Rent Stabilization Ordinance of the City of Los Angeles
- What is the Rent Stabilization Ordinance of the City of Los Angeles?
Named and established by Los Angeles Municipal Code section 151.01, the Rent Stabilization ordinance for the City of Los Angeles was enacted in 1979 to address a critical shortage of affordable housing. It capped allowable rent increases on existing rental units and established the Rent Adjustment Commission to regulate rents in the city.
- Does my rental unit qualify for rent control under the Rent Stabilization Ordinance of the City of Los Angeles?
According to Section 151.06(D), for units subject to rent control in Los Angeles, a landlord may increase rent only once every twelve months and may not increase rent more than the average of the increase in the consumer price index for the twelve months preceding September 30 of the previous year as published by the Rent Adjustment Commission no later than May 30 in any given year. A landlord who pays for gas or electric utilities may increase the rent by an additional 1% for each utility or a total of 2% for both. The rent increase may be imposed from July 1 through June 30 following the publication of the allowable rate. According to the definition contained in Section 151.02, rent control in the city of Los Angeles has a few exceptions. If you are able to answer “No,” to all of the following however, your rental unit is likely covered by rent control:
- Is your rental unit a single-family home on its own lot?
- Is your rental unit a room in a hotel, motel, inn, tourist house, rooming or boarding house, in which you have resided for thirty days or less?
- Is your unit part of a nonprofit stock operative occupied by a shareholder tenant?
- Is your rental unit part of a hospital, state-licensed community care facility, monastery, convent, extended care facility, asylum, fraternity/sorority house, or housing managed by an educational institution for its students?
- Is your rental unit owned, operated, or managed by a governmental agency or exempt from local rent regulations by any law?
- Does your unit have a certificate of occupancy issued after October 1, 1978?
- Was your building designated as “luxury housing accommodations,” as of May 1978?
- Was your rental unit provided exemption for substantial renovation prior to 1989?
- Was your unit registered as affordable housing?
- Is your rental unit a recreational vehicle that has resided within its park for less than nine months?
- Is your unit in a mobile home park that was established after 1979?
- Is your rental unit part of a limited equity housing cooperative?
- Does my landlord need just cause for eviction to evict me under the Rent Stabilization Ordinance for the City of Los Angeles?
Los Angeles Municipal Code section 151.09(A) requires landlords to have just cause to evict a tenant.
If you answer “Yes,” to any of the following questions, your landlord may have a Fault Just Cause to evict you.
- Have you failed to pay rent after receiving a notice to do so?
- Have you failed to correct a violation of your rental agreement, that was not due to adding an occupant after permission was unreasonably denied by your landlord, after having received a notice from your landlord and had a reasonable time to cure?
- Have you created or allowed a nuisance, damaged property, or done anything to interfere with the comfort, peace, or enjoyment of the landlord or any other occupant of the property or within one thousand feet of the boundary of the rental property?
- Have you used your unit, any common area associated with your unit, or any place within one thousand feet of the rental property for any unlawful use?
- After your previous rental agreement expired, did you refuse, after written notice to do so, to accept a renewal or extension of the agreement with substantially the same terms?
- Have you refused access to the landlord to perform repairs, maintenance, or an inspection, or to exhibit the property with reasonable notice?
- Is the landlord recovering possession to use the rental unit as their primary residence or to move in a spouse, parent, grandparent, child, grandchildren, or a resident manager?
- Have you refused to either temporarily or permanently relocate to allow the landlord to perform “Primary Renovation Work”?
If you answer “Yes,” to any of the following questions, your landlord may have a No Fault Just Cause to evict you.
- Is the landlord demolishing or removing the rental unit and all other units in the building from the rental market?
- Does the landlord require you to vacate to comply with a court or governmental order?
- Is the unit owned by HUD, which now intends to sell the property?
- Is the unit part of a residential hotel which the landlord seeks to convert or demolish?
- Is the landlord converting the unit to affordable housing?
- Will I receive relocation payments if my landlord evicts me for just cause under the Rent Stabilization Ordinance of the City of Los Angeles?
According to Section 151.09(G), tenants are entitled to relocation payments if they are forced to give up possession for no fault just cause. If a tenant in a rental unit is disabled, 62 years old, or has one or more minor dependents, the landlord must pay $15,300.00 if the tenant has resided at the property for less than three years and $18,300.00 if the tenant has lived at the property for more than three years. If no one in the rental unit meets these criteria, then the landlord must pay $7,300.00 for a tenancy shorter than three years and $9,600.00 for a tenancy longer than three years. If the tenants’ income is below 80% of the area median income, then they are entitled to the greater amount regardless of the length of the tenancy. If the eviction meets the specific requirements for an owner move-in listed in Section 151.30, the landlord must pay $14,000.00 to households with a tenant who is disabled, elderly or a parent with a minor child or $7,000.00 to households without such a tenant.
- Does the Rent Stabilization Ordinance of the City of Los Angeles prohibit landlord harassment?
While the Rent Stabilization Ordinance does not address landlord harassment, state law contains many independent laws that punish bad behavior. You may consult our page on landlord harassment laws in California or review California Civil Code sections 789.3, 1940.2, 1940.35, 1942.5, 1946.8, 1950.5, and 1954 for additional details.
- What are my remedies under the Rent Stabilization Ordinance for the City of Los Angeles if my landlord improperly raises my rent?
If your landlord raises your rent above the maximum adjusted rent permitted by rent control, you may cite Section 151.11 and refuse to pay the excess. The fact that the rent exceeds the maximum adjustment is an affirmative defense to any action to recover possession by the landlord. If you discover you have been paying more than you should have, you may sue for triple the amount you were overcharged as well as attorney’s fees under Section 151.10.
- What are my remedies under the Rent Stabilization Ordinance of the City of Los Angeles if my landlord evicts me without just cause?
If you are forced to move out of a rent-controlled unit, then you may sue your landlord for what is referred to as wrongful eviction, and demand rent differential or loss of use. This amount is the difference between the current fair market monthly rental rate for your unit and the monthly rent you were paying at the time of the eviction without just cause multiplied by the number of months you would have stayed in the rental unit if you had not been wrongfully evicted. If you are elderly or have a disability, you may also claim triple the amount in damages if you can show that your landlord acted with intentional disregard of the fact you were disabled or elderly and would suffer from the loss of your home. You may also receive triple damages if your landlord fails to temporarily relocate you while performing renovations or does not follow the requirements of an owner move-in eviction.