City of San Jose Tenant Protections

The information below is provided by Tenants Together, based partially on research conducted by the Urban Displacement Project, and was last updated in October 2018. For complete information on the City's tenant protections, please visit their website here.

Disclaimer: This website is for general information and none of the information provided constitutes legal advice. In addition, please note that ordinances are periodically updated, modified, or interpreted by regulations. We recommend contacting the City for the official version of its law in the event that you intend to rely on this information.

Rent control is effective at keeping people in their homes. Rent control policies limit rent increases and provide greater housing stability for tenants. Rent control ordinances in California allow landlords to set the initial rent in any amount, but limit rent increases after a tenancy begins.

Rent control is often combined with eviction protections, known as "just cause for eviction," to make sure that landlords do not get around the rent increase limits by simply evicting tenants arbitrarily and bringing in new tenants. Just Cause protections provide basic fairness and prevent retaliation, discrimination, and harassment proactively.


Rating 1
What regulations does the City have? Just Cause and Rent Control Protections
Year Just Cause was Originally Adopted 2017
Year of Most Recent Just Cause Amendment 2017
Year Rent Control Originally Adopted 1979
Year of Most Recent Rent Control Amendment 2017

Just Cause Protections Summary

What causes for eviction are considered just cause - tenant at-fault?
  • Nonpayment of Rent
  • Material or Habitual Violation of the Tenancy
  • Substantial Damage to the Rental Unit
  • Refusal to Agree to a Like or New Rental Agreement
  • Nuisance Behavior
  • Refusing Access to the Unit
  • Unapproved Holdover Subtenant
What causes for eviction are considered just cause - no-fault?
  • Substantial Rehabilitation of the Unit
  • Ellis Act Removal
  • Owner/relative move-in
  • Compliance with government order to vacate
  • Vacation of Unpermitted Unit
Key Eligibility and Exemption Summary All non-exempt rental units (2+) are eligible, including:
  • Rent Stabilized Units
  • Rental Units in any Multiple Dwelling, excepting permitted Hotels and Motels
  • Guest Rooms in any Guesthouse
  • Unpermitted Units
Exempted units:
  • Single-family homes
  • Permitted Second units
  • Single family Condominiums
Is there a minimum tenancy for coverage? No
Do protections apply to new construction? Yes
What triggers the obligation to pay relocation assistance?
  • Substantial rehabilitation of the apartment
  • Removal or apartments from the rental market under the Ellis Act
  • Owner move-in
  • City code enforcement actions requiring a moveout
  • Convert an unpermitted apartment for permitted use

Rent Control Protections Summary

What units are eligible for rent control and which are exempt?
  • Eligible Units: apartments that were built before 1979 with 3 or more units in the building
  • Exempt Units: single family homes, condos, non-apartments after 1979
Banking Allowed No
Does the landlord have to petition for additional increases? Yes

"Providing that a completed petition is timely filed, concerning a rent increase subject to this chapter, that portion of the requested rental increase (and only that portion) which exceeds eight percent shall not take effect unless and until such time as a hearing officer allows such increase or portion thereof pursuant to the provisions ofthis chapter"

On what grounds is the landlord allowed to petition for additional rent increases?
  • Costs of capital improvements
  • Increased costs of maintenance and operation
  • Costs of rehabilitation

Rent Board Summary

Does the City have a Rent Board? No
Is the Rent Board appointed or elected? Hired Staff
Number of Units Covered by Rent Control 39,009
Number of Units Covered by Just Cause 88,000