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Frequently Asked Questions

What does this moratorium do?

The moratorium prohibits rent increases for the apartments and mobilehomes subject to the moratorium.

What properties are subject to the moratorium?

Two types of properties are subject to the moratorium.

The first type is apartment buildings covered by the Apartment Rent Ordinance (ARO). These are buildings with three or more units where the property was offered for rent or a certificate of occupancy was issued before September 1979.

The second type is mobilehome parks covered by the Mobilehome Rent Ordinance (MHRO). These are mobilehome lots where plumbing, electrical and sewer permits were issued before September 1979.

What are the effective dates of the moratorium?

The moratorium is in effect from April 29, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

Is the moratorium retroactive?

No. All rent increases made on or before April 28, 2020, can remain in place.

Does a tenant have to demonstrate that her/his income has been impacted by COVID-19 in order to be protected by the moratorium?

No. There is no additional documentation required.

Can landlords who are unable to increase their rents in 2020 exceed their maximum allowable rent increases in 2021?

No. When the rent-increase moratorium ends, landlords may implement rent increases that comply with the Apartment Rent Ordinance and/or Mobilehome Rent Ordinance.

Will the City of San José compensate landlords for lost revenue caused by the rent-increase moratorium?

The City of San José is not compensating landlords for the moratorium. However, the City has taken several steps to give landlords financial protection during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Late penalties are suspended through FY 2020-21 for ARO landlords who pay their ARO fees late.
  • Maintenance permit fees are waived for ARO landlords through FY 2020-21.
  • Tenants are prohibited from making service-reduction claims for the closure of recreational common areas at ARO properties during the moratorium.
  • ARO landlords may file Fair Return Petitions with the City if they believe they are not receiving fair returns on their property.

Are there limits on rent increases for residential properties not subject to this moratorium?

Landlords whose properties are not subject to the moratorium may increase rents in compliance with the terms of their rental contracts and any applicable local and state laws.

Can landlords and tenants work out temporary rent reductions during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused financial hardships for many people. A landlord and tenant may voluntarily agree on a temporary rent reduction. These agreements are only permitted through December 31, 2020. At the end of any such voluntary agreement, the landlord is allowed to increase the rent back to the original amount in the rental contract while the moratorium is in effect.

How do I know if my apartment or mobilehome is subject to the moratorium?

If you are unsure whether your apartment or mobile is subject to the moratorium, you may contact the City of San José Housing Department for assistance at 408-975-4480 or