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California Proposition 10: Your Questions Answered

Come November, Californians will be making a huge decision: to vote YES or NO on Proposition 10 for state-wide rent control. Whether you’re a renter or landlord, you’ve probably heard about different opinions on this measure.

Supporters of Proposition 10 say that the measure will help address the struggle of Californians to stay in their homes by repealing the state’s Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. Opponents, particularly economists, claim that Proposition 10 will worsen housing problems.

Here’s what your vote will mean. If you… 

  • Vote YES, State law would not limit the kinds of rent control laws.
  • Vote NO, State law would continue to limit the kinds of rent control
    laws cities and counties could have.

Take note that over 12 cities in California have some form of rent control. These cities include San Francisco, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Richmond, and Santa Monica.

In this guide, Landlord Prep answers five questions about Proposition 10.

What problem does Proposition 10 try to address?

In California, the cost of housing exceeds income increase. Basically, anyone who wants to live in California won’t always be able to do so because of high rental prices. Proposition 10 allows local communities to adopt rent control so that landlords won’t charge as much as they want. 

If Proposition 10 passes, there will be price limits on rented single-family homes, condominiums and newer apartment buildings. It will repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.

What is the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act?

The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act or simply “Costa-Hawkins” is a statewide law enacted in 1995 that prohibits buildings build on or after February of 1995 from establishing rent control. Rent control or rent regulation means controlling the amount a landlord can charge from renting out a property. Costa-Hawkins also prohibits vacancy control.

Who is for and against Proposition 10?

Those who back Proposition 10 are those who are in favor of more affordable long-term rents for tenants. These include legal aid organizations, labor, tenants’ rights, and the California Democratic Party (CDP). On the other hand, those that say “No to Proposition 10” include business associations and real estate groups.

What are some arguments for and against Proposition 10?

For a lot of Californians who want to live in houses that they can afford may see Proposition 10 as the solution to their problem.

However, opponents would say that repealing Costa-Hawkins will not address the struggle - and in fact, will lead to the decrease in the creation of more housing. Economists, in general, agree to this claim. A 2017 study revealed that landlords in San Francisco converted rent-controlled apartments to condominiums. These landlords also rebuilt buildings built in 1994 to avoid restrictions before Costa-Hawkins.

Does Proposition 10 solve homelessness?

No. Proposition 10 does not end the issue on homelessness. What it does is that it simply eliminates the limitations imposed by the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. It enables local communities to address housing crisis whenever there is a need to do so. 

Will you vote on Prop 10?