By: Lauren Weber
We have been getting a lot of questions about rent control lately so we thought we’d share some information on the different areas that are effected by it and what it means to landlords/investors that need to abide by LA City’s rent control guidelines.
First, let’s start with the question: What is rent control?
Rent control, or the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO), was designed to protect tenants from excessive rent increases and limits the reasons for evictions while allowing landlords a reasonable return on their investments. The RSO has been passed by the Los Angeles City Council on May 1, 1979 and has maintained it ever since. The RSO covers allowable rent increases, registration of rental units, legal reasons for evictions, and types of evictions requiring payment of tenant relocation assistance.
Subject rental units include: apartments, condominiums, town houses, duplexes, two or more dwelling units on a single lot, mobile homes, mobile home parks, and rooms in a hotel, motel, rooming house or board house occupied by the same tenant for 30 or more consecutive days.
What areas fall under rent control?
Predominately, any property within Los Angeles City is considered in a rent controlled area. These include areas such as Westchester, San Pedro, Torrance P.O., Hollywood, Northridge, Encino, Woodland Hills, Van Nuys, Sunland, Eagle Rock, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, etc. However, there are some exceptions that would exempt properties for falling under rent control. Some of these exceptions include buildings completed after 1978, one house on a lot, government funded units, and luxury units. To find out if your property or property of interest falls under rent control you can follow these instrutions HERE and look up the property address HERE.
What are the landlords rights?
-Increase rent every 12 months by the allowable increase. Every year this figure is subject to change, however it has been 3% for the last several years and is the allowable rent increase from the time period of July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.
-Increase rent by an additional 1% for gas and/or 1% of electricity when landlord pays for either or both of these utilities.
-Increase security deposit and last month’s by the allowable percentage at the same time rent is increased.
-Increase rent by 10% for an additional tenant, except if landlord had previous notice of the additional tenant for more than 60 consecutive days and failed to notify the tenant of rent increase.
-Evict tenants for legal reasons as stated HERE.
-Apply for special rent increases base on an application for Primary Renovation, Capital Improvements, Rehabilitation, or a “Just and Reasonable” rent adjustment.
-Pass through current year Systematic Code Enforcement Program (SCEP) fees of $43.32 to the tenants at the rate of $3.6/month for 12 months, if the owner has paid them in full. Owner must give tenant 30 day written notice of increase prior to collection of fees and provide the tenant a copy of the Registration Certificate.
What are the tenants rights?
-Tenant may receive a copy of the Registration Certification of their rented units with Rent Stabilization Division from landlord.
-File a complaint with the Rent Stabilization Division, if the landlord:
-Imposes an illegal rent increase
-Is not registered in compliance with the Ordinance
-Provides a Notice to Quit that does not fall within the guidelines of legal reason for eviction.
-Dose not pay relocation assistance as required by RSO.
-Fails to post an RSO notice on the property.
-Receive relocation assistance for certain no-fault evictions.
-File a complaint with Code Enforcement Division, if there are suspected code violations.
Are there any exceptions to rent control?
The major exceptions are buildings completed after 1978, single family residence, government funded units, and luxury units.
*For more information please contact your local city directly. You may also visit the City of Los Angeles’s website HERE for more rent control info or call The Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department at www.HCIDLA.LACITY.org or 866-557-7368