DEFINITION: is a California state law, enacted in 1995, which places limits on municipal rent control ordinances. Costa–Hawkins preempts the field in two major ways.

First, it prohibits cities from establishing rent control over certain kinds of residential units, e.g., single family dwellings and condominiums, and newly constructed apartment units; these are deemed exempt. Second, it prohibits municipal “vacancy control”, also called “strict” rent control.