Ok, then if you aren't in a rent controlled building, then the only law that applies to the rent is CA Civil Code Section 827(b) that says if you are month to month and the increase is over 10%, they have to give you a written 60 day notice. If under 10%, it only requires a 30 day notice .
As for who to call, there would be a local Code Enforcement or Housing Inspector you can call to have them come out and inspect the property at no cost to you. These are public servants who do this as their job. They can cite the owner for any violations and then force them to make repairs and get rid of problems like vermin infestations.
Further, once you file a report and request an inspection, you are protected for at least 6 months under CA retaliation laws from any negative action being taken against you due to you exercising your legal rights.
This is your local Code Enforcement office: http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/departments/planning-and-community-development/divisions/code-compliance
How do I Report a Violation?
If you think a property or area might be in violation of the City ordinances or codes, you can easily file a complaint.
How to File a Complaint
- In person
Visit the Planning Department during normal business hours
- By mail
Print a hard copy of the Property Complaint Form and mail to address below (also on top right of form):
City of Santa Cruz
Planning and Community Development Department
Attn: Code Compliance Division***** Room 206
Santa Cruz, CA 95060