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REVISED Summary of New Rent Control Rent Increase Caps: 2.9% for elderly/disability tenants; 4.9% for most other tenants

Thursday, February 1, 2024

On January 16th, the Rental Housing Commission (RHC) published the rent increase caps for rent control year (RCY) 2024. RCY 2024 starts on May 1, 2024, and ends on April 30, 2025.

During that timeframe, the 2.9% rent increase cap for elderly tenants and tenants with a disability will be equal to the CPI.  The 4.9% rent increase cap for most non-elderly and non-disability tenants will be equal to the CPI + 2%.  As explained below, the only exception will be for non-elderly and non-disability tenants who received a RCY 2023 (5/1/23 - 4/30/24) rent increase in May or June of 2023.  For some of these tenants the cap will be 4.9% and for others it will be less than 4.9%.

If you would like to check whether your rent increase for RCY 2024 is lawful, please use the OTA’s helpful new Rent Increase Calculator – available here: OTA’s Rent Increase Cap Calculator 2024

This is what is important for tenants who live in rent-controlled units to know: 

1. If you are registered with the Rent Administrator's office as an elderly tenant or a tenant with a disability, your RCY 2024 (5/1/24 - 4/30/25) rent increase can be no more than 2.9% – no exceptions!

2. If you are a non-elderly / non-disability tenant, you will fall into one of two categories.  Which category you fall into depends on when you received your last rent increase:

a. If your RCY 2023 (5/1/23 - 4/30/24) rent increase took effect – or will take effect – between July 2023 and April 2024, then your RCY 2024 (5/1/24 - 4/30/25) rent increase cannot exceed 4.9% - no exceptions!  The same is true if you received no rent increase in RCY 2023;  

b. If your RCY 2023 rent increase was in May or June of 2023, then the cap on your RCY 2024 (5/1/24 - 4/30/25) rent increase is not quite so simple.  Rather, instead of the single 4.9% cap, your rent cap will be the lesser of:  

i. 4.9% of your RCY 2023 rent charged amount; OR 

ii. The remainder of a 12% 2-year cap on your combined RCY 2023 and RCY 2024 rent increases.

Here is the reason for the exception at #2(b) above.  Last year, during a period of high inflation, the Council enacted "inflation mitigation" caps as follows: 

  • 4% for elderly / disability tenants in RCY 2023, and a combined 2-year cap for RCY 2023 & RCY 2024 of 8%;

  • 6% for non-elderly / non-disability tenants, and a combined 2-year cap for RCY 2023 & RCY 2024 of 12%.  

But that law didn't take effect until July 1, 2023 – 2 months after the start of RCY 2023.  So for May and June 2023, the caps as published by the Rental Housing Commission applied:  5% for elderly / disability tenants and 8.9% for all other tenants.  Because inflation was so low in calendar year 2023, the RCY 2024 CPI (2.9%) is also low; so low that it moots the need for the 2-year cap for most tenants – indeed for all tenants other than those who fall into category 2(b) above.