Rent jumped more than 20% in some Orange County cities over the last year

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. (KABC) -- The price of rent has ballooned in the last 12 months, and in Orange County it's no different.

Rob Warnock is a senior research associate for Apartment List, an online rental marketplace.

"If you are a renter in Orange County who's looking for, say, a one-bedroom apartment, by our latest estimate that one bedroom apartment is renting for about $2,200 a month," Warnock said.

Warnock said rent prices jumped more than 20% in cities like Irvine, Mission Viejo and Laguna Niguel over the last year.

He said that is about $375 more a month.

Warnock said even with surging prices, there's still a high demand for rentals but not enough vacancies.

"Property managers and landlords have the opportunity to rent those apartments to the folks who can pay more," Warnock said.

Also, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics economist Matthew Insco said the Consumer Price Index for the Los Angeles area, which includes Orange County, reached a 40 year high of 7.9% earlier this year.

"We're really seeing some unprecedented price increases," Insco said.

David Levey with Fair Housing Council of Orange County said California's Tenant Protection Act limits rent increases for buildings covered under the law.

He said starting in August it will be capped at 10%.

"To have someone's rent go up by 10% is hard for them, but then you get people who are either not in covered properties or they're facing moving into a vacant unit and the rent on that unit can be whatever the landlord can get on the market," Levey said.

In addition, he said many households are stretched thin and are facing homelessness.

"For some families, the biggest problem is they can't come up with the money so now they're facing getting a notice for nonpayment of rent and a possible eviction," Levey said.

The city of Santa Ana did pass an ordinance that caps rent increases at 3% or 80% of inflation, whichever is lowest, for apartments built before 1996 and mobile home parks established in 1990 or before.

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