Rent increase tenant says illegal?

User Forum Topic
Submitted by treehugger on May 26, 2021 - 3:00pm

So I just sent a letter to our tenant to raise the rent from $1750 to $1900 and he contacted my husband and told him it was illegal during COVID? Can anyone point me in the right direction? Am I allowed to raise the rent? By how much?? I mean I read the California rent control order effective January 2020 and thought I was within range?

Background: same tenants for 10 years we started at $1650 raised rent a few years ago to $1750 and just sent a letter raising it to $1900. They pay late EVERY month so end up with a $100 late fee, otherwise they have been great, no issues. From what I can tell market value is now around $2500/month.

Submitted by sdrealtor on May 26, 2021 - 3:06pm.

Tell them change of plans. Have a sick relative you need to move in. Give them notice relative will be moving in. Then find yourself a new tenant

Submitted by deadzone on May 26, 2021 - 3:35pm.

sdrealtor wrote:
Tell them change of plans. Have a sick relative you need to move in. Give them notice relative will be moving in. Then find yourself a new tenant

Another useless response by sdr. Initially it made me laugh, then I realized you are probably serious.

Submitted by Coronita on May 26, 2021 - 4:52pm.

So in CA there is a rent control law. However SFH are exempt from it...

The rent control law really isn't a rent control law. It basically says you can't jack up rent more than 10% per year, which most people haven't been doing anyway.There's other things that they cover like what you can and cant evict for. I'd get familar with these laws. If you need advice, I got a good property manager that can help you. PM me.

That said, if you're property is not exempt from the rent control law (IE attached rental) and you are one of the people that's never raised rent on a tenant, I would advise you to start raising rents every year or two, even if it is small, just to keep your rent prices current with inflation... and blame it on this rent control law why you are doing it... because that's what most other landlords are doing.
My tenants started their leases in 2020, and will be doing this in 2022 in the properties that are not exempt.

The reason is if you don't do this, you will fall behind in your rent, and then if you wait long enough 5-6-7 years from now, you very well maybe be significantly below 10% below market..But at that point you will be only limited to a 10% increase. So it's best to do small step increases to keep right below the prevailing market price so you don't get screwed by inflation. Also, i forget what the law says about once an existing tenant leaves, whether you can at that point bring your rent price to market level if you've fallen significantly behind. I think you can in that scenario, but again if you raise rents every 1-2 years to keep up with market rates, you never need to worry about if you can and can't bring your rent to market rates when the tenant leaves. Also, in most hot markets like San Diego, it's a landlords market just like it's a sellers market right now. So now's a good time to raise rates. Also, if they want to claim economic hardship due to covid. That's fine. I think there's a process for that. Economic hardship does not imply forgiveness. They still owe you the money. Also, I believe there is rental/landlord assistent provided they pay at least 20-25% of the rent. If they are claiming financial hardship, that's probably another reason to get a professional property manager that is use to handling situations like this so that they can sort out who's faking and who's legit... Again, if you need one, I got an excellent one. He saved me from a tenant that almost tried to play this card on me... Didn't work.. Got my full rent all this time..Fckers. And they decided to move out after the lease.. and I have nice new tenants that are paying market price $1000/month more. My property manager deals with this bullshit all the time. He was telling me stories about how there was this tenant who stopped refusing to pay rent the last 2 months of a lease claiming economic hardship...And he was like "wait, you're saying you can't afford to pay the rent, but the reason why you are moving out in two months is because you are buying a $1million house"???? That didn't go very far....Fvckers...Hope their new house burns down for intentionally trying to be a shithead.

And just about every landlord is doing planning to do this this so you wont be alone... There is no specific rent control law related to covid unless it's a local/regional thing. If you're wondering about San Diego, I don't think most of san diego is subject to rent control.

And yes, if you really want to kick out the tenant and either occupy the place and/or sell the place to capture that awesome appreciation, then yes you can give them 2 months notice and rental moratoriums don't apply to them.

For now, we are slighly lucky we are in San Diego the rental rules are still as red as they are going to be at least for now, unlike L.A. which is very blue....My relatives have been raising rents in their attached rentals in L.A. for the first time in 20 years, and doing it every year to catch up with market price... Sucks for loyal renters, but it is what it is.

My property manager is awesome. The two of us got kicked out of an HOA board meeting that we showed up to contest an HOA violation notice by some stupid ass Karen that peeked into my tenants kitchen to complain about a box in the middle of the kitchen being unsightly.

We went apeshit in that meeting, to the point that the bitch ass old hag Karen HOA Board Lady decided to go Cavewoman Trump on me and asked me why he was there and why I couldn't speak for myself, with "Do you speak english?"... BITCH......
Him and I had a nice exchange with the HOA management company and a few rounds of threats of lawsuits, and they were really nice to me for the next few years....

Submitted by Coronita on May 26, 2021 - 5:01pm.

Oh and the law governing eviction based on you or relative moving in in one of the most pro-tenant places in CA----SF.... If it's good enough for property owners in's good enough for everyone else in CA...


1. Reason must be stated in the eviction notice
An important part of this new law is that the landlord must state the reason for the eviction on the eviction notice, itself. A retaliatory eviction has traditionally been concealed with an eviction for “no reason” or “I don’t have to give a reason.” Where the reason is stated in the notice, the tenant has a better chance to disprove that reason to expose the retaliation as the real motivation. It also gives the tenant a better chance to defend against unprotected reasons, by proving the claimed reason to be false. The new law only limits evictions where the tenant has done nothing wrong, but the landlord wants to evict anyway. Those situations are: (1) the landlord wants to move in a family member, (2) the landlord just doesn’t want to rent it any more, (3) the landlord has been legally ordered to vacate the property [e.g. condemned or illegal building], or (4) to “substantially remodel” the unit which will take at least 30 days to do and it is unsafe to continue occupancy.

3. Relocation assistance is only one month’s rent for “no fault” evictions
The new law permits evictions where the tenant has done nothing wrong, but the landlord wants to evict anyway, under four situations: (1) the landlord wants to move in a family member, (2) the landlord just doesn’t want to rent it any more, (3) the building is condemned or illegal or (4) to “substantially remodel” the unit which will take at least 30 days to do and it is unsafe to continue an occupancy. The new law does not permit an eviction without a reason for the rentals to which it applies. The notice of termination must advise the tenant of their right to relocation assistance, which is only one month’s rent. At the landlord’s option, that can be paid within 15 days of service of the notice or simply be a waiver of the last month of rent. Since the protections do not apply during the first year of tenancy, a 60-day notice of termination would be given, and either tell the tenant that the last month’s rent is their relocation assistance [most likely], or the tenant is required to pay rent through the 60th day, but gets one month’s rent within 15 days of receiving that 60-day notice. The security deposit can still be held until 21 days after the tenant vacates, so the relocation assistance is intended to cover that deposit at the new place, not to cover moving expenses, utility deposits, or help finding a place. If the tenant is already withholding rent due to the uninhabitable conditions which the landlord intends to repair by the “substantial remodeling,” the repair may never be done, and the eviction used as a means of punishing the tenant for complaining. If the notice is given and the tenant fails to vacate, the landlord can evict and claim the waived rent or money paid as money “damages” from the tenant for not leaving. If the landlord does not waive rent or pay relocation assistance, the notice of termination is canceled.

Submitted by treehugger on May 26, 2021 - 6:19pm.

Wonderful info Coronita, thank you! I was trying to make sense of the relocation expense....if I evict because I want to remodel let’s say (which we have been intending to do if these tenants ever left to get top dollar for rent) I have to pay them or let them live rent free for a month?? That is incredible!!

Now the tenant is texting my husband he wants to buy and will pay market value, condo next door just came up yesterday for $525, I don’t want to sell or do I??

Condo next door:

These are such crazy days for San Diego Real estate....

Submitted by Coronita on May 26, 2021 - 7:03pm.

treehugger wrote:
Wonderful info Coronita, thank you! I was trying to make sense of the relocation expense....if I evict because I want to remodel let’s say (which we have been intending to do if these tenants ever left to get top dollar for rent) I have to pay them or let them live rent free for a month?? That is incredible!!

Now the tenant is texting my husband he wants to buy and will pay market value, condo next door just came up yesterday for $525, I don’t want to sell or do I??

Condo next door:

These are such crazy days for San Diego Real estate....

Well, if you do want to sell, don't do it under the table deal. Put it on the MLS. You'll get 30+ offers in a bidding war and get top dollar. Don't worry if a buyer can't perform because if he/she can't there's probably 29+ other backup offers that can, and probably will offer more money. Why would you want to leave money on the table and not get top dollar?

In 92130 most homes are going way above ask, i think the two homes close to me went $200k+ above ask...And if my memory serves me correctly there was this other house I think in oceanside that had some god awful number of offers on it like 54+ and the word on the street was one agent called up the listing agent and said something to the effect of "what number could we give you that if we gave it to you you would cancel this listing and sell it to my buyer" and i think jokingly the buyer threw out a ridiculous number like $200-50k above ask....And next day at early in the morning, that agent representing that buyer gave an offer $200-50k above ask, and I think there was free rent back and a bunch of other concessions...

Your renter guy that wants to buy it from you directly is doing so because he knows he won't have a chance if you put it on the mls that's why he's trying to sell you on how much easier the transaction will be if you just sell it to him. Don't take the bait...It's not a pain in the ass. Total sellers market on steroids.

Get a good agent if you want to sell. ping sdr, he's done so many deals for so many people here ....

I'm not going to say whether you should or shouldnt' sell. I plan on keeping all mine...But if you are contemplating selling, nows probably a great time to...

If you want to do remodeling and want to evict him/her, I would make sure you do things to a t... I would really recommend you getting a good property manager who has experience and the bite to deal with this situation. My property manager is great guy. I swear, he's on a mission or something to make sure good landlords don't get screwed by professional renters. I mainly self manage the easy ones, but if there's any sense of pain in the ass tenant, I immediately call this guy and retain him and have him deal with the situation.

A lot of times I notice that for pain in the ass tenants, if they sense you are an individual/non professional, they will totally try to rake you over the coals thinking you are easy...But if you get a real property manager, especially the one that I would almost say enjoys dealing with shitty tenants... suddenly they shut up. Don't be a nice guy/gal...Your tenant sounds like a real pain in the ass. My property manager is a really nice guy if you don't piss him off. If you piss him off, it's not a pretty sight. Like I said, I never missed a rent payment because of him, even during covid. My tenant wasn't awful, but they were less than honest moving in and they did something on day one that started the tenant-landlord relationship off on the wrong foot. So rather than dealing with them myself, I decided to hit them with a big bat by sticking my property manager to handle the situation. Never had a problem with them again. If you're interested, send me a PM, and I'll put in contact with him. Doesn't hurt to talk to him. And he can tell you lots of stories of the tenants he has to deal with...Like the ones he needed to enter the property with an armed guard...My current tenant I'm predicting will be mostly problem free. Still I keep my property manager as retainer because well, i figure he got me out of a potentially bad situation last time, I don't mind paying him even if there's really not much difficult situation going on...Because well, he's good to have around just in case, and because he's a cool guy to talk to about things. Plus, I need a sidekick the next time I get into a pissing match with an HOA and need someone to go in with me so we get thrown out again...

Lastly, don't post what you are planning on really doingon the internet...Bad idea...Just don't. You obviously aren't sure if you are going to sell and remodel or keep renting or what not... So you haven't decided what you wanted to do and just collecting ideas on how you possibly want to exit your real estate position...But nothing is definite, you're still thinking, and plans can and do change... as you are seriously thinking about each possible option equally... Just leave it at that on a public blog...nothing more....Leave it at that..

Submitted by sdrealtor on May 27, 2021 - 7:25am.

Lots of great advice there.

Fyi the top eviction attorney around is Jim Burmeister in Vista. Don't bother with yelp reviews. The bad ones were written by tenants he got rid of. He's a tough no b's. guy that gets the job done and knows the law

Submitted by Coronita on May 27, 2021 - 7:41am.

On the subject of shitty tenants. Let me share another true story with you. Happened to someone I everyone can learn...

Dont even bother listing your property as "no pets allowed". Because this must be a internet playbook by professional renters because it happens more frequently than people talk about...But..According to this colleague this happened. Tenant signs lease where lease terms has a no pet policy. And the day after they move in, tenant presents a doctor's note saying that the big ass dog is an Emotional Support Animal. At that point the landlord in CA is fucked. Because there's nothing you can do about it. ESA are treated exactly the same as an animals that are guide dogs/etc...Except the bar to quality an animal as an "emotional support animal" is pretty low...

Just like people who want weed can easily find a doctor to write them a prescription for medical MJ...It's pretty easy to find doctor/shrink to write you a note saying you need an emotional support pitbull. Just google it and there's plenty of people willing to do this for a few hundred dollars. So basically some people do this to qualify their otherwise pet to get free flights, be able to take their pets into locations where pets are normally not allowed, and yes get them into otherwise no pet rentals.. Yes, those rules are there for people who really do need an ESA... But like everything else with good intentions...a lot of asshole/bitch americans like to abuse an otherwise well intentioned system, and as a result EVERYONE pays a price for it, including the people who really need an ESA...I hope karma pays their pet a visit and they go to pet heaven prematurely.

So the common advice is don't bother advertising no pet policy anymore. Because at least then if someone is honest about having a pet, you can at least consider charging them extra deposit, extra rent for that pet you know about...Because again, if it's an ESA animal, you aren't allowed to take extra deposit or extra rent to cover any damage they might do.

There's always some jackass on craiglist that is trying to pass his/her pitbull as an emotional support animal because a lot of home ownerships and liability insurance won't cover anyone with a pitbull in the household. Check with your renter's liability insurance...

Submitted by Coronita on May 27, 2021 - 7:56am.

Oh, and be weary of the tenant prospects that seem to tell you the same exact story: "I'm a family for orange county looking to rent a large SFH for my son/daughter and us while he/she/they attends UCSD..." craiglist.

Said family has no intention to relocate from OC to San Diego and really need to live with their son/daughter in a large SFH house while he/she/they attend UCSD.

In fact, in some cases, that "son/daughter" isn't really a son/daughter. They are really a client of a rich overseas parent that paid that adult to find him/her room and board. And what they are looking to do is to find a SFH house to rent, and place that "son/daughter" (which really isn't a son daughter( into that house, along with 5-6 other students they aren't going to tell you about, and charge each student $1500/month or $7500/month while renting your house for lets say $4000-5500/month....and turn it into a student dorm without you knowing...

Why? Because that happened to a few of my friends too. If you're interested in doing that student door arrangement for your SFH, you might as well advertise and do it yourself, and cut out the middleman/woman pretended to be the father/mother of the UCSD student.

Submitted by Coronita on May 27, 2021 - 8:11am.

Lastly... Be wary of the what I call the "Instagram Get Rich Quick on A Property Owner's Dime" asshats....

This is the class of asshole/bitches that try to rent a SFH from you pretending they are going to live there , and then after you sign a lease with them, they aren't really going to occupy the SFH, but instead put it on AirBNB and Vrbo....

Someone i-generation asshat tried this on our Santa Clara home with us....The story didn't add up and finally I got him to confess what he was doing. He was an engineer and wife still in grad school across the country that wasn't going to finish in 8 months. For same odd reason he wanted to rent a $4300/month SFH in the bay area despite being single and his wife (he states) won't be done in grad school for awhile. I found that out doing a tenant screening on both of them and was curious why one was clear on the other side of the country...Which is why it's important to screen EVERY member of that adult household who plans on occupying your property...

Ok, fine none of my business so I begin to write a lease contract, and he asks "would you mind occasionally if I have business associates stay with me at the hosue"... And I was like thinking why the hell would he make such a big deal about this...So I said, "none of my business if you do..."...

Finally I gave him the lease contract. Out of all the things I would have expected a tenant to argue over on a lease contract, he didn't...except for one part of the lease contract...

"No subletting, no short term rentals less than 30 days, no airbnb, not vrbo. No occupancy by anyone not on the lease more than 4 days without approvals"

Then I get this guy arguing me over it. And finally I say, "dude, short term rentals are not allowed in this city.." And his response was "oh yes they are, Io already checked with Sunnyvale city and they said provided the landlord allows it, it's fine"... This is where I went of my rocker and went off on him and said "First of all, if I wanted to turn this into an Airbnb, I wouldn't want you to manage it. I'd do it myself, and cut you out...Second, you get an F- on intentionally being dishonest about what you were trying to do. You think I'm stupid or something? Third, absolutely no airbnb..." Then this idiot starts to try to persuade me "WE can make a lot of money off this. WE can work together on this to make it happen..." And by this time I was laughing my ass off and I said "there is no WE in this... This is MY free and clear house, MY property, MY insurance....Goodbye (and almost said go fvck yourself)....Since then ,it's no problem because while that house didn't have an HOA, the city did pass an ordinance that said no short term rentals...Good.

God, did I mention how much I hate social media get rich schemers?

Anyway, consider yourself warned...

Submitted by sdrealtor on May 27, 2021 - 9:25am.

Could you imagine owning rentals in the scam capital of the world Las Vegas?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.