Is unpermitted apartment subject to rent control?

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Q: I rent an in-law unit in a single-family home, in a city with rent control. I happen to know that the unit is illegal — it does not have a permit. My landlord says that because the structure is a single-family home, it’s outside of rent control, so he doesn’t have to abide by the yearly permissible rent increase. What do you think? –Axel T.

A: Consult your rent control ordinance and see what it says about coverage under the ordinance. A thoughtfully written ordinance (or perhaps regulations that express it or court decisions that interpret it) will not support your landlord’s theory.