The Real Deal Los Angeles

LA County approves rent hike cap in unincorporated areas

Critics said the 3% max increase ignores constituents who voted against Prop 10 rent control measure
By Dennis Lynch | November 23, 2018 11:00AM

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. From left: Janice Hahn, Kathryn Barger, Sheila Kuehl, Hilda L. Solis, and Mark Ridley-Thomas. (Credit: iStock)

Renters in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County have one more thing to be thankful this holiday season. Landlords? Not so much.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted this week to temporarily bar landlords from raising rents more than 3 percent annually in those unincorporated areas, according to Curbed.

The rent cap will be in effect for 180 days beginning Dec. 20, after which the board could vote to extend it. The cap will apply to rates that were in place before Sept. 11, to prevent landlords from hiking rents before the Dec. 20 date.

Critics of the board’s decision said it essentially ignores voters’ Nov 6 rejection of the Proposition 10 referendum, which would have opened the door to expanded rent control statewide.

Landlords argued that the cap on rent hikes would hurt small apartment owners and discourage the development of much-needed rental housing throughout L.A. County.

The cap has been in the works since the fall, when the five-member board approved a draft ordinance that would affect 50,000 apartments. In September, the board approved a similar 3 percent limit on rents in mobile home parks, which affected 8,500 tenants.

To comply with the statewide Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, the rent cap can only apply to buildings built before 1995.

Voters statewide soundly rejected Prop 10 on Election Day, which would have repealed Costa-Hawkins. The existing law bars local governments from creating rent control measures on buildings constructed after 1995, among other restrictions. [Curbed]Dennis Lynch