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  • Writer's pictureMegan Kilmer

Rent Control in Santa Cruz: Surfing the Waves of Affordable Housing!

Welcome to Santa Cruz, where the waves are epic, the boardwalk is bussin', and the need for affordable housing is real. Let's get woke on the topic of rent control in Santa Cruz! So let's ride the wave of knowledge!




What is Rent Control? Rent control is designed to limit the amount landlords can increase rent on residential properties. Its primary aim is to protect tenants from skyrocketing rental prices - we know that the job market here is bananas and we need students, service providers, and teacher etc. To keep Santa Cruz's local charm!


The demand for rentals often outpaces the available supply, due to the obvious reason that we all want to live here. Low supply means rent increases that may strain the financial resources.

Community Stability: By preventing abrupt rent hikes, rent control promotes community stability, allowing residents to put down roots, establish long-term connections, and contribute to the local economy and culture. Rent control helps preserve and increase the diversity in Santa Cruz. It enables individuals from various backgrounds, income levels, and professions to reside in the city, fostering a vibrant and inclusive community.


Rent control is part of AB1482 landlords are allowed to increase rents each year by 5% plus the applicable average increase in the cost of living in order to allow for inflation. There is a maximum increase of 10% allowed in any given year, thus the Act's provision is often referred to as a “rent cap.”


While rent control helps maintain affordable housing, it's crucial to be proactive when searching for rentals in Santa Cruz. Here are some tips to make your search more enjoyable and successful. Start early! Starting your search well in advance, it can take a month or more to find housing in the competitive market. Engage with local property management companies. Often you can pay for one application fee and turn in multiple application to the same agency for the price of one! If the property management company doesn't advertise this ASK! It's worth a shot, you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on applications if you don't need to. Ask if you can pull your own credit score. Some property managers will take a Credit Karma Score or FICO from your bank. Take advantage of online platforms, local Facebook groups, and community events to stay informed about available rentals and housing-related events.


Rent control in Santa Cruz is not just about preserving affordability; it's about creating a thriving, diverse community where residents can embrace the beachside lifestyle while enjoying the stability and security of a place they can call home. By striking a balance between landlord and tenant interests, Santa Cruz ensures that everyone can catch the wave of affordable housing and enjoy the vibrant energy that makes this city so special. Here's to rent control and moving toward a brighter future in Santa Cruz!

Want more info on how to move to Santa Cruz? I got you!

Megan Kilmer is a Santa Cruz County local with a passion for housing. Megan has a background in Social Services and is an expert on goal setting and motivation. With a wide network of trusted local resources, she is a problem solver! Need to buy, sell, lease, manage, or finance a real estate project? She's got you! Call for a free Real Estate Consultation 831-888-7530

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