Many new laws went into effect Jan. 1 in California, including some that protect tenants from rent increases and eviction without cause.
However, Elsa Peters recently received a letter notifying her that, as of March 1, her rent would increase by 21%.
"I have to pay $1,000 starting in March," Peters said, who currently pays $840 but will have an increase of $160. "I was desperate because it's too much."
Peters has lived for nine years at Whispering Oaks, which are nursing homes for the elderly in Santa Clarita. She claims she has never received an increase like this one.
Legal experts point out that the laws on rent control do not apply in some cases.
"The new [rent] protections do not apply to many government-subsidized homes, as is the case with buildings like Mrs. Peters'," said Eric Post of the Basta organization, which is dedicated to defending tenants. "In these cases, increases are determined according to the income of the tenants."
Post advises that, in these cases, it is preferable to consult with a legal expert, especially if you suspect that there could be an error.
Basta representatives will offer legal advice to Peters to determine if the calculation of her increase is correct. Otherwise, they will fight for an adjustment.
If you are in a similar situation, you can call them at 213-736-5050. You can also get information on their website by clicking here.
"Our doors are always open to all tenants when they have questions," said Diane Alvarado, a lawyer from Basta. "Consultations are free."