As LA County cities expand rent control, Anaheim is pushing back

The decision comes as cities in LA County pass laws to further protect tenants

Jul.July 03, 2019 01:00 PM
Anaheim and City Council member Jose Moreno
Anaheim and City Council member Jose Moreno

In Los Angeles County, a growing number of cities have passed temporary rent control measures after a statewide referendum to overhaul the rent law failed. In Culver City, officials are now exploring a possible rent control freeze.

But in one city in neighboring Orange County, officials are taking a different approach.

The Anaheim City Council voted to reject a six-month rent control ordinance that would have limited rent increases to 5 percent, AnaheimBlog reported. Council members voted against the measure 5-2 last month.

The measure had been drafted by a council member after the owner of an 18-unit apartment complex hiked rents by 50 percent. The owner then gave tenants 60 days to vacate if they didn’t pay up.

The temporary rent control ordinance, supporters argued, would have protected the residents from displacement.

Rent control measures have been gaining momentum across Southern California in recent months. They followed the defeat of Proposition 10 in November that would have opened the door to rent control statewide. But in April, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation proposed a new measure that would greatly expand the number of properties eligible for rent control. The group is hoping to garner enough signatures for the November 2020 ballot.

In the meantime, cities have taken matters into their own hands. In Inglewood, where the majority of residents rent, local lawmakers passed a permanent measure that caps rent increases at 5 percent per year.

Long Beach tenants were also handed a victory recently when the City Council approved an ordinance that will require landlords to pay for tenant relocation fees. [AB] — Natalie Hoberman

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