California landlords say they’ll back caps on rent increases — if a big rent control measure goes away

A statewide lobbying group that represents landlords is supporting a cap on rent increases in an effort to stave off a ballot measure that would expand rent control across California.

The California Apartment Assn. says it’s OK with limiting annual rent hikes to the cost of inflation plus 5% alongside property tax breaks for apartment owners who covert residences to low-income rentals. UC Berkeley researchers proposed both ideas this week.

“We like the direction where there’s a combination of anti-price gouging with tax incentives,” said Debra Carlton, the association’s senior vice president of public affairs.Re

The backdrop for the rent control debate is an initiative put forward by tenant groups that would repeal Costa-Hawkins, the 1995 state law that restricts cities and counties from implementing most new rent control policies. The initiative, which is expected to collect enough signatures to get on the statewide ballot, is likely to be one of the highest profile political fights in November. Carlton has previously estimated her group would spend $60 million to defeat the measure.

Read more at the L.A. Times