There are two ways to increase rent:
1. Get new tenants and charge whatever you want
If you have the opportunity to get new tenants, e.g. if your current tenants voluntarily leave or if you terminate their lease because of repeated violations, then you can charge new tenants whatever you want, e.g. the market rate.
2. Increase rent of existing tenants by 5% + CPI
AB 1482 (Assembly Bill No. 1482) took effect Jan. 1, 2020, and imposes rent increase limits of 5% plus CPI (Consumer Price Index) on most residential rental properties in the state per year.
This bill would, until January 1, 2030, prohibit an owner of residential real property from, over the course of any 12-month period, increasing the gross rental rate for a dwelling or unit more than 5% plus the percentage change in the cost of living, as defined, or 10%, whichever is lower, of the lowest gross rental rate charged for the immediately preceding 12 months, subject to specified conditions.https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1482
The CPI percent change value is defined below.
(2) “Percentage change in the cost of living” means the percentage change from April 1 of the prior year to April 1 of the current year in the regional Consumer Price Index for the region where the residential real property is located, as published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. If a regional index is not available, the California Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for all items, as determined by the Department of Industrial Relations, shall apply.https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1482
Now, you’re probably thinking, “why in the world would you use the percent change from April to April rather than for the most recent month?, e.g. if you decide to increase rent in December 2021, why use the CPI percent change from April 2020 to April 2021 rather than November 2020 to November 2021. Who knows. That’s what the law says so…
Rent increases before August 1 of any calendar year
For rent increases that take effect before August 1 of any calendar year, the percentage change is calculated using the amount published for April (or March, if no amount is published for April) of the immediately preceding calendar year and April (or March) of the year before that.
Source: City & County of San Francisco
Rent increases on or after August 1 of any calendar year
For rent increases that take effect on or after August 1 of any calendar year, the percentage change is calculated using the amount published for April (or March, if no amount is published for April) of that calendar year and April (or March) of the immediately preceding calendar year.
Source: City & County of San Francisco
Since Stockton, CA is in the West region, then to determine the CPI percent change, simply go to
and use the number in the “April” row. We find that the value for 2021 is 4.4%.
Therefore, beginning April 2021, you can increase rent by 5% + 4.4% = 9.4%.
So, if you currently charge $1000 for rent, then you can increase the rent to $1000 + ($1000 x 9.4%) = $1094 for a minimum of one year.
Note: If you use the CPI percent change value at CPIInflationCalculator.com for a rental in Stockton, the value would most likely be incorrect since that calculator is for the entire United States, not the West region.
Number of Rent Increases Per Year
If a tenant has occupied a unit for over 12 months, then you can increase the rent at most twice over a 12-month period.
The bill would prohibit an owner of a unit of residential real property from increasing the gross rental rate for the unit in more than 2 increments over a 12-month period, after the tenant remains in occupancy of the unit over a 12-month period.https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1482
Since the max rent increase per year is 10%, then if you increase the rent by less than 10%, you can increase it one more time to a max of 10%, e.g.
- Jan 1, 2022 rent increase by 5% + CPI (Apr 2020 – Apr 2021) of 3.9% = 8.9%
- July 1, 2022 rent increase by 5% + CPI (Apr 2021 – Apr 2022) or 1.1% (whichever is lower)
90-day Rent Increase Notice
Effective January 1, 2020, California Civil Code Section 827 was amended to require the service of a written 90-day notice (instead of a 60-day notice) if the rent increase, either by itself or combined with any other rent increase in the 12 months prior to the effective date of the increase, is more than 10%.
30-day Rent Increase Notice
The required notice period for an increase of 10% or less (combining all prior increases within the 12 month period before the increase goes into effect) remains 30-days.
Extra 5 Days
If a rent increase notice is served by mail, the required notice period must be extended by an additional five days (i.e. If the increase exceeds 10% of the tenant’s rent and is served by mail, it cannot be effective less than 95 days after the date of mailing).
Example Rent Increase Notice
- Notice of Change of Terms (including rent) (Nolo) RTF Format
How to Serve The Notice to Tenants
Proper Service: Personal Service
You or anyone you designate age 18 or over may hand the notice to the tenant or any one of the tenants named on the notice on behalf of all tenants. If the tenant does not accept the notice, you can leave it down by the tenant’s feet and walk away.
Proper Service: Mail
You can mail the notice to the tenant. However, you then have to give a minimum 35 day notice to account for mail delivery time.
Once the tenant acknowledges receiving the notice or pays the increased rent, the tenant gives up the right to complain about any legal insufficiency in the manner the 30-day or 60-day notice was served, and the rent increase becomes effective, even if the service of the notice is technically improper. Therefore, you can email or text the tenant notifying them of the rent increase and as long as they acknowledge receiving the notice, then the rent increase becomes effective.