As a result of rapid growth and development over the past few decades, San Jose has implemented rent control to help protect tenants from excessively high rent increases and wrongful evictions.
The primary rent control ordinance in San Jose is the Apartment Rent Ordinance, which generally applies to apartments built before September 7, 1979, in buildings with three or more rental units, and sets limits on how much landlords can increase rent each year.
The San Jose rent ordinance also includes provisions for just cause eviction protections, which means landlords can only evict tenants for specific reasons, such as non-payment of rent or illegal activities on the premises, among others. Additionally, the ordinance requires landlords to provide relocation assistance to tenants who are displaced due to no fault of their own, such as when a building is being demolished or renovated.
When a landlord violates the just cause protections of the San Jose rent ordinance, causing a tenant to move out without having a valid reason to do so, the tenant can sue and receive money damages, including for emotional distress and loss of possession of their rental unit. In some cases, the tenant is entitled to three times the amount of damages he or she suffered as a result of the landlord’s wrongful actions.