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New Redwood City housing laws, minimum wage hike taking effect in 2019

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Three new rental housing laws and an increase in the minimum wage are set to take effect in Redwood City on Jan. 1, 2019. 

Smoke-Free Multi-Family Housing Units:

In an ongoing effort to broaden protections from second-hand smoke, Multi-Family Housing Units will be smoke free in 2019. The ban applies to new and existing multi-family residences, with two or more attached units including duplexes, apartment buildings, condominium complexes, senior and assisted living facilities, and long-term health care facilities.

Rental Relocation Assistance:

The City’s new Rental Relocation Assistance policy applies to rental property owners of buildings with five or more units who choose to withdraw from the housing market, seek to remodel, renovate and/or demolish, convert or change the use of the building to nonresidential. A minimum of three months’ rent will be required to assist tenants with first and last month’s rent, and a security deposit to obtain a replacement unit.

Minimum Rental Lease Ordinance:

Aiming to provide more stability to renters, the City will require a year long minimum lease for rental properties with three or more units. The new Minimum Lease Ordinance, however, allows for a lease to be less than one year as long as both renter and lanlord agree in writing. The ordinance provides no constraints on a property owner raising rents at the end of the lease agreement or when renewing a lease.

Raise in the Local Minimum Wage: 

A new local minimum wage of $13.50 per hour will go into effect in Redwood City. This ordinance seeks to outpace the State’s minimum wage, reaching $15 by 2020. Every year after 2020, the minimum wage will increase based upon the consumer price index (CPI).