By a 4-1 vote Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed an interim rent control ordinance for communities in unincorporated county communities, with Supervisor Kathryn Barger casting the lone no vote.
“I understand the concerns about high rents in Los Angeles County but I’m also concerned about the impact of rent control on our local economy,” said Barger, supervisor for the Fifth District which includes the Santa Clarita Valley, in a statement Wednesday.
“We have had minimal discussion regarding housing stock and the cost of burdensome regulations and zoning conditions that all affect housing affordability,” Barger said. “The proposed rent control ordinance is not targeted, thus potentially benefitting high wage earners more than those whom the proponents claim to help, such as seniors and the chronically homeless. Without further study and consideration of the unintended consequences of rent control on the economy of our local communities, I cannot support the ordinance.”
As a compromise, and to address some of these concerns, Barger offered the following amendment which failed for a lack of a second:
Include language into the ordinance to implement temporary limit rent increases:
1. Allowance for rent banking. Landlords and property owners shall be allowed to bank rent increases if the landlord or property owner does not raise the rent to the 3 percent maximum allowed in the ordinance to temporary limit rent increases in a given year. For example, if a landlord or property owner raises the rent 1 percent one year, the same landlord or property owner will be allowed to raise the rent 5 percent in the second year.
2. Should state law change, to allow for Vacancy De-Control. When a unit is vacated by a tenant, the landlord or property owner shall be allowed to raise the rent for that unit to the market rate and the ordinance to temporary limit rent increases to take affect once the unit is occupied.
3. Review of a vesting period for just cause. Landlord and property owners would retain the right to utilize 60/30 day no cause notices for up to the first 2 years of tenancy.