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Information for Tenants of ARO Units
Download this Tenant FAQ

Unsure if you live in an ARO unit? Check the list here. 

  1. What is the Interim Ordinance?
    • The Interim Ordinance is a temporary ordinance modifying the Apartment Rent Ordinance (ARO).  San José Municipal Code Chapter 17.23, which the City Council adopted on May 17, 2016.  The ARO applies to multifamily apartments with three (3) or more units first rented prior to September 7, 1979.  The ARO does not apply to Mobilehome Parks which are regulated under San José Municipal Code Chapter 17.22. 
    • The ordinance becomes effective on June 17, 2016, and expires on the earlier of 60 days after the adoption of final amendments to the ARO or January 1, 2017.
  2. What changes did the Interim Ordinance adopted on May 10, 2016 make to the San José Municipal Code Chapter 17.23?
    • The Council-adopted Interim Ordinance adds a Part 8 to the ARO and makes the following changes once it becomes effective on June 17, 2016:

                    a.     reduces the annual allowable rent increase from 8% to 5%;
                    b.     reduces the amount of rent increase a hearing officer may impose on top of capital improvement pass 
                            through from 5% to 2%;
                    c.     establishes a fair return petition process and standard effective after September 1, 2016; and
                    d.    provides that other petitions for rent increases in excess of 5% may not be filed after September 1, 2016.

    3.    When will the changes become effective?

    • The Interim Ordinance becomes effective on June 17, 2016.  Specifically, the modifications described in 2(a) and 2(b) above are effective on June 17, 2016.  Modifications 2(c) and 2(d) become effective after September 1, 2016.
    • As a result, annual rent increases, regardless of when they were noticed, will be limited to the 5% maximum allowable increase beginning on June 17, 2016.  Rent increases that were made consistent with state law and the ARO (e.g., twelve months since the prior increase) were effective prior to June 17, 2016 are subject to existing ARO limit of 8%.

    4.    How long will the Interim Ordinance be in effect?

    • The Interim Ordinance will expire 60 days after the effective date on the permanent modifications to the ARO or January 1, 2017 - whichever comes first.

    5.    Where can I find the Interim Ordinance that was approved by the City Council?

    6.    Where can I find the entire ARO?

    • The ARO is codified in San Jose's Municipal Code as Chapter 17.23, which can be found online.  Paper copies of the ARO can be requested by contacting Ann Grabowski at 408-794-7472.

When does the 5% maximum annual allowable increase go into effect?

    • The 5% limit on the annual allowable increase is effective on June 17, 2016. The 5% limit applies to any rent increase on or after June 17th. This means that if you have received a lawful rent increase notice that requires an increased rent payment on or before June 16, it will be subject to the existing limits in the ARO, not the 5%. If instead, it requires a rent increase on June 17 or later, the increase is limited to 5%. Please note that under the ARO your rent may not be increased until at least 12 months after your last increase.

     Does this mean my rent will automatically increase on June 17th by 5%?

    • No. Rent increases must be noticed in advance by the landlord as required by State law. Also, under the ARO your rent should not be increased until at least 12 months after your last increase.

    9.    My landlord gave me a notice that says my rent will go up 8% and the first increased rent payment is due on June 1.  
           Is that allowed?

    • Yes, if the increase complies with State law and the existing ARO (e.g., no more than one increase every 12 months and proper notice was provided) it is allowed, since the actual increase in will go up before June 17, 2016.

My landlord gave me notice that says my rent will go up  8% and the first increased rent payment is due on July 1.  Is                  that allowed? 
    • No. Annual increases are limited to 5%  beginning June 17, 2016.

        11.   I just received a rent increase but I don’t think it’s allowed.  What can I do?

      • You have the right to file a petition with the RRRP.  Please contact Ramo Pinjic at (408) 975-4474 if you believe you have received an illegal rent increase.

        12.  How often does the ARO allow rents to be raised?

      • The ARO allows rents to be raised no more than once every 12 months. 

        13.  When can a rent increase over 5% be justified?

      • Beginning June 17, 2016, rent increases may not exceed 5% unless the landlord files a petition and receives a hearing officer award.

    To receive automatic e-mails with information on ARO updates and upcoming meetings, please sign-up and select "2015 Apartment Rent Ordinance Update.