“Our park is going to offer us new, long-term lease agreements. I heard that if you sign a long-term lease, you will lose your rent control protections. Is that true?”
– Maria A. (36), Palo Alto, CA
It depends, but in California, it is true that rental agreements and lease terms longer than 12 months are exempt from rent control ordinances. (Civil Code §798.17)
When you sign a long-term lease, the agreement will state the amount of rent that will be charged for the entire term of the lease. This means that the rent amount is fixed for the stated period of residency. This is different from rent control laws, which limit the amount by which rent can increase during a tenancy or at the end of each lease term.
Long-term leases are still worthwhile options for many homeowners, as they offer predictable and stable rental costs for longer periods of time than month-to-month or annual leases, especially in localities without rent control ordinances to begin with.
With that said, long-term residents may experience considerable rent increases at the end of their lease terms, and should keep this in mind when signing into any long-term agreement.
Furthermore, as a current resident, you have the right to reject a long-term lease and opt for a shorter-term agreement within a 30-day review period (see our post about your lease options here).
- Long-term lease agreements are often excluded from rent control laws.
- Long-term leases offer fixed rates for longer rental periods.
- Residents with long-term leases should prepare for possible rent increases when their terms end.