PRESS RELEASE: Fairfax Adopts Rent Control

CONTACT: Curt Ries, Marin DSA Co-Chair
[email protected] | [email protected] 


First Town in Marin County and Smallest in California to Cap Rents

FAIRFAX, CA — On Wednesday, November 2nd, the Fairfax Town Council voted 5-0 in favor of adopting an ordinance to establish rent stabilization and 4-1 in favor of adopting an ordinance to strengthen just cause eviction protections. Fairfax is the first town in Marin County and the smallest jurisdiction in California to pass rent control. Fairfax has about 7,500 residents and 37% of Fairfax households rent their homes. 

The votes followed nearly two hours of heated public comments, with tenants and supportive homeowners speaking in favor of the policies and landlords and realtors speaking in opposition. The town council has been considering rent stabilization and just cause eviction policies for the last eight months, since March 2022. It has held eight public agendized meetings on the topic.

The rent stabilization ordinance will cap annual rent increases at 60% of the Consumer Price Index or 5%, whichever is lower, making it one of the strongest rent control provisions in the state. The just cause eviction ordinance will strengthen existing protections by establishing a right of return and relocation payments for displaced tenants, closing Ellis Act eviction loopholes, and providing additional protections against eviction for tenants who are elderly, disabled, or terminally-ill and for teachers and students during the school year. Both ordinances will go into effect on December 3rd, 2022.

The landmark ordinances were passed after a year of grassroots campaigning led by local residents and by the Marin Democratic Socialists of America (Marin DSA), who launched a campaign to establish rent control in Marin County during the fall of 2021. Marin DSA has gathered over 3,000 petition signatures from Marin County residents in support of rent control and just cause eviction protections, including over 650 petition signatures from Fairfax residents, about 9% of the town’s population. They are also working to pass rent control in nearby San Anselmo and Larkspur, where they are partnering with the Skylark Tenants Association.

Other organizations who support the campaign include: Sierra Club Marin Group, Legal Aid of Marin, North Bay Labor Council, North Bay Jobs with Justice, California Alliance for Retired Americans Marin CAT, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5, Teamsters Local 665, Unite Here 2850, National Union of Healthcare Workers, Showing up for Racial Justice Marin, Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California, Marin Environmental Housing Collaborative, Disability Justice Marin, and Tenants Together.