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Apartment Rent Ordinance Update

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

Information on Implementation:
  • Until June 17th the existing provisions of the Apartment Rent Ordinance are still in place. After June 17th, the interim ordinance will be 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. 



Apartment Rent Ordinance Update

On June 16, 2015, the San José City Council accepted staff's report on potential modifications to the Rental Rights and Referrals Program and the Rental Dispute, Mediation, and Arbitration Ordinance and referred the item to the June 23, 2015 Ordinance Priority Setting exercise. On June 23, 2015, the City Council identified potential changes to the Rental Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Ordinance as it's second highest priority to be addressed in Fiscal Year 2015-16. 

Potential changes include, but are not limited to: 
  • Reducing the allowable rent increase;
  • Modifying the allowed debt-service pass-through;
  • Exploring a just cause evictions ordinance (an ordinance limiting the grounds for residential eviction);
  • Consider related items as discussed in the memorandum; and
  • Evaluate the staffing needed to monitor and enforce the Ordinance.


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
Approval of Regulations Implementing the Interim Amendment to the ARO deferred to August 30 Meeting
The approval of the regulations implementing the Interim Amendment to the Apartment Rent Ordinance (ARO), Item 4.1, originally scheduled to be heard at the August 23, 2016 meeting, has been rescheduled to next Tuesday, August 30, 2016. Read on...