VIDEO: Richmond rent control law goes into effect


RICHMOND (KRON) — A new rent control law in Richmond went into effect on Friday.

That means some residents will get the much-needed financial relief they have been fighting for.

KRON4 spoke with the mayor, Tom Butts, on Friday, and he says this measure applies to about a third of the city’s rental units.

He also said it does more bad than good because of the pressure it puts on landlords, which will eventually once again burden renters.

Starting on Friday, some Richmond residents will see their rents go down. It’s all thanks to the November passage of Measure L.

The law applies to people living in buildings with two or more rental units.

Their rent will now be whatever the amount they were paying on or before Jul. 21, 2015.

Michelle Alvarez says her rent went up $138 after the first year.

“It’s dropping back down because of rent control which we are very thankful for which is extra money in our pocket a month towards gas to get to work or extra things for our kid,” Alvarez said.

She now pays about $80 less a month.

“It relieves our stress because we were just planning to move next year once the lease was up, so I’m glad it went through and I’m happy for other residents in the complex that have also been here,” Alvarez said.

The law doesn’t apply to single family homes or units built after 1995.

But advocates like Marilyn Langlois says the measure will protect those in Richmond who want to settle down in the city.

“They’ll be protected from extreme rent increases that might force them to leave,” Langlois said. “It will also be beneficial to neighborhoods in general because it will stabilize neighborhoods. The less-rapid turnover you have among neighbors, the more stable the neighborhoods are. And it will also provide predictability and stability for landlords as well.”

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