Is Your Rental Property Rent-Controlled?
In the City of Los Angeles, many residential and apartment buildings are governed by the Rent Stabilization Ordinance of Los Angeles (RSO). This article will explain some of the important aspects of rent control, and how to find out if your apartment or rental unit qualifies under the RSO. These requirements will help you understand whether you fall under the protection of Los Angeles RSO.
- Is Your Unit Registered? A landlord whose rental units fall under the RSO is required to register with Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department (“Housing Department”). In addition to registration, a landlord must send their tenants an annual Rent Registration Certificate. If your unit is registered, you are definitely under the RSO, but if it is not registered, it could still be an unregistered unit, that actually is under rent control.
- Do You Live Within the City of Los Angeles? You must live within the City of Los Angeles in order to fall under the RSO. Commonly, people are confused by the distinction between the County of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles. This includes popular neighborhoods such as West Los Angeles, Westchester, San Pedro, Hollywood, Northridge, Brentwood, Encino, Van Nuys, Highland Park, and even North Hollywood.
- Is Your Unit Exempt? If you live within the City of Los Angeles, you are protected under the RSO, unless you fall under an exemption. The three major exemptions include (1) single family dwellings, (2) units built after 1978, and (3) rented condominiums (only exempt from rent increases). There are a few other exemptions for government funded and/or operated units, dormitories, and luxury units.
Still not sure? To find out whether your rental property is subject to the RSO, you can call the Los Angeles Housing Department at 866-557-7368. Other cities also have rent control, including Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Glendale, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, and Berkeley, among others.
Since 1995, attorney Eric Castelblanco has been dedicated to helping tenants understand and assert their rights. For more information about your rights, call 213-388-6004 or visit their website at: www.castelblanco.com. The information presented in this column is for educational purposes only. You should seek the advice of an attorney regarding your individual situation.