Lawsuit Filed Against Pasadena Rent Control Law

The California Apartment Association (CAA) is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the City of Pasadena’s rent control law.

2 minute read


On December 16, 2022, the California Apartment Association (CAA) filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court for the State of California, County of Los Angeles asking for declaratory and injunctive relief against the City of Pasadena’s new rent control law (Measure H). 

Measure H enacts a 75% increase cap on rent adjustments in the City of Pasadena for multifamily rental units built prior to February 1, 1995 and prohibits evictions except for just cause as allowed by eleven specified criteria. It also creates a Rental Housing Board with exclusive decision-making power regarding rental housing in the city.


CAA argues the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act preempts a local jurisdiction from enacting provisions that conflict with state law, such as the applicability to units previously exempt from rent control, the longer (six-month) notice of termination period and the requirement for a right to cure prior to lease termination proceedings. CAA also claims the measure acts inappropriately as a revision to the city code by giving power to appointed members of the Rental Housing Board rather than elected officials. The initial filing cites these as violations of the California Constitution and the 14th Amendment.

On January 5, 2023, CAA filed a petition for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunctive relief, asking the court to place enforcement or implementation of Measure H on hold until the lawsuit is decided.  In its petition, CAA argues there is reasonable probability that it will succeed on the merits of its claims and that “failing to place the law on hold in the interim is likely to do more harm than good.”


Judge Mary H. Strobel denied the request for the temporary restraining order on January 6, 2023, and instead deferred to a hearing on January 26 for the Motion for a Preliminary Injunction. If granted then, parts of or the entire rent control measure may be put on hold until the conclusion of the lawsuit.

NAA’s Legal Affairs team continues to monitor the latest developments and will update our members as additional information becomes available.