Rent Increases


Cities with









In San Diego, unless you are in Govt. subsidized housing or in certain mobile home parks, there is no rent control on your rental. Some California cities DO have rent control and the Landlord must follow those specific rules when raising the rent.

Without rent control (or rent stabilization), landlords are free to charge what they wish.  Some landlords have taken advantage of the rental market in San Diego County and have pushed rents up pretty hard.  Even though many property values have fallen, and many properties face foreclosure, rents still continue to climb.

Rent increases along with increases in water, natural gas, gasoline and electricity costs, can strain monthly budgets.  

If your landlord seeks to raise the rent beyond what you can afford or what you think is fair, you have some options.

--Be aware of the following rent raise law

:California landlords must give an additional 30 days notice for large rent increases (more than 10% or rent raises adding up to be more than 10% within the 12 months preceding that raise)   Therefore, in a month to month tenancy, 60 days will be needed for a qualifying rent hike.  The notice must be served as always but now it can also be served by simple mail (adding 5 days to the notice period).  See California Civil Code section 827 

--You can try and convince the Landlord you are a really good (i.e.  valuable) tenant and deserve a lower rent to keep you there.
--You can show the Landlord copies of ads for similar units in the area renting for less showing that he/she may have overestimated the rental value.  You can also show the increase in vacancies in the neighborhood.
--You can offer to do some simple type of maintenance/landscaping in return for a lower rent.
--You can threaten to move. 

What other things can you do?

GET A LEASE rather than be on a month to month tenancy.

TENANT ASSOCIATIONS are like unions and have a certain power to them.   Form one and maintain it with meetings.


GET A ROOMMATE to share the expenses. Ask permission from the Landlord first.

IF THE RENT IS TOO HIGH, FIND A BETTER DEAL  There are good deals out there.  Do not give up.

IF YOU ARE MOVING INTO A HOME AND THE RENT SEEMS TOO LOW- Beware that the home may be heading for foreclosure.  Check public records to see if a Notice of Default has been filed or if a Trustee Sale has been scheduled.  Ask the landlord about this also.  Get confirmation of a stable property before moving in.

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California law for San Diego is applied in these pages.  Such laws may or may not be applicable in other jurisdictions.  The information provided herein is of a general nature and is not intended to be taken as specific legal advice.  For legal advice in a particular situation, promptly consult with an appropriate attorney.