US Rent Control Laws by State

Rent control is a hot topic in the US, with California recently becoming the second state (after Oregon) to pass state-wide rent control measures. Our interactive map breaks down rent control laws by state, with links to legislation and media reports on active (or rejected) proposals. Below the map, we have also included legislation in list view, latest news on rent control in the USA, and links to further reading.

How To Use This Map
Hover over a state for a summary, or click on the state for full details and reference links (including legislation).

Key
= rent control
= statewide rent control
= preempts rent control
= preempts mandatory exclusion zoning & rent control
= no rent control, nor preemptions
= Dillon state with no rent control, nor preemptions

Rent Control By State (List)

Alabama

Alabama state law preempts local governments from enforcing rent controls on private properties. Exemption is made for properties in which the local government has an interest.

References
  1. 1. “Enactment of ordinances, resolutions, etc., controlling rent charged for leasing private property prohibited.” [2018 Code of Alabama, Justia]

Alaska

Alaska is a Dillon State, which does not currently have any rent control legislation, nor preemptions.

Arizona

Arizona State law prohibits local authorities (cities and towns) from adopting land use regulation that would establish a sale or lease price for residential housing, or designating homes within an area for sale or lease to a particular class or group of residents. Exemptions may be made for plans designed to increase the supply of low cost housing.

References
  1. 1. “Residential housing; requirements; fees; prohibition” [Arizona State Legislature]

Arkansas

Local governments in Arkansas (including but not limited to: counties, cities, villages, and townships) are preempted from controlling rents on private residential and commercial properties. Exemption is made for properties in which the local government has an interest.

References
  1. 1. “Rent control preemption” [2017 Arkansas Code, Justia]

California

On September 11th 2019, California became the second US state (after Oregon) to approve state-wide rent control. The California Assembly passed Assemblymember David Chiu’s AB 1482 bill — which places a cap of 5% per year plus inflation on rent increases within the state — by a margin of 48-26.

The cap will not apply to properties which have been issued a certificate of occupancy within the previous 15 years, and does not limit the powers of local authorities to implement more aggressive local rent control measures.

The bill was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom on the 8th October 2019 and goes into effect on January 1st 2020.

References
  1. 1. “AB-1482 Tenant Protection Act of 2019: tenancy: rent caps” [California Legislative Information]
  2. 2. “California Approves Statewide Rent Control to Ease Housing Crisis” [New York Times]
  3. 3. “California governor signs statewide rent-control law” [Market Watch]

Colorado

Rent control has been illegal in Colorado since 1981. Colorado’s revised statutes (2018), state that:

“no county or municipality may enact any ordinance or resolution that would control rent on either private residential property or a private residential housing unit”

A 2019 bill that would have repealed the law has been delayed until 2020.

References
  1. 1. “Control of rents by counties and municipalities prohibited – legislative declaration” [2018 Colorado Revised Statutes, Justia]
  2. 2. “Bill allowing for rent control hits dead-end in Colorado Senate” [Denver Post, April 30th, 2019]

Connecticut

It has been illegal for municipalities in Connecticut to adopt rent control ordinances since 1956, when laws which had previously authorized local rent control provisions were repealed.

References
  1. “States Authorizing Rent Control” [ct.gov]

Delaware

There are no references to either rent control, nor preemption of same in the Delaware code.

References
  1. 1. “Property” [Delaware Code]

Florida

While permanent rent control in Florida is preempted, municipalities are permitted to consider temporary rent control measures (maximum 1 year) in the event of a housing crisis/emergency. In February 2019 two bills (SB-1390 and HB 6053) were introduced that proposed to eliminate this 1 year limit, however, both bills have subsequently been withdrawn.

References
  1. 1. HB 6053: Rent Control Measures [The Florida Senate]
  2. 2. SB 1390: Rent Control Measures [The Florida Senate]
  3. 3. “Orlando lawmakers push for local rent controls to combat Florida’s affordable housing crisis”[Orlando Weekly]

Georgia

Counties and municipal corporations are preempted from enacting rent controls within the State of Georgia.

References
  1. 1. “Restrictions on rent regulation by local governments” [2018 Georgia Code, Justia]

Hawaii

Hawaii does not preempt, nor enforce rent control. Rent control was previously considered in 2007, however, two resolutions which called for studies of the legality and effectiveness of controls failed to pass.

References
  1. 1. “Priced out of Paradise: Experts debate whether rent control is right for Hawaii” [Hawaii News Now]

Idaho

Local governments in Idaho are preempted from controlling rents on private residential properties. Exemption is made for residential properties in which the local government has an interest.

References
  1. “Rights And Obligations of Owners” [Idaho Statutes]

Illinois

Rent control has been preempted in Illinois since 1997. The “Rent Control Preemption Act” prohibits local governments from controlling rents charged for both residential and commercial properties.

A 2017 bill (sponsored by state Rep. Will Guzzardi), which set out to repeal the Act, was defeated by a House subcommittee in March 2019.

References
  1. 1. “Rent Control Preemption Act (1997)” [Illinois General Assembly]
  2. 2. “Rent control push suffers setback in Springfield” [The Real Deal]

Indiana

Indiana State law “prohibits local units from regulating rental rates unless authorized by general assembly”. Additionally, rents may not be regulated through “a zoning ordinance or otherwise”. Exemptions may be made for privately owned property, which has benefited from government (or State) funds for the purposes of providing reduced rents for low or moderate income tenants.

References
  1. 1. “Privately owned real property; local units prohibited from regulating rental rates unless authorized by general assembly” [Indiana Code: IC 32-31-1-20]

Iowa

Iowa state law preempts counties and cities from enforcing rent controls on private, residential, and commercial properties. Controls may however be implemented on residential property in which the county or city has an interest.

References
  1. 1. “Senate Study Bill 1151” [iowa.gov]

Kansas

Political subdivisions (counties, municipalities, townships etc) in Kansas are preempted from controlling rents on private residential and commercial properties. Since 2016, inclusionary zoning (a percentage of new developments set aside for below market rate housing) has also been prohibited in the state. Exemptions are made for properties in which the political subdivision has an ownership interest.

References
  1. 1. “Prohibiting rent control or control of real estate purchase price by political subdivisions; exceptions.” [Kansas Office of Revisor of Statutes]
  2. 2. “Kansas Restricted The Rules Cities Can Make. That’s Complicated Affordable Housing Efforts” [KCUR]

Kentucky

Rent control at local government level has been prohibited in Kentucky since 1992. Exemption is made for properties in which the local authority has an interest.

References
  1. 1. “Prohibition against local rent control on private property” [KY.gov]

Louisiana

Local authorities are preempted from enacting rent controls within the State of Louisiana.

References
  1. “Lessor’s right to own, control, use, enjoy, protect and dispose of property and things” [2017 Louisiana Statutes, Justia]

Maine

Maine does not preempt, nor enforce rent control. In 2017, voters in Portland, Maine rejected a ballot measure which would have established a rent stabilization program in the city.

References
  1. 1. “Portland, Maine, Debates and Rejects Rent Control” [Next City]

Maryland

The city of Takoma Park in Maryland operates a local rent stabilization scheme. The scheme applies to all individual condominium and multi-family rental facilities, but does not apply to single family houses, accessory apartments, and duplexes when one of the units is occupied by the owner as their primary residence. The city publishes its rent stabilization allowance annually, which is currently set at 1.6% (July 1st 2019 – June 30th 2020).

College Park introduced a rent stabilization scheme in 2005, but the scheme was withdrawn in 2014 when all references to rent stabilization were removed from the city’s ordinance.

References
  1. 1. “Rent Stabilization” [City of Takoma Park, Maryland]
  2. 2. “College Park Ends Rent Stabilization” [The Sentinel]

Massachusetts

Rent control has been preempted in Massachusetts since 1994. In January 2019, Mike Connolly and Nika C. Elugardo filed a bill that would repeal the law, allowing cities and towns to introduce local rent control measures. The bill was referred to the committee on housing in June 2019.

References
  1. 1. General Laws, Chapter 40P, Section 2 [Massachusetts Legislature]
  2. 2. “Rent control, long shunned, is back on the table in Massachusetts” [Boston Globe]
  3. 3. “Boston’s Rising Housing Costs Put Rent Control Back In The Spotlight” [WGBH]

Michigan

Rent control has been preempted in Michigan since 1988 (residential property), with exemptions made for properties in which the local government has an interest.

References
  1. 1. “Local governmental unit” defined; rent control prohibited; management and control of residential property; incentive to increase supply of certain residential property” [Michigan Legislature]
  2. 2. “Could rent control be a solution for rising apartment prices in Ann Arbor?” [mLive]

Minnesota

Local authorities are preempted from controlling rents on private residential property in Minnesota. Exemption is made for properties in which the local authority has a financial interest.

References
  1. 1. “Rent Control Prohibited” [2018 Minnesota Statutes]
  2. 2. “Are rent controls the solution to the affordable housing shortage?”
    [2018 MPR News]

Mississippi

Local authorities in Mississippi are preempted from controlling rents on private residential properties in which they do not have a property interest.

References
  1. “Powers of governing authorities (2)” [2017 Mississippi Code, Justia]

Missouri

Local authorities (counties and cities) in Missouri have been preempted from introducing local rent control measures since 1989. Exemption is made for properties owned by the local authority.

References
  1. 1. “Counties and cities not to adopt ordinances regulating rents of private or commercial property, exception” [Revisor of Statutes, State of Missouri]

Montana

Montana does not preempt, nor enforce rent control.

Nebraska

Nebraska does not preempt, nor enforce rent control.

Nevada

Nevada is a Dillon State, which does not currently have any rent control legislation, nor preemptions. A 2019 Senate Bill (398), which proposed to allow local authorities to implement rent control measures to help tackle the affordable housing crisis in the state failed to pass.

References
  1. 1. “Nevada Senate Bill 398” [LegiScan]
  2. 2. “Nevada Democrats killed measure amid fears about local control” [Reno Gazette Journal]

New Hampshire

New Hampshire is one Dillon state in which the power (or lack thereof) of a local authority to implement rent control measures has been tested in court. In 1981, the Supreme Court of New Hampshire ruled that the town of Allenstown had acted unlawfully when it had voted to implement rent control measures the previous year.

In the case “LEONARD GIRARD & a. v. TOWN OF ALLENSTOWN & a.” the court stated that “It is a long established principle under our law that towns are but subdivisions of the State and have only the powers the State grants to them”.

References
  1. 1. Girard v. Town of Allenstown [Justia]

New Jersey

While New Jersey does not have state-wide rent control laws, local authorities have been at liberty to implement local rent control measures since the 1970s. There are currently over 100 NJ local authorities with rent control ordinances in place, and caps and exemptions vary from town to town.

In 2009, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs published a survey which summarised NJ rent control measures by municipality. For up-to-date legislation, refer to local ordinances.

References
  1. 1. Forty years of rent control: Reexamining New Jersey’s moderate local policies after the great recession [Science Direct]
  2. 2. 2009 Rent Control Survey [NJ.gov]

New Mexico

Local authorities in New Mexico are preempted from implementing rent control measures on privately owned property. Exemption is made for properties in which the local authority has an interest, or for which funds have been provided by the state for the express purpose of providing reduced rents to low- or moderate-income tenants.

  1. 1. “Rent control prohibition.” [2017 New Mexico Statutes]

New York

While not technically state-wide, rent control measures are in place in the majority of cities and communities in New York State (refer to local ordinances).

There are two systems of rent regulation in New York State: “rent control” and “rent stabilization”, with the former generally applying to buildings built before 1947, and the latter to those built after 1947 (but before 1974). Outside New York City, rent stabilization may also be referred to as ETPA (Emergency Tenant Protection Act).

Rent Stabilized Apartments

It is the responsibility of The Rent Guideline Boards (NYC, Nassau, Westchester, and Rocklan) to set rates for increases in rent stabilized apartments. Rates are assessed annually and apply from October 1st to September 30th each year.

Rent Controlled Apartments

In New York City, rent control operates under the “Maximum Base Rate System” (MBR). A maximum base rent is established for each apartment and adjusted every two years to reflect changes in operating costs. Landlords are entitled to raise rents by the lesser of either the average of the five most recent Rent Guidelines Board annual rent increases for one-year renewals, or 7.5 percent each year until they reach the MBR. Tenants may challenge proposed increases.

Outside of NYC, the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) determines the maximum allowable rates of rent increases for rent controlled apartments. Rent increases may not exceed the rates set by the Rent Guideline Boards for rent stabilized apartments.

Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act (HSTPA)

In June 2019, the Assembly passed the “Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act”, which made rent stabilization a permanent part of New York State’s housing code. Prior to the act, rent stabilization provisions would “sunset” every few years.

The bill also closed a number of loopholes which had previously been used by New York landlords to circumvent rent increase caps on rent controlled and stabilized properties. These include:

  • – An end to “vacancy bonuses”, which previously allowed landlords to increase asking prices by 20% when an apartment changed hands
  • – A decrease in the percentage landlords may raise rents for property improvements
  • – A cap on the number of family units at one per building
  • – An end to high-income deregulation, which previously allowed apartments to be removed from rent control regulations if the tenant earned more than $200,000 per year for two straight years.

The HSTPA has been widely criticized by New York landlords. In July 2019, two real estate trade groups — the Rent Stabilization Association, and the Community Housing Improvement Program — and seven landlords filed a lawsuit in federal court in Brooklyn, which argued that rent regulations violate:

  • – the 14th Amendment’s due process clause
  • – the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment, which says private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation

The group’s ultimate aim is for their case to be heard in the Supreme Court.

References
  1. 1. “Fact Sheet: Rent Stabilization and Rent Control” [NY.gov]
  2. 2. “A Brief History of Rent Regulation in New York” [Michael Cavadias]
  3. 3. “Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act (HSTPA)” [NY Assembly]
  4. 4. “What Is New York’s Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019?” [propy.com]
  5. 5. “Landlords Strike Back, Suing to Dismantle Rent Regulation System” [New York Times]

North Carolina

Local authorities in North Carolina are preempted from implementing rent control measures on privately owned, single-family, multiple unit residential and commercial rental properties. Exemptions are made for properties in which the local authority has an interest, and for properties assisted with Community Development Block Grant Funds.

References
  1. 1. “General Statutes § 42-14.1. Rent control” [2015 North Carolina Code, Justia]

North Dakota

Local authorities in North Dakota are preempted from implementing rent control measures on private residential and commercial properties. Exemption is made for properties in which the local authority has a fee title interest.

  1. 1. “Rent controls – Prohibited [North Dakota Century Code]

Ohio

Ohio does not preempt, nor enforce rent control.

Oklahoma

Local authorities in Oklahoma are preempted from implementing rent control measures on privately owned, single-family, multiple unit residential and commercial rental properties. Exemptions are made for properties in which the local authority has an interest, and for properties assisted with federal Community Development Block Grant Funds.

  1. 1. “Rent control – Prohibition.” [2018 Oklahoma Statutes]

Oregon

In February 2019, Oregon became the first US State to implement state wide rent control. Governor Kate Brown signed SB 608, which placed an annual limit of 7% plus inflation on rent increases within the state.

Exemptions apply to properties granted a certificate of occupancy within the past 15 years, and to landlords providing reduced rent to the tenant as part of a federal, state, or local program or subsidy.

References
  1. 1. “Senate Bill 608” [Oregon Legislative Assembly]
  2. 2. “Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signs nation’s first statewide rent control law” [Oregon Live]

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a Dillon State, which does not currently have any rent control legislation, nor preemptions.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island does not preempt, nor enforce rent control.

South Carolina

Local authorities in South Carolina are preempted from implementing rent control measures on privately owned, single-family, multiple unit residential and commercial rental properties. Exemptions are made for properties in which the local authority has an interest.

References
  1. 1. “Counties and municipal corporations restricted from regulating rent charged for certain dwellings.” [South Carolina Legislature]

South Dakota

Local authorities in South Dakota are preempted from implementing rent control measures on private residential properties. Exemption is made for properties in which the local authority has an interest.

  1. 1. “Rent control of private residential property prohibited.” [2011 South Dakota Code]

Tennessee

Tennessee State law preempts local governments from controlling the amount of rent charged for leasing private residential or commercial property. Additionally, rents may not be regulated through zoning regulations. Exemptions may be made for ” incentive-based program designed to increase the construction and rehabilitation of moderate or lower-cost private residential or commercial rental units”.

References
    1. 1. “Rent control by local governments prohibited — Zoning provisions — Affordable housing.” [2017 Tennnessee Code, Justia]

Texas

Local authorities in Texas may only enact rent control measures in the event of a housing emergency caused by a disaster. Any measures implemented will be temporary and are to be discontinued by the governer when the disaster is deemed to be over.

References
  1. 1. “Rent Control” [Texas Local Government Code]

Utah

Local authorities (counties, cities, towns) have been preempted from introducing rent control measures on private residential properties since 1987.

References
  1. 1. “Rent and fee control prohibition” [Utah Code]
  2. 2. “RENT CONTROL WIDELY USED IN U.S. – BUT NOT UTAH” [Deseret News]

Vermont

Vermont is a Dillon State, which does not currently have any rent control legislation, nor preemptions.

Virginia

Virginia is a Dillon State, which does not currently have any rent control legislation, nor preemptions.

Washington

Rent control has been illegal at a state wide level in Washington (including all cities and towns) since 1981.

On 23rd September 2019, the Seattle City Council’s Renter’s Rights Committee, chaired by representative Kshama Sawant, discussed draft legislation for rent control laws in the city. Should the bill proceed (and pass) enactment of controls would be dependent on repeal of the state-wide ban.

References
  1. 1. “Rent control is illegal in Seattle. Here’s why” [KUOW]
  2. 2. “Everything you always wanted to know about Sawant’s rent control bid but were afraid to ask” [Capitol Hill Seattle Blog]

Washington D.C.

Rent Control was introduced in Washington D.C. in 1985, with the passing of the Rental Housing Act. Controls apply to all non-exempt rental accommodations in the District of Columbia, with an annual limit on rent increases set at the consumer price index (CPI-W) plus 2% (maximum 10%). For landlords with eldery (aged over 62) or disabled tenants, the maximum annual rent increase is capped at the CPI percentage only (maximum 5%).

Exemptions apply to rental units built after 1975, rental units which were vacant when the Act took effect, and federal or district-subsidized units.

On the 17th September 2019, a bill was introduced unanimously by D.C. council that would extend the city’s rent control program through 2030. The current rent control program lapses in December 2020.

References
  1. 1. “What You Should Know About Rent Control in the District of Columbia” [DC.gov]
  2. 2. “Rent Control” [Department of Housing and Community Development]
  3. 3. “Understanding Rent Control in DC: The 2019 Annual Increase” [Iona.org]
  4. 4. “Council Passes Watered-Down Measure to Strengthen Rent Control” [Washington City Paper]
  5. 5. “D.C. could extend rent control through 2030” [Curbed]

West Virginia

West Virginia is a Dillon State, which does not currently have any rent control legislation, nor preemptions.

Wisconsin

Local authorities in Wisconsin are preempted from implementing rent control on residential properties. Additionally rents may not be regulated through inclusionary zoning (setting aside a percentage of new and existing developments for affordable housing). Exemptions may be made for properties owned or operated by the state.

References
  1. 1. “Municipal rent control, inclusionary zoning, prohibited” [Wisconsin State Legislature]

Wyoming

Wyoming does not preempt, nor enforce rent control.

Rent Control News

2019-10-08
Gov. Gavin Newsom Signs State-wide Rent Control Bill (California)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signs AB 1482, which places a cap of 5% per year plus inflation on rent increases within the state. The law takes effect on January 1st 2020.

Report: Market Watch

2019-09-23
Draft Rent Control Legislation Discussed In Seattle (Washington)

On 23rd September 2019, the Seattle City Council’s Renter’s Rights Committee, chaired by representative Kshama Sawant, discussed draft legislation for rent control laws in the city. Should the bill proceed (and pass) enactment of controls would be dependent on repeal of the state-wide ban.

Report: Capitol Hill Seattle Blog

2019-09-17
D.C. Council Introduce Bill To Extend Rent Control Through 2030

A bill introduced unanimously by D.C. council will extend the city’s rent control program through 2030. The current rent control program runs until December 2020.

Report: Curbed Washington DC

2019-09-11
California Passes State-Wide Rent Control Bill

The California Assembly passes Assemblymember David Chiu’s AB 1482 bill — which places a cap of 5% per year plus inflation on rent increases within the state — by a margin of 48-26.

Report: New York Times

2019-06-24
"An Act enabling local options for tenant protections." Referred To Committee on Housing (Massachusetts)

Mike Connolly and Nika C. Elugardo’s bill, which proposes to end the preemption on local authorities implementing rent control measures in Massachusetts, is referred to committee on housing.

Bill H.3924

2019-06-14
Gov. Andrew Cuomo Signs "The Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019" (New York)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs “The Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019”, which strengthens rent control laws in New York State.

Report: New York Post

2019-05-25
SB398 Fails To Pass (Nevada)

Senate Bill 398, which would have allowed local authorities in Nevada to implement rent control measures to tackle the affordable housing crisis fails to pass.

Report: Reno Gazette Journal

2019-04-30
Senate Bill 225 Is Delayed By Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg (Colorado)

Senate Bill 225, which would have seen Colorado’s rent control preemptions repealed, is delayed by Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, killing its chances of passing in 2019.

Report: Denver Post

2019-03-27
Rep. Will Guzzardi’s Rent Control Bill Defeated (Illinois)

Illinois House Panel votes 4-2 against state Rep. Will Guzzardi’s bill to repeal rent control preemption laws in Illinois.

Report: Crain’s Chicago Business

2019-02-28
Oregon Rent Control Bill Signed Into Law By Governor Kate Brown

Governor Kate Brown signs Senate Bill 608, making Oregon the first US state to implement state-wide rent control measures.

Report: Oregon Live

2019-01-15
Mike Connolly and Nika C. Elugardo Present "An Act enabling local options for tenant protections." (Massachusetts)

Mike Connolly and Nika C. Elugardo present House Bill 3924, which proposes to end the preemption on local authorities implementing rent control measures in Massachusetts.

Bill H.3924

Resources

  • Rent Control: What Does the Research Tell Us about the Effectiveness of Local Action? [Urban Institute]
  • Rent Control By State Chart [NMHC]
  • Rent Control In The United States [Wikipedia]
  • Short History of Rent Control Laws [Cornell.edu]
  • The Effects of Rent Control Expansion on Tenants, Landlords, and Inequality: Evidence from San Francisco [Stanford.edu]

Note: all information on this page is sourced from publicly available data. The page is regularly updated to include latest rent control legislation, however, the information should not be taken as legal advice. For clarification of rent control ordinances in your locality, we recommend consulting with your local authority.