Inglewood City Council Votes to Cap Rent Increases

Inglewood Rent Control Ordinance

The Inglewood City Council unanimously voted (4-0) to join twenty other California cities that regulate the cost of rent in June 2019.

Property values have skyrocketed in Inglewood because of all the new developments, including new and revitalized entertainment and sports venues. The new ordinance aims to strike a balance between the interests of property owners and renters. However, despite the compromises, it is a big win for locals who fear getting priced out of their hometown.

Inglewood’s rental control ordinance will cap rent increases at 5 percent and protects tenants against unfair evictions. However, the law will not require landlords to pay relocation fees for all tenants who cannot afford the rent increase. If a landlord evicts a tenant without just cause who has lived in a unit for at least two years, they will be required to pay relocation fees equal to three times the average rent in Inglewood.

Under the new ordinance, Inglewood landlords will be permitted to raise rent above the cap only in certain instances. In some cases, for example:

  • Landlords may charge 3 percent on top of the cap if their units are already priced below 80 percent of the current market rate, or

  • Landlords may charge 3 percent on top of the cap if they complete upgrades that are worth more than $10,000.

The city’s appointed housing commission will decide when rent caps can be raised on a case-by-case basis and have the power to send housing inspectors to verify any improvement.

The Inglewood rent control ordinance also exempts properties that only contain four dwelling units or less and units built after 1955. The exemption for units built after 1955 is due to the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which is a state law restricting rent control to older buildings.

Also, if the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rises more than 5 percent, then the rent cap will automatically increase. Since the CPI measures the average change over time in market prices for consumer goods and services, it is a good indicator of the cost of living for a typical tenant. Thus, the CPI offers insight into the amount of rent that is reasonable for a landlord to charge to maintain a habitable rental property.