Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is banning landlords of rent-stabilized units from increasing rents during the coronavirus emergency.
“Until today, rents in these units could be increased by up to 4 percent annually,” Garcetti said Monday. “As of now, those increases are put on hold by this order until after this emergency period is over.”
The action comes after a Los Angeles City Council decision last week to temporarily freeze evictions and give tenants up to 12 months to pay overdue rent.
In his evening press briefing, Garcetti said he wanted to go a step further by issuing an emergency order suspending rent increases on residential units that fall under the city’s rent stabilization ordinance, also known as RSO.
The mayor said that his office is working with councilors to close any loopholes so that tenants are protected and won’t find themselves “evicted and on the street” the day after the crisis is over.
“Across Los Angeles, we have 624,000 rent-stabilized units in 118,000 different buildings,” Garcetti said. “Tenants in these RSO units will not be subject to any rent increase. Rent will stay the same. This is a common-sense action. On top of the eviction moratorium. It will help folks stay in their homes and make ends meet.”
Garcetti added: “If you cannot pay the rent as the result of this emergency, you cannot be evicted.”
Landlords are also temporarily barred from removing tenants from rent-stabilized buildings for the purpose of condo conversions, a measure landlords were previously allowed to take under the Ellis Act.’
The mayor has also issued a moratorium on commercial evictions.
Under the council action this week, businesses will have up to three months to make up missed rent payments after the coronavirus emergency is over.
As of Monday afternoon, there have been nearly 2,500 cases of Covid-19 in Los Angeles County, with just 15,500 people tested. Garcetti said the number of cases shot up by 16 percent in a single day.