Showing its bias and lack of understanding of housing markets, the California Legislature has passed AB 1482, entitled an “Anti-rent-gouging bill,” on a 46-22 vote. The bill restricts landlords from raising rents by more than 5 percent plus the Consumer Price Index (which averages about 2.5 percent in the state), so about 7.5 to 8 percent a year. In addition to instating rent control, AB 1482 will also require landlords to demonstrate “just cause” before ousting tenants that have lived in an apartment for at least a year. Property owners who wish to evict tenants to build condos or make renovations will also have to pay a relocation fee equal to one month’s rent. This comes less than a year after voters soundly defeated Proposition 10. Sadly, California has added to the housing crisis by removing the profit incentive necessary to generate more housing, while at the same time making it difficult to evict tenants who abuse their neighbors.

Now more than ever, landlords must walk a fine line in order to conduct business. Before you act, seek experienced legal counsel.