November 3, 2020 Ballot Prop. 21

Proposition 21: Rent Control and Local Governments

Official Results

Available once the California Secretary of State has certified the election. This can take up to 3 weeks or more.

Yes votes: 6,770,958 (40.1%)

No votes: 10,094,634 (59.9%)

Proposition 21 modifies three of the limits set forth in the Costa-Hawkins rent control law (1995). Cities and counties would be allowed to apply rent control to housing more than 15 years old. Single-family homes owned by people with two or fewer properties would be excluded from such a policy. Proposition 21 also limits how much a landlord can increase rents when a new renter moves in. Communities that adopt this policy must allow a landlord to increase rents by up to 15 percent during the first three years after a new renter moves in. The measure also requires that any rent control laws allow landlord a fair rate of return. 

Voter Information

Public Opinion

Non-Partisan Resources

Pro/Con Statements

Proponents of Proposition 21 claim that many citizens cannot afford rent, and local governments must have the ability to pass sensible rent control measures. They point to the high cost of rent as a key reason that COVID-19 has caused such disproportionate suffering. Landlords would still be guaranteed a reasonable profit if Proposition 21 passes.
Opponents of Proposition 21 claim the measure will discourage new housing building, lowering the number of available rental units. They claim the measure offers no protection for seniors and other homeowners who rely on rental profits for income.