Rent Control Marches Onward in 2023

Here’s the latest on the policy from across the country.

3 minute read

Despite its long and destructive track record, the National Apartment Association (NAA) has found that rent control remains a hot topic. NAA is tracking over 60 rent control-related bills in state legislatures and our conversations tracker has shown that policymakers have referenced rent control terminology in their social media posts over 500 times just in the past three months. That’s up from about 280 posts in the same time range six months ago.

As of March 2023, here is where rent control battles stand across the country:


  • Boston
    • Mayor Michelle Wu submitted her rent control proposal to the City Council. Any ordinance would require state legislation to repeal Massachusetts’ rent control preemption. NAA has written separately about the plan the background of rent control in Boston.
  • Maine
    • In Portland, after the city adopted rent control through ballot initiative in November, another question amending the rent control ordinance has qualified for the ballot. The proposal would allow for vacancy de-control if a resident moves out of the unit voluntarily.
    • The South Portland the City Council advanced a proposal to cap annual rent increases at ten percent. This ordinance would only apply to people and entities who own more than 15 units in the city. Affordable housing receiving government funding and new construction with the past fifteen years would also be exempt. 
  • Maryland
    • Mount Rainier passed rent caps of 60 percent of CPI per year on February 21. The ordinance also establishes a Rent Stabilization Board, a rental registry and exempts certain properties like those built within the past fifteen years and owner-occupied buildings.
    • Prince George’s County imposed a rent increase limit of 3 percent which will expire in one year. Affordable housing that receives government funding and units that received their initial use and occupancy permits within the past five years are exempt.
    • Montgomery County policymakers introduced anti-rent gouging legislation which would limit rent increases to CPI-U for all urban consumers in the Washington Metro area plus eight percent. The proposal includes exemptions for units that have been offered to rent for less than fifteen years, some owner-occupied buildings, single-family homes and several other types of units.
  • Los Angeles
    • The Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA) has filed a lawsuit against the city seeking to prohibit the enforcement of two ordinances which would expand the scope of rent control in Los Angeles. The ordinances in question, according to AAGLA, require that residents of rental units meet a threshold amount in arrears before the property owner can initiate eviction proceedings and that housing providers of rent control-exempt units pay financial penalties after making certain rent increases. AAGLA argues that these ordinances are in conflict with California’s Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.


  • Colorado
    • HB 23-1115, a repeal of the state’s rent control preemption, passed the House of Representatives on February 27. This bill would create some guidelines for local jurisdictions hoping to limit rent increases, including requiring an exemption for new construction within fifteen years and prohibiting any caps lower than three percent plus the change in CPI. Despite clearing one chamber of the state legislature, the bill faces stiffer odds in the Senate and on the governor’s desk.
  • Similar repeals of rent control preemption have been introduced in Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington.
  • Meanwhile, some legislators have filed statewide rent control bills in Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.
  • Of the states above, ten have a Democratic trifecta in control of the state government. Because rent control is favored by Democrats, this increased the odds of these proposals passing but does not guarantee them.
    • Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington

Alongside our affiliate partners, we stand ready to defend the rental housing industry against these harmful policies. For more information about Rent Control Policy, please contact Ben Harrold, NAA’s Manager of Public Policy.