Ahead of rent control referendum, are some LA landlords raising prices?

Tenant advocate groups say they have received letters advising that rent hikes were a possibility if Proposition 10 passed

Jardinette Apartments, a rental building in East Hollywood
Jardinette Apartments, a rental building in East Hollywood

The possibility of rent caps on more Los Angeles apartments has some landlords threatening to hike prices on tenants in their buildings.

That’s according to some tenant advocate groups who say property owners are hanging rent increases over their heads, in order to persuade a “No” vote on Proposition 10 on Nov. 6.

Proposition 10 would repeal a state law that restricts rent control, and allow local governments to limit rent increases at more buildings. Properties would include those built in the last 20 years, which the existing law excludes. Advocates told Curbed they have seen landlords and property managers raise rents and cite the possible passage of Proposition 10 as a reason.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

“In preparation for the passage of this ballot initiative, we must pass along a rent increase today,” according to one letter sent to tenants. The letter, from Rampart Property Management, said that the property manager would reevaluate the increase if Proposition 10 did not pass.

The real estate industry has spent tens of millions of dollars fighting Proposition 10. Some investors and developers have decided to hold back on projects until after the election.

While passing Proposition 10 would not create new rent control laws in itself, it would allow governments to expand the program as much as local lawmakers like. New rent control laws would likely mean tighter margins for landlords.

Opponents of expanded rent control argue that it will discourage new housing development — hurting rather than helping the already bleakhousing market. [Curbed] — Dennis Lynch