The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors took another step this week to keep residents in their homes by establishing a permanent rent control program for unincorporated areas of the county.
Permanent rent stabilization rules will go into effect on April 1, 2020. Until then, the current interim rent stabilization protections will remain in effect.
The permanent rent stabilization program:
*Limits allowable rent increases for rental units and space rent charged in mobile home parks to an amount equal to the change in the Consumer Price Index, or CPI, with a maximum of eight percent overall.
* Allows certain designated luxury units to increase rents an additional two percent over the maximum allowable rent increase.
* Requires relocation assistance to renters who are temporarily displaced or evicted for no-fault reasons.
* Requires property owners to register all tenancies annually through a web-based rental housing registry system.
* Establishes a Rental Housing Oversight Commission to adjudicate matters related to rent stabilization. The commission will consist of nine members, appointed by the Board of Supervisors, including two “renter members” and two “owner members.”
The Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs and the Los Angeles County Development Authority developed the recommendations for the new permanent tenant rent control protections and will share in the enforcement of these ordinances.
“The Board of Supervisors has taken a number of critically important steps to protect the more than 100,000 men, women, and children who live and rent in unincorporated LA County,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “Contrary to popular beliefs, economic issues are the number one reason people become homeless. Many people are faced with astronomical rent increases and can’t afford lawyers to fight them. The County’s actions will help residents maintain affordable homes in stable communities, and stem the tide of people into homelessness.”
“Skyrocketing rents are a huge factor driving our homelessness crisis. We have protections in place now that will protect renters and mobile home residents alike from unexpected rent hikes while still guaranteeing landlords a reasonable return on their investments,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn.
“Today we send a message that housing is a human right, not a luxury,” said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, who represents a high proportion of renters on the Board of Supervisors. “To keep our residents housed, we are taking all necessary steps to ensure we have well-informed policies and strong implementation systems in place. This includes an oversight commission, a rental registry, relocation assistance, proper staffing levels, technical capacity, as well as other components to make the policies and programs whole. It is crucial that the permanent ordinance provide relocation assistance and benefits to renters who are temporarily displaced or face no-fault eviction. Continued stakeholder input will provide additional safeguards for vulnerable families and individuals. We have come too far as a society to not take all necessary steps to ensure dignity for all.”
“Over 77 percent of County renters are rent-burdened, meaning they pay more than 30 percent of their earnings for housing each month,” said Joseph M. Nicchitta, Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. “The Board of Supervisors’ actions today will protect those renters most likely to be displaced by high rent increases. While we look forward to the opportunity to expand our tenant protection services, we are committed to operating a fair program that works for both landlords, mobile home park owners, and residents.”
“The county of Los Angeles’ Interim and Permanent Rent Stabilization Ordinances will go a long way toward stemming the tremendous inflow of families that are falling into homelessness,” said Monique King-Viehland, Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Development Authority. “These measures coupled with state legislation like SB 329 will help address the county’s housing insecurity and homelessness crises. We are proud to have partnered with DCBA on the ordinance development and will continue to partner to ensure its effective implementation.”
For more information about LA County’s new tenant rent control protections, or if you have questions regarding a landlord’s rights and responsibilities, contact DCBA’s Rent Stabilization program:
* Phone: (833) 223-RENT (7368)
* Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Website: rent.lacounty.gov
Since 1976, the county Department of Consumer and Business Affairs has served consumers, businesses, and communities through education, advocacy, and complaint resolution. We work every day to educate consumers and small business owners about their rights and responsibilities, mediate disputes, investigate consumer fraud complaints, and enforce Los Angeles County’s minimum wage and rent stabilization ordinances.
For more information, visit dcba.lacounty.gov.