Rent control ordinances are creatures of local governments and in the narrowest sense refers to limits on how much rent landlords can charge, and spell out how much - and how often - landlords can raise the rent.
Yet, counties and cities can enumerate the reasons a tenant can be evicted and enact further protections like minimum lease terms, relocation payment assistance, special notice requirements, mediation services, buyout agreement regulations, and other safeguards.
These rules can be tricky, but don't fret - we understand the lay of the land. While we survey some of the ordinances below, the law is always subject to change, and so we invite you to stay dialed in to the latest happenings and insights.
City of Los Angeles
Rental units in Los Angeles on or before October 1, 1978, are subject to the city's Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO), although single-family homes, condominiums are exempt, along with limited luxury accommodations and affordable housing approved as exempt. Tenants cannot be evicted without just causes specified in the ordinance, and rent caps are tied to the regional Consumer Price Index (CPI), though the City throttles rent increases a bit - they will never be less than 3% and never greater than 8%.
In certain circumstances, landlords can recover costs to improvements made to the rental property through the Just & Reasonable Program. If the tenant is evicted through no fault of their own, relocation payments vary from $8,200 - $21,200. Alternatively, the landlord can dangle money, a rent waiver, or both, to entice the tenant to voluntarily vacate the unit. This comes with the caveat that the tenant can change their mind in a 30-day rescind period.
Unincorporated Los Angeles Communities
Effective April 1, 2020, a permanent Rent Stabilization Ordinance will tie annual rent increases to the Consumer Price Index, not to exceed 8 percent. Rent hikes are based on the legal "base rent" a tenant was paying on September 11, 2018.
If the tenant is temporarily displaced or evicted through no fault of their own, landlords are required to pay relocation assistance, ranging from $7,000 to $14,000.
Tenant buyout agreements whereby the tenant agrees to vacate the rental unit in exchange for compensation, a rent waiver, or both, are viable vehicles to transition the tenant out, but the tenant has the opportunity to change his or her mind with a 30-day rescind period.
The Santa Monica Rent Control Board has announced a General Adjustment (GA) of 2% for eligible units, with a maximum $44 increase for rents of $2,175 and above. Most units constructed after April 10, 1979 are exempt, as well as most single-family homes, condominiums and owner-occupied properties that have three or fewer units. Tenants can only be evicted for limited reasons under just cause eviction protections.
Culver City landlords are limited to rent increases of 3% above the rent that was in place on June 11, 2019. The rent cap applies to rental units constructed prior to February 1, 1995. Single-family homes, separately owned condos and townhouses, owner-occupied mobile homes, and Section 8 housing is exempt from rent caps. "For cause" and "no-fault" grounds are required for evictions, and if the tenant is displace through no fault of his or her own, the landlord may be on the hook for relocation assistance equal to three times monthly rent, plus $1,000.
Keep in mind, this was a temporary ordinance that will expire on August 11, 2020 unless a more permanent measure is enacted after the City conducts further study.
Rental property owners are blocked from increasing rents more than 5 percent annually, although the City wants to acknowledge landlords who have resisted the temptation to raise rents in an epicenter of growth, or dig deep into their pockets to make substantial improvements to the property.
Inglewood landlords are permitted to raise the rent 3 percent above the cap if their units are already priced below 80 percent of the fair market rate, as determined by HUD. Owners can similarly tack on another 3 percent if they complete upgrades that are worth more than $100,000. Rent cap increases will be decided on a case-by-case basis by a housing commission.
If the Consumer Price Index rises more than 5 percent, the rent cap will automatically increase. For units built after February 1, 1995, the ordinance will not apply. Properties with 4 or fewer dwelling units are also exempt, as well as single family homes and condominiums, subsidized housing, and other miscellaneous units.
Inglewood tenants who are evicted without a just cause who has lived in a unit two years are more will be entitled to relocation fees equal to three times the average rent.
more cities coming soon...
Events to help you better understand rent and eviction controls
Paulina is renowned for giving presentations that breaks down onerous regulations in an easily digestible fashion. If your team is interested in a workshop, she is happy to visit your offices for an informative talk on new laws and the best practices in landlording and property management.