Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Rent Control in Los Angeles

Rent Sign

What is Rent Control?

The Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO), commonly referred to as “rent control”, was passed as an ordinance in 1978 to protect Los Angeles tenants from excessive rent increases, while at the same time, allowing landlords a reasonable return on their investments.

What Buildings are Covered under Los Angeles Rent Control?

Rent control covers properties within the City of Los Angeles, built before October 1978, that are apartments, condominiums, townhomes, duplexes, houses with two or more dwelling units on same lot, or a hotel, motel, rooming/boarding house room where tenant has stayed for 30 or more consecutive days. In addition, mobile homes or mobile home pads are covered under rent control if the park was issued a permit to operate before February 10, 1986.

What Properties are Exempt from Rent Control in Los Angeles?

1. Properties located in other municipalities or within unincorporated areas within the County of Los Angeles;

2. Single family dwellings, used as such;

3. Properties (except for mobile homes and mobile home pads) with a Certificate of Occupancy issued after October 1, 1978 (considered “new construction”);

4. Mobile homes or mobile home pads when the park was issued a permit to operate after February 10, 1986;

5. Government owned properties;

6. Units occupied by an owner or family member where no rents are collected;

7. Vacant units (10 days to register upon rental of property);

8. Properties permanently removed from the rental market;

9. “Luxury housing accomodations” issued an Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD) certificate;

10. Demolished rent control properties;

11. Schools/hospitals;

12. Hotels/motels – with tenancy under 30 days; and

13. Non-profit owner units, with certain qualifications.

Each one of the above-listed scenarios can present difficult issues that should be examined closely.  If you believe your property may fall into one of the above categories, it is highly suggested you consult an attorney and confirm the findings with LAHD.

What is the Yearly Allowable Rent Increase for Rent Control Properties in Los Angeles?

As of July 1, 2008, the maximum percentage is 3%.  This percentage is tied to the Consumer Price Index and is calculated each year.

There are particular adjustments and potential exemptions related to this percentage, but generally the 3% figure is controlling.

On What Grounds Can a Tenant Be Evicted From a Los Angeles Rent Control Property?

Tenants may only be evicted for one of twelve reasons allowable under rent control laws (section 151.09).  I will list out and explain each of these twelve situations in a later post.  The reasons can be difficult to understand and vary considerably based on the specific facts.

What is “relocation assistance”?

Relocation assistance is required if a rental unit is under rent control and the landlord is evicting a tenant for his/her own occupancy or occupancy for his/her spouse, parents, children or for a resident manager.  Relocation assistance is also required for major rehabilitation and demolition, as well as orders from a governmental agency for a tenant to vacate due to a violation of the Los Angeles Municipal Code or any other provision of law.

For further information and more detailed explanations regarding Los Angeles rent control laws, the LAHD website provides helpful information.

Posted in Los Angeles Rent Control

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