New ordinance would protect rent-controlled tenants from unfair buyouts

(credit: L.A. Mayor)
(credit: L.A. Mayor)

A new Los Angeles city ordinance is slated to protect tenants in rent-controlled apartments from unfair buyouts.

The Tenant Buyout Ordinance, signed into law Thursday by Mayor Eric Garcetti, requires landlords to inform their tenants of their rights under the rent-stabilization ordinance, which already demands that landlords pay for tenants’ relocation if they agree to move out from their rent-controlled units, Curbed reported.

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The ordinance is designed to clamp down an increasingly popular tactic used by landlords to free up units. Known as “cash for keys,” landlords offer tenants a cash incentive to move out quickly. Many tenants take the offer without realizing that they may be entitled to more money and more time to move under existing law.

“[The Tenant Buyout Ordinance] will help protect vulnerable populations—like senior citizens and immigrants—from displacement,” Garcetti said in a statement Friday.

Under the terms of the ordinance, tenants are also allowed to withdraw from any buyout agreement within 30 days of signing it. Landlords must also register all buyout agreements with the city. [Curbed]Cathaleen Chen