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ARO (Apartment Rent Ordinance)

Apartment Rent Ordinance (ARO)

What is the ARO?

The City of San Jose’s Apartment Rent Ordinance (ARO), formerly known as Rent Control, is the city’s ordinance that outlines how much an owner can increase rent and how often. It was passed on January 1, 2003, and it establishes strict rent control guidelines.

Who is covered?

Apartments in the City of San Jose with three or more units that were built and occupied prior to September 7, 1979.

Per the city’s website: To determine if a property is rent stabilized, you can view a map of rent stabilized properties. Use the map to search for properties and view other information about a property. Click on the orange icon associated with the property address to see if it is rent stabilized, how many units it has, if it is covered by the Tenant Protection Ordinance or Ellis Act Ordinance, and what Tier it has been assigned by the Code Enforcement Department. Please contact staff at (408) 975-4480 if you have questions or to confirm the status of a particular property.

What are the basic guidelines of the ARO?

ARO property owners:

  • can only increase the rent once every 12 months

  • can only increase the rent a maximum 5% each year

  • must have the property registered with the city’s Rent Registry by March 1, 2019 in order to avoid penalties

How is this different from the Tenant Protection Ordinance (TPO)?

The ARO is related to rent increases. The TPO is related to terminating tenant’s living arrangements. There are less ARO properties on the market. There are more TPO properties on the market. All ARO properties are also covered by the TPO, but not all TPO properties are covered by the ARO. Confusing? Contact Us for clarification.