SAN DIEGO — Tenants across California might have gotten a notice promising a big rent increase this month, and it's a concern for many already struggling with skyrocketing bills.
With your budget already getting squeezed by price hikes, the last thing you want to see is a massive rent increase notice taped to your apartment door.
Well, that’s exactly what many San Diegans could face this month.
“This is a huge concern, rent is already higher than it was before. If a tenant gets a rent increase that they can no longer afford to pay, chances are they won't find another place to move to,” said Jose Lopez who is part of Alliance Californians for Community Empowerment, a nonprofit that works with tenants to prevent housing injustices.
Lopez said it's because of a law that was passed to protect tenants from being pushed out of their homes.
The law caps annual rent increases at 5% plus an inflationary figure, because inflation is so high the requirement is capped at 10%.
“The tenant protection act of 2019, says the maximum rent increase is 5 percent plus inflation, or 10 percent, whichever is lower,” said Lopez.
Californians living paycheck to paycheck
According to a new Lending Club Report, roughly 157 million people nationwide are living paycheck to paycheck.
With a 10% increase, tenants are afraid they won’t be able to make rent and will be forced to give up their home.
What’s even worse, AB 1482 does not apply to renters in lots of places, including apartments built in the past 15 years or those that are affordable housing—meaning landlords can hike rent up to 30%.
“Just driving around San Diego street, you can see how many people are homeless,” said Francisco Hernandez, who lives in an affordable apartment in Linda Vista. He told CBS 8 he's already battling eviction.
“I’m very afraid to be homeless, with my family, with my daughter and with my wife,” said Hernandez.
CBS 8 asked the city to see if there is any way tenants could be protected, City Council Vice President Sean Elo-Rivera said San Diego does not have rent control, it only has a No Fault Eviction protections.
“What that says is if you’re a tenant in the City of SD and you paid your rent on time and have abided by the terms of your lease there are only a few exceptions of why you could be evicted,” said Elo-Rivera.
He also added that he will be pushing for more protection for tenants, but at the moment the city is on a legislative recess and won’t resume until September.
If you are a tenant who is struggling to pay rent, here are some non-profits that can help you financially:
- ACCE San Diego- Helps tenants who are suffering injustices with their landlords
- Housing help of San Diego - Helps by offering a rent relief program. Assistance is being administered through different programs depending on where you reside.
- United Way of San Diego - Looking for help with basic needs, like food, housing, and healthcare? Contact 2-1-1 San Diego.
WATCH RELATED: Rental competition: study shows average of 24 applicants for every rental in San Diego (July 2022)