Invitation Homes, the nation’s largest single-family rental landlord, has reached a settlement to address accusations it violated California‘s “rent gouging” laws, the state’s Attorney General Rob Bonta announced on Monday.
As part of the settlement filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Invitation Homes will pay $2.04 million in civil penalties. The company will also refund or credit tenants the amount it collected in excess of state rent caps, plus 5% interest, totaling over $1.68 million, Bonta’s office said. The company will also take specific actions to ensure compliance with California law. Invitation Homes company owns about 12,000 rental properties across California.
From October 2019 through December 2022, some Invitation Homes tenants received rental increases of more than 10%, exceeding what is allowed under two state laws, the California Tenant Protection Act and California’s price-gouging law.
“Californians are facing a housing crisis of epic proportion. California has laws in place to protect tenants from sudden, large rent increases, and landlords need to be diligent in ensuring that they abide by those laws,” Bonta said in the statement. “The settlement announced Monday should serve as a reminder to landlords in California to familiarize themselves with the law and protections put in place to keep homes accessible to Californians.”
Signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2019, California’s Tenant Protection Act created significant new protections for tenants, including limiting rent increases and prohibiting landlords from evicting tenants without just cause.
Invitation Homes operates 76,138 properties across the country, according to its most recent quarterly financial report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. California’s 12,000 properties accounted for 17% of the company’s $614 million in rental revenue in the third quarter of 2023.