These Cities and States Have the Best Rent Control Laws

South Portland, Maine, USA at the Portland Breakwater Light.
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

According to research conducted by the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), many major cities across the United States do have rent control laws — even if these laws aren’t fully applicable at a statewide level.

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Here’s an overview of several of these cities, and states, with some of the best rent control laws in the U.S.

California 

While many cities in California raised rents to record-breaking highs in 2022, the state of California does have statewide rent control caps. City specific laws extend to cities in Northern and Southern California that have rent control and tenant protection programs.

Here are the cities in Northern California with rent control programs:

  • Sacramento
  • Vallejo
  • Richmond
  • Oakland
  • Hayward
  • Berkeley
  • Fremont
  • East Palo Alto
  • Mountain View
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • Milpitas
  • Los Gatos

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These Southern California cities and county areas also have rent control programs:

  • Palm Springs
  • Santa Ana
  • Inglewood
  • Gardena
  • Culver City
  • Los Angeles
  • West Hollywood
  • Santa Monica
  • Thousand Oaks
  • Los Angeles County
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Saint Paul, Minnesota

The city of Saint Paul, Minnesota approved the Residential Rent Stabilization Ordinance in November 2021. According to the Saint Paul city website, this ordinance limits monthly rent increases to 3% in any 12-month period. This includes when tenant(s) move out. Saint Paul residents also have access to affordable housing through the ordinance and acknowledge property owners’ have a right to a “reasonable return on investment.”

So does Minneapolis also offer rent control? According to NMHC’s data, the other half of the Twin Cities allows its city council to enact rent control.

New York

The state of New York does not offer statewide rent control programs. However, certain cities across the state do have rent control. Here are some of the cities and suburbs where you can find these laws:

  • Sloan
  • Russell Garden
  • Niskayuna
  • Hoosick Falls
  • Rensselaer
  • North Greenbush
  • Voorheesville
  • Green Island
  • Watervliet
  • Bethlehem
  • Depew
  • New Scotland
  • Croton-on-Hudson
  • Mount Kisco
  • Pleasantville
  • Buffalo

View the NMHC’s interactive map for a full list of New York cities and suburbs where rent control laws apply.

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New Jersey

New Jersey does not offer statewide rent control law. However, certain county and city laws are in effect, including Randolph and Morristown. View the NMHC’s interactive map for a full list of New Jersey cities and suburbs where rent control laws apply.

Portland, Maine

Only one city in Maine receives rent control: Portland. According to the City of Portland, the Rent Control Ordinance went into effect on January 1, 2021. This ordinance establishes a base rent of most rental units in Portland to the rent charged in June 2020. The ordinance caps the amount by landlords may increase rent annually and is applicable to both long-term rental units and short-term rental units. 

Protections to tenants are also provided under the ordinance, including notice of rent increase and additional notice or payments before evicting certain tenants.

Takoma Park, Maryland

Maryland does not offer statewide rent control law, but county and city laws are in effect. Residents of Takoma Park receive rent control through Takoma Park’s Rent Stabilization Law.

District of Columbia

Those living in the District of Columbia receive rent control. This law is the Rental Housing Act of 1985, amended as the act applying to all rental housing accommodations in the District of Columbia. 

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The act is administered by the Rental Accommodations Division (RAD). Title II of the Act is rent stabilization, applying to any non-exempt rental unit. Other parts of the Act, like eviction protections, apply to all District tenants.

Oregon

Those looking to move to a state with statewide rent control laws can find it by moving to any city in the state of Oregon.

According to the State of Oregon’s Department of Administrative Services, the allowable rent increase percentage is 9.9% for the 2022 calendar year. Previously, it was 9.2% in 2021.

Per SB 608, a 2019 Senate Bill that amended existing laws relating to the termination of residential tenancies and rent increases, the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis calculates and publishes the maximum annual rent increase percentage allowed by the statute ORS 90.323 or ORS 90.600 for the following calendar year.

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About the Author

Heather Taylor is a senior finance writer for GOBankingRates. She is also the head writer and brand mascot enthusiast for PopIcon, Advertising Week’s blog dedicated to brand mascots. She has been published on HelloGiggles, Business Insider, The Story Exchange, Brit + Co, Thrive Global, and more media outlets. 

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