The State Supreme Court decertified a Second District Court of Appeal opinion that overturned portions of Santa Monica's rent control law. The appellate court ruled that Santa Monica could not modify conditions established by state law under which landlords can increase rents for voluntarily vacated units. The court also held that the city cannot demand more information than state law requires when registering rent-controlled units. (See CP&DR Legal Digest, June 2000.) In reviewing the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act of 1995 (Civ. Code ยง1954.50), the court found that the state "fully occupied" the field of law governing the right of landlords to establish rental rates, whether or not the units are subject to rent control. Under Costa-Hawkins, a landlord can set initial and subsequent rental rates for new tenancies, even for units subject to rent control. The ruling was a rare loss for Santa Monica, which has successfully defended one of the strictest rent control laws in the state for years. While the outcome of the case remains unchanged, affordable housing advocates applauded the state high court's decision, which means the case cannot be cited as precedent. The court issued its decertification order on August 23. The case is Cabinda v. Santa Monica Rent Control Board, 80 Cal.App.4th 853, 2000 Daily Journal D.A.R. 4989.