Los Angeles County decided to create a permanent rent control ordinance which became effective on April 1, 2020. This rent control ordinance is also known as the Los Angeles County Rent Stabilization Ordinance. LA County’s rent control ordinance is a new law that gives tenants additional rights at the expense of landlords. This article will explain many of the main points of the Los Angeles County rent control ordinance and will explain which properties are subject to the ordinance.
Where Does the LA County Rent Control Ordinance Apply?
LA County’s rent control / rent stabilization ordinance applies in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles county. If the property is located in an unincorporated part of LA county, then the ordinance applies to the rental property unless the property is exempt. Examples of unincorporated areas of LA County include Castaic and Stevenson Ranch.
What Properties in Unincorporated LA County are Exempt from Rent Control?
A non-exhaustive list of properties that are exempt from the LA County Rent Stabilization Ordinance include:
- Any Dwelling Unit that is alienable separate (i.e., separately transferable) from the title to any other Dwelling Unit, including without limitation single family residences and condominiums, but excluding mobilehomes offered for rent by a Tenant; or is a subdivided interest in a subdivision, as specified in California Business and Professions Code section 11004.5 subdivisions (b), (d), or (f).
- Accessory Dwelling Units. An accessory dwelling unit for which a certificate of occupancy or equivalent permit for residential occupancy was issued after February 1, 1995 is exempt, unless it was occupied on or before February 1, 1995, and a Tenant provides evidence indicating as such, regardless of the legal or permit status of the Dwelling Unit.
- Most Section 8.
For the full list, see LA County Code 8.52.050.
Rent Increases Under the LA County Rent Stabilization Ordinance
Upon proper notice pursuant to Civil Code 789, and assuming the unit is registered with LA County and is current on any registration fees, the rent can generally be increased only once in any 12 month period. Rent banking is not allowed. The maximum rent increase is 8%, but is further restricted to reflect the average change in CPI.
For more details, see LA County Code 8.52.050.
Annual Rental Registration of Unincorporated LA County Rental Properties
On or before September 30th of each year, a Landlord must register each Dwelling Unit that is rented or is available for Rent. A Landlord must contact the Department or update the County’s registry system if there are any subsequent changes to the Dwelling Unit. The landlord may be required to pay a fee to register. See LA County Code 8.52.080.
Evictions in Unincorporated LA County
If the rental property is located in unincorporated LA County and an exemption does not apply, the landlord will only be able to evict a tenant for a “just cause” reason. Just cause includes “at-fault” and “no-fault” reasons. If the reason for eviction cannot be categorized into either an at-fault or no-fault reason, then the landlord will be unable to regain possession, unless the tenant moves voluntarily. If the landlord is evicting for a no-fault reason, the tenant is entitled to receive relocation fees. Strict eviction guidelines must be followed. Contact the Law Office of David Piotrowski for possible assistance with evicting a tenant in unincorporated Los Angeles county.
More information can be found in LA County Code 8.52.090.
Tenant Buyout Agreements in LA County
Tenant buyout agreements are permissible to remove a tenant subject to the LA County rent control ordinance. Strict guidelines must be followed and the tenant will have the right to rescind the agreement for 45 days after execution.