Inglewood is latest LA-area city to consider imposing rent-hike freeze

A number of cities in the area have found ways to expand rent regulations after voters statewide rejected rent control ballot measure

Inglewood Mayor James Butts (Credit: Flickr)
Inglewood Mayor James Butts (Credit: Flickr)

California voters in November resoundingly rejected a ballot measure that could have lifted the state ban on rent control, but that hasn’t stopped local municipalities from trying to impose rent-hike freezes.

Inglewood is now the latest Los Angeles-area city to flirt with those rent regulations.

The Inglewood City Council on Tuesday will vote on a 45-day moratorium on rent increases higher than 5 percent over a one-year period, effectively capping rents through next spring, according to Curbed. Mayor James Butts proposed the measure.

The measure would apply to rental units built before February 1995 in order to comply with the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which bars California cities from regulating any building constructed after that year. Single-family homes and condos are exempted.

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Around 65 percent of Inglewood’s 110,000 residents are renters. It’s much cheaper to rent in Inglewood than in most parts of metro L.A., but it’s become more expensive as commercial investment dollars have poured into the city. The $5 billion L.A. Stadium and Entertainment District, future home of the NFL’s L.A. Rams and L.A. Chargers, is slated to open in 2020. The L.A. Clippers is planning to build a new stadium in the city as well, but that project is tied up in litigation.

Since voters rejected the ballot question — called Proposition 10 — to repeal Costa-Hawkins, a number of cities in the L.A. area have found ways to expand their rent regulations.

Glendale instituted a temporary 5 percent cap on rent increases following Prop 10’s defeat. The L.A. County Board of Supervisors also passed a temporary cap on rent hikes in unincorporated areas of the county, including communities near Inglewood.

Critics of the county’s measure claim it is scaring off investors from those communities. [Curbed]Dennis Lynch