On October 17th, 2023, the City of Monterey voted four to one to implement a new rental registry ordinance. Here's a quick summary of what to expect (final details are still being worked out)
The ordinance is designed to create a database for all rental properties within the city. The city’s objective is to gather information about the supply of rentals, how much rent is paid, how many units are on a property and how many bedrooms and bathrooms exist. The city believes that the new rental registry ordinance will increase transparency for tenants by having access to a centralized database of registered rental properties so tenants can make informed decisions about where they want to live. They also believe it will promote accountability among landlords, encouraging them to maintain their properties to a high standard to attract and retain tenants.
The ordinance goes into effect on January 1, 2024. There will be an exemption for self-managed property owners with three or fewer units. The applicable landlords will be required to register their rental units with the city and pay a portion of an annual registration fee. Based on the latest city meeting, fifty percent of the fee is payable by the landlord and 50 percent by the tenant; to the extent feasible, the 50 percent pass through charge to the tenant will be itemized on an invoice or statement; exemption of accessory dwelling units and junior accessory dwelling units. It does not look like the fee price has been finalized.
I attended the April Town Hall meeting and no surprise, the room was quite divided. The ordinance was met with heavy resistance from landlords who have concerns about privacy. Landlords who have tenants in their properties for years may be charging “under market” rent and they don’t want their current and future tenants to use this as a comparison. Landlords are also concerned that this is the next step towards rent control, a controversial issue in California and across the country. On the flip side, most tenants felt it was a positive step that will create transparency for the rental market and allow them a more robust complaint process for landlord/property neglect.
We will have to wait and see how things pan out.
Source: KION 46, Monterey County Weekly