, and it cannot exceed the allowable rent increase in effect for that period. Please click the links below for further information on the calculation of the maximum allowable increase, as well as further instruction on how property owners may apply the increase depending on when the last increase was applied.

Notice of allowable rent increase, effective September 1, 2022 through August 31, 2023

How the Rent Stabilization Ordinance's rent increase cap applies

The rent stabilization cap only applies to buildings built on or before February 1, 1995 pursuant to the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. The rent stabilization cap for mobile home spaces will apply to mobile home parks established before 1990 regardless of ownership.  Click the link below to check the year when your rental unit or mobile home space was built. If the “Year Built” is not available, please e-mail us at rso@santa-ana.org or call (714) 667-2209.  Please note that the rent stabilization cap does not apply to ALL residential units built before February 1, 1995 or mobile home spaces established before 1990.  Please refer to the list of exemptions found in the FAQs.

Owner fair return petition

Any owner of residential rental property or a mobile home park may petition for relief from the cap, but will need to provide evidence that a rate increase in excess of the annual allowance is necessary to provide a fair and reasonable return for their property. The City Manager, or designee, may consider a variety of relevant factors and will decide on the petition within 60 days of receiving a complete application. Please click the link below to download and complete the Owner Fair Return Petition and mail or e-mail it back to the City of Santa Ana at rso@santa-ana.org.

The owner(s), or authorized representative of the owner(s), must complete the Fair Return Petition and include all supporting documentation. After the Fair Return Petition is submitted, it will be reviewed to make sure it contains all necessary information. A Fair Return Petition will only be considered properly filed when it has been submitted in substantially completed form with all material information necessary to reach a decision on the Fair Return Petition. You will be notified if it is incomplete or if any further information is necessary. You will then be allowed to either provide additional information or explain why you are not able to do so.  A Fair Return Petition shall be decided by the City Manager within sixty (60) calendar days of the date that the application has been deemed complete, including proof of service of the Fair Return Petition on the applicable tenant(s).

Owners are required to provide written notice to tenants

Property owners are required to provide written notice of the Ordinance and tenant's rights at commencement of a lease or as part of any notice to increase rent.

More information

If you're interested in learning more about the Rent Stabilization Ordinance and Just Cause Eviction Ordinance, check out the presentations below:

You can watch a video recording of a community meeting where we went over this presentation. Use this link  and enter passcode GjWnZj$3 to view the video.

Have questions or need help?

If tenants or rental property owners have any questions, please e-mail us at rso@santa-ana.org or call (714) 667-2209 to speak with one of our representatives.

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