Information About L.A. County’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance

This article is sourced from DCBA LA County.

March 30, 2021, LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an emergency order to halt any new rent increases on residential units that are subject to the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO). (“Mayor Garcetti Orders Halt to Rent Increases on Rent-Stabilized Units.” Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, www.lamayor.org/mayor-garcetti-orders-halt-rent-increases-rent-stabilized-units. Accessed 24 May 2021.)

“Los Angeles County’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance.” Los Angeles County Department of Consumer & Business Affairs, dcba.lacounty.gov/rentstabilization-ordinance. Accessed 25 May 2021.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE COUNTY’S RENT STABILIZATION ORDINANCE

Note: Due to the current COVID-19 emergency, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors have approved a temporary eviction moratorium and rent freeze. These new rules temporarily replace many parts of the Rent Stabilization Ordinance and will remain in place until June 30, 2021 unless extended.

MORE INFO ABOUT THE TEMPORARY EVICTION MORATORIUM AND RENT FREEZE.

What is the Los Angeles County Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO)?

The County’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance is a local law that limits rent increases above the allowable limit within a 12-month period, and provides “just cause” eviction protections for most residential rental units in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. The RSO went into effect on April 1, 2020.

 

Which rental units are covered by the County’s RSO?

There are two categories of protections under the County’s RSO:

  1. Fully Covered Units, which have rent restrictions and “Just Cause” eviction protections; and
  2. Partially Covered, or “Just Cause” only units, which protect tenants from evictions without “Just Cause” and applies to most rental units in unincorporated LA County

Fully Covered Units must:

  • Be located in unincorporated Los Angeles County; and
  • Be a residential dwelling on a property with two or more rental units, such as apartment complexes and duplexes; and
  • Have an initial Certificate of Occupancy or equivalent issued on or before February 1, 1995

To find out if a rental unit is in unincorporated Los Angeles County visit the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk website at lavote.net/precinctmap, select “District Look Up by Address” and type the number and street name of the rental unit. You can also contact us at 833-223-7368 for more information.

 

How much can rent be increased each year?

The RSO limits rent increases based on changes in the Consumer Price Index. The current allowable increase is 3% for rent restricted units through June 30, 2021. The RSO does not limit rent increases for rental units covered only by “Just Cause” eviction protections. However, the State may limit how much rent can be increased for these units.

 

Can a landlord ever increase rent by more than what is allowed by the RSO or pass on other costs to tenants?

Yes. In certain situations, landlords may increase rent by more than the allowable limit if they can demonstrate that they are not receiving a fair return on the property.

Landlords may also pass on costs related to certain improvements, annual registration fees, and the Safe Clean Water Act (Measure W parcel tax). Most of these increases cannot take place without first receiving the County’s approval. Any allowable pass-throughs are not considered rent and should always be listed as a separate line item.

 

What if a landlord increases rent by more than what’s allowed?

If a landlord increases rent by more than what the RSO allows, tenants may submit an Application for Rent Adjustment, which the department will review and make a determination on.

 

Can tenants be evicted for any reason?

It depends. If the rental unit is covered by the RSO, tenants can only be evicted for one of the “Just Cause” reasons listed below, which is broken into two categories: At-fault and No-fault.

At-Fault: Tenant has broken the rental agreement in one or more of the following ways:

  • Failure to pay rent within three days of receiving written notice from the landlord demanding payment
  • Material breach of rental agreement (if a tenant has not fixed the problem within 10 days of receiving notice from the landlord)
  • Failure to provide landlord reasonable access to the rental unit
  • Creating a nuisance or using the rental unit for illegal purposes
  • Failure to sign a substantially similar lease
  • Failure to move out of the rental unit as required by an approved relocation application
  • Household is above income limits in government regulated units

No-Fault (may require relocation assistance): Landlords can evict a tenant who has not broken the agreement for the following reasons:

  • Owner move-in: Landlord or their spouse, registered domestic partner, children, grandchildren, dependent aunt or uncle, parents or grandparents want to move into the rental unit
  • Landlord wishes to demolish or remove the property from the rental housing market per Government Code sections 7060 through 7060.7
  • Government order

 

Does a landlord need to provide tenants with relocation assistance?

It depends. If a tenant is being evicted for a No-Fault reason or the landlord needs to complete certain repairs that cannot be done while the tenant remains in the unit, the tenant may be entitled to receive relocation assistance.

 

Do landlords have to register their rental unit(s) with the County?

Yes. Landlords are required to register all rental units annually, including changes in tenancy, rental rate, and amenities by September 30 of each calendar year.

 

Is there a fee for landlords to register rental units with the County?

Yes. Landlords are required to pay a fee of $30.00 for “Just Cause” only units, and $90.00 for Fully Covered Units, unless the property qualifies for an exemption. If landlords register their properties by the deadline, they can pass-through half of the fee to tenants.

The initial fee will be waived if the property is registered by March 31, 2021.

 

NOTE: DCBA is not currently accepting applications for registration. Please check our website for updates.

 

What if a landlord or tenant has violated the RSO?

Contact the Rent Stabilization Program at 833-223-7368 to speak with one of our counselors and learn more about what steps can be taken.

 

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By: DCBA LA County
May 25, 2021

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