What is the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance?
The City of Los Angeles has a Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) that covers specific rental properties, including townhomes, apartments, duplexes, condominiums, rooms in a boarding house or hotel where residents occupy the premises for more than 30 days, multiple family units that are located on a single parcel of land, residential dwellings that are attached to commercial buildings, and mobile homes located in mobile home parks. In most instances, the RSO applies to properties that were constructed before October 2, 1978, in addition to units built to replace RSO units that were demolished. In Los Angeles, there are nearly 624,000 units located in 118, 000 properties that fall under the ordinance.
What Properties Are Not Subject to the Los Angeles RSO?
While many rental properties will fall under the purview of the RSO, there are some exceptions, including:
Single-family dwellings in instances when the unit is the only property located on that parcel of land;
Most apartment buildings built after October 1, 1978;
Commercial buildings converted into apartments after October 1, 1978;
Rent rooms in a motel, hotel, rooming house, or boarding house that have not been occupied by the same tenant for at least 30 consecutive days; and
Luxury housing units and affordable housing units classified as exempt by the HCIDLA.
For Los Angeles tenants who do not live in a rental unit that falls under the purview of RSO, they still have rights under California state law.
How Does the RSO Protect Los Angeles Tenants?
The RSO covers several different areas of interest for tenants who might otherwise need legal protections. For example, it provides regulation concerning rental unit registration, as well as the amount allowable for increases in rent. The city ordinance also covers the reasons that a person can be legally evicted from their rental unit, and what type of evictions requiring payments for assistance in the relocation of tenants. Finally, the RSO also includes guidance for disclosure notices in the case of buyout agreements or "Cash for Keys."
What Rent Increases Require HCIDLA Approval?
In some cases, a landlord needs HCIDLA approval to increase rent in a Los Angeles rental unit, including instances when the landlord is involved in specific sponsored programs, such as:
The Capital Improvement Program, or
The RSO also specifies that some increases in rent do not need approval from the HCIDLA to take place, including increases in rent that occur if a tenant voluntarily moves out, if a tenant is evicted after violating the lease agreement, or if the increase in rent is happening at the time prescribed by law.
For What Reasons Can Landlord Legally Evict Tenants Under RSO?
The RSO also dictates under what conditions a landlord may legally demand that a tenant surrender possession of a rental unit. A landlord can lawfully evict a tenant under the RSO for the following reasons, including instances where a tenant has not paid rent, when they have failed to comply with the terms of the rental agreement, or when they have been using the premises for illegal activity. Under the RSO, failure to provide the landlord with reasonable access to the rental unit may also result in a tenant at-fault eviction. When a tenant has been the subject of an at-fault eviction under the RSO, they are not qualified to receive assistance for relocation.
When to Hire a Los Angeles Tenants’ Rights Lawyer
There are many issues that tenants face that are minor and can be easily resolved by applying what is learned after checking reputable online sources on landlord-tenant law. However, there are some issues that are not easily resolved, and when these issues threaten the tenants’ ability to stay in their home, getting the help of an experienced Los Angeles landlord-tenant lawyer may be the best way to protect their rights. One example of such a situation is when a tenant plans to fight their eviction. Choosing a Los Angeles lawyer that is knowledgeable about local, state, and federal landlord-tenant laws and has experience fighting evictions can greatly increase the tenant’s chances of successfully fighting the eviction.
If you need a Los Angeles landlord-tenant lawyer who is experienced in fighting Los Angeles evictions protected by the Rent Stabilization Ordinance, then contact Tenants Law Firm today by calling (310) 432-3200 or by filling out the online contact form.