Based on the most recent consumer price indexes, the maximum amount state law allows Santa Barbara landlords to raise rents is 9 percent this year. State law allows landlords’ rent increases equal to 5 percent plus consumer price increase (CPI). This year’s CPI, released June 14, is 4 percent; last year, it was just one percent. This increase reflects the inflationary pressures driven by a massive infusion of federal stimulus dollars into the economy. As a result, the state’s rent-cap law — passed two years ago — allows rent increases as high as 9 percent. Excluded from the state rent law are any rental properties built within the past 15 years. Also exempt are single-family residences or duplexes in which one of the units is occupied by the owner.