In the months since California voters soundly rejected a ballot measure to dramatically loosen the state’s rent control restrictions, municipalities in Los Angeles County have acted to strengthen their rules in order to protect tenants.
More than half a dozen jurisdictions countywide have enacted new measures since that referendum — known as Proposition 10 — failed in November.
Most recently, Culver City joined the growing club. Early Tuesday morning, the City Council adopted a temporary rent cap and just-cause eviction protections until it could pass a permanent law.
Real estate developers and investors spent more than $100 million to fight Proposition 10 — which would have opened the door to rent control statewide — and are lining up to gattle any new state measures now.
L.A.-area landlords, developers and investors say new rent regulations have already driven them out of some cities, but the rent control movement doesn’t appear to be dying down amid a city and state that have been struggling with an affordable housing crisis.
Because of California’s Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act of 1995, no building constructed after that year can be placed under rent regulations.
Here are the L.A. municipalities and jurisdictions that have adopted new rent regulations and tenant protections since Proposition 10. The city of L.A. — which has seen a spike in its homeless population — has not updated or expanded its rent control measure.
A few weeks after Prop 10 was defeated, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors temporarily capped annual rent hikes at 3 percent on properties in unincorporated L.A. County. The measure applied to about 50,000 units. The board also instituted just-cause eviction protections, meaning landlords must prove a tenant violated certain terms in order to lawfully evict that tenant.
A few months later in April, the five-person board extended the cap through the end of the year. It also expanded just-cause eviction regulations from only multifamily properties to single-family rentals.
The city adopted a two-month, 5 percent cap on rent hikes shortly after the L.A. County board adopted its temporary measure. Shortly after Glendale’s measure expired, the city adopted a slew of tenant protections.
Landlords must pay tenants relocation fees if they plan to hike rents by any more than 7 percent. The fees are determined by the size of the building. Landlords also have to offer year-long leases to all tenants, including on buildings built after 1995.
The City Council updated its tenant protection ordinance in March after some outcry over the eviction of longtime renters of a building in the city who were not covered under the ordinance. Pasadena’s new regulations are more complex than many other cities.
Renters are only eligible for protections under the ordinance if they earn 140 percent or less than area-median income, or under $68,000 for a one-person household. Landlords have to pay relocation fees if they increase the rent by more than the consumer price index increase plus 5 percent in the first 18 months of owning a property, according to the Pasadena-Star News.
The Council included relocation fees, which go on top of a moving-cost allowance that was already in place, ranging from around $1,300 to $4,000. Tenants who have lived in an apartment for more than 10 years can get even higher payments.
The South Bay city approved a tenant relocation ordinance in May. Landlords must pay relocation fees to any tenant who decides to move out of a building when the rent is hiked by any more than 10 percent. The fees range between around $2,700 and $4,500, depending on the size of the unit, according to Curbed.
Home to one of the country’s richest ZIP codes, it already had some of the strongest rent regulations of any L.A.-area city by the time Prop 10 rolled around. Shortly after, however, Beverly Hills strengthened its ordinance by requiring landlords pay relocation fees even for just-cause evictions. The city established a rent stabilization commission specifically tasked with handling rent regulation issues. Because the measures apply to all rental housing, including luxury units, they have also gotten some pushback.
Around two-thirds of Inglewood residents rent their homes. The city passed a 5 percent permanent rent cap in June amid strong calls from constituents concerned about rapid gentrification. Investors have been scooping up multifamily properties ahead of the opening of the $2.6 billion Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District project. Landlords in some cases will now have to pay relocation fees to tenants who have lived in a property for more than two years and were evicted with just cause.