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Apartment Rent Ordinance Update
Draft Ellis Act & Tenant Protection Ordinances Released

The City Council directed the Department of Housing to develop these ordinances when they voted to amend the Apartment Rent Ordinance in April and May of 2016. The draft ordinances were written with input collected in several meetings by the public and from interested stakeholders, a review of programs and ordinances in other cities, and a thorough legal review.

The Ellis Act

The Ellis Act Ordinance creates a process that must be followed when a property owner is deciding to no longer rent their rental property and evict all tenants. This ordinance creates a uniform process and timeline for notifying tenants of this change, as well as relocation benefits that must be provided to impacted tenants. To comment on this draft ordinance, please email 

Draft Ordinance
Public Comment File (as of 3/3/2017)
Public Comment File (as of 4/6/2017)

The Tenant Protection Ordinance

The Tenant Protection Ordinance was originally titled the "Anti-Retaliation and Protection Ordinance." This ordinance provides protections from eviction for tenants experiencing poor living conditions because of actions or behaviors exhibited by a property owner or manager. To comment on this draft ordinance, please email .

Draft Ordinance
Public Comment File (as of 3/3/2017) 
Public Comment File (as of 4/6/2017)
Public Comment File (as of 5/9/2017)

Information on Implementation:
  • Beginning September 1, 2016: Debt service, operations & maintenance, and rehabilitation cost pass-through opportunities have been permanently eliminated. The capital improvement cost pass-through opportunity has been temporarily suspended, and will become available again when the fully modified Ordinance is approved by the City Council. 
  • Beginning June 17th: the interim ordinance and interim regulations are in effect until full revisions to the Ordinance are approved by the City Council. 
  • Tenants may only receive a rent increase once in a 12-month period.
  • Rents only become decontrolled when a tenant leaves a unit voluntarily. No-cause terminations of tenancy do not provide an owner with the lawful ability to raise rent for a new tenant.

If you believe that your rights under the ordinance have been violated, please contact the Rental Rights & Referral Program as soon as possible at: 408-975-4480. 

Interested in the other work going on as we update this Ordinance? Here's a high-level timeline. Click on the image for a larger version. 
ARO Timeline

City Council Amendments to the Apartment Rent Ordinance
On April 19th the City Council heard public comment and directed staff to make the following amendments to the Apartment Rent Ordinance:
  1. Annual Allowable Increase: Reduce 8% annual increase to 5% annual increase; allow an owner to bank up to 10% of unused annual increases; when the annual allowable, banked increases, and capital improvement cost pass-through are combined, limit the total annual increase to 8%.
  2. Debt Service Pass-Through: Eliminate the debt service pass-through.
  3. Capital Improvement Cost Pass-Through: Develop a list of major capital improvements that can be approved through a streamlined, administrative process which limits hearings only to instances when a tenant files a petition.
  4. Rent Registry: Develop a full rent registry, utilizing technology to the greatest extent possible, to allow for full monitoring, enforcement and compliance with the ordinance.
  5. Anti-Retaliation & Protection Ordinance: Develop and implement an Anti-Retaliation & Protection Ordinance, which provides typical "Good Cause for Eviction" protections to tenants who have reported substantiated code violations after their owner or property manager have failed to make repairs. Staff was directed to return to the City Council with a report of no-cause evictions by the end of 2017.   
  6. Urgency Ordinance to Temporarily Pause Rent Increases: Bring an urgency ordinance that temporarily pauses rents for Council consideration on May 10th, 2016.

View the full synopsis of Item 4.1 with vote outcomes here
Watch a recording of the meeting here.

On May 10th the City Council heard public comment on the following items which were continued from the April 19th meeting:
  1. Interim Ordinance: The City Council approved an interim ordinance to reduce the annual allowable increase to 5% beginning June 17th.
  2. Ellis Act, Demolition & Condominium Conversion Ordinances: Write an Ellis Act ordinance to address the process to be followed for owners of ARO apartments subject to the ARO seeking to remove their building from the rental market. Review and return to Council with potential changes to the Demolition and Condominium Conversion Ordinances. 
  3. Staffing Plan: Direct staff to review the City's condominium conversion provisions in Chapter 20.170 and coordinate with PBCE as needed regarding updating those provisions in order to address the conversion of ARO apartments.

View the full synopsis of Item 4.4 and 4.5 with vote outcomes here.
Watch a recording of the meeting here

For questions or more information, please call 408.975.4480.

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

Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee is a formal body bound by the Brown Act.  Meeting agendas, materials and minutes from previous meetings will be posted in compliance with the City's open government noticing requirements and will be posted on this website.

Committee Members 
News and Announcements
City Council Approves Tenant Protection Ordinance Effective Immediately
On May 9, 2017, the San José City Council approved the Tenant Protection Ordinance (TPO) which goes into effect immediately. Read on...