Los Angeles Rent Control Laws: A Primer for Silver Lake & Echo Park Buyers

By January 29, 2015News, Tips

Last week  I was at a showing for our Silver Lake Reservoir Duplex and my client began to ask a few questions about LA rent control regulations. In fact, this scenario happens quite often, so I would like to share with you the answers to the most frequently asked questions about rent control I have received.

 

Are properties 4 units and smaller subject to rent control?

All properties that are 2 units and larger are subject to rent control.  However, rent control only applies to properties built prior to October 1978.

Single family homes are not subject to rent control.

How much do I have to pay if I want to relocate a tenant?

If your property is subject to rent control, you cannot force a tenant to leave (unless he/she has done something that is cause for an eviction).  However, you may ask a tenant to leave and if they agree to vacate the property but they do have the right to a relocation fee.

The amount of the relocation fee can range from $7,450-$19,300, depending on the type of tenant.  For more information, click here: How Much Relocation Do I Have to Pay?

If my tenants were due for a rental increase in June 2014 but I haven’t raised the rents yet, can I still do so?

Yes!  You can raise rents after the increase is due within a 12 month period by providing your tenants with a 30 day written notice.

However, it is important to note that rent increases are not cumulative. This means that if you do not raise rents before the 12 month period ends, you will lose your right to increase rents for that period and you will not be able to transfer that increase to the next 12 month period.

If my tenant willingly decides to move out, am I limited by how much rent I can charge the next tenant if my property is subject to rent control?

You are not.  If a rent control property is vacant and subsequently re-rented to a new tenant, there is no maximum limit to the amount of rent that can be charged.  However, if a rent control property currently has tenants in place, rents can only be increased by a certain percentage each year.   

How much can I raise the rents on a property that is subject to rent control each year? 

For 2014, 3%.

An additional 1% for each utility can be collected if you (the owner) pays the full cost of gas and/or electricity for a maximum annual rent increase of 5%.

Does Silver Lake have rent control laws?

Yes, Silver Lake is in Los Angeles city and Los Angeles city has rent control laws.  Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and West Hollywood are also cities in Los Angeles County that have rent control.  Each city enforces their own rent control laws.

Cities like Pasadena, Burbank and Glendale are not part of the city of LA and thus have different guidelines for housing (and no rent control!)

For additional information on rent control laws in Los Angeles, visit the LA Housing Departments website.  I have also found that the LA Housing Department’s hotline number comes in handy: 866-557-RENT

Good luck and please feel free to contact me with any additional questions, comments or feedback regarding issues you’ve dealt with as a tenant or landlord.

 

Article Produced By:
Robyn Bolden
Coronado Real Estate Group
Residential Income Specialist
Cell: 323-639-0265
Office: 818-432-1546
rbolden@kw.com

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