Currently, there are several cities in Southern California that utilize a system of rent control and eviction control to allegedly make rental units more affordable to low income tenants. These cities include the City of Los Angeles, West Hollywood and the City of Santa Monica, to name just a few.
The focus of this article will be to provide landlords who own rental property in the City of Los Angeles with an overview of the eviction control contained in the Los Angeles Rent Control Stabilization Ordinance known as LARSO.
The steps contained in this article are very important and must be followed to obtain a satisfactory result in your Unlawful Detainer case that is governed by the RSO.
Please remember that most tenants in Unlawful Detainer matters that involve property that is governed by RSO will be represented by one of several indigent tenant law firms such as B A S T A, the Eviction Defense Network, Public Counsel, or Inner City Law.
Rentals in the City of Los Angeles are governed by the City of Los Angeles Rent Control Ordinance or LARSO if the rental property qualifies under the ordinance.
The following properties are covered by the LARSO ordinance
- Two or more single family homes on the same lot
- Rooms in a hotel, motel, rooming house or boarding house occupied by the same tenant for 30 or more days
- Residential units attached to a commercial building
- Mobile homes and recreational vehicles
The following are general requirements under the LARSO
- All rental units musts be registered with LARSO
- Payments of annual fees
- Registration must be posted on the property
- Completion and filing of Rent Registry Form
- Changes from exempt to non-exempt property owner must promptly notify LARSO
Lawful reasons for evictions
- Non-payment of rent does not require declaration with LARSO
- Breach of a Covenant (provision of the rental agreement)
- Tenant is using the rental property for an illegal purpose-requires a declaration to LARSO
- Unauthorized occupants
- Tenant has caused or is causing a nuisance, causing physical damage to the rental unit or to the common areas; or is engaging in conduct that is creating an unreasonable interference with the comfort, safety or enjoyment of the tenants or neighboring community.
- The tenant has denied landlord reasonable access to the rental unit for the purpose of inspection, showing the rental unit to a prospective tenant or lender, and making repairs
- The person who is in possession of the rental unit at the end of a lease terms is a subtenant not approved by landlord
- The landlord seeks to remove the rental unit from the rental market
- The landlord wants to use the rental unit for a spouse, child, grandchild, parent, or grandparent, a resident manager provided there is not comparable alternative rental unit available
- Renovation of the building if landlord complies with all the applicable notices in accordance with Tenant Habitability Plan if the tenant has failed to temporarily relocate as required by the THP, or the tenant refused to honor a permanent relocation agreement,
- The tenant refuses to sign a written lease or rental agreement
- The landlord in good faith needs to demolish the rental unit or remove the rental unit permanently from the rental market
- The landlord needs to recover the rental unit to comply with an order from a governmental agency to vacate, order to comply, any other type of order that requires the building be vacant because of a violation of the LAMC or any other provision of the law
- HUD is the owner and the Plaintiff and seeks possession of the rental unit prior to the sale and has complied with the tenant notification requirements under Federal Law and administrative regulation
- The rental unit is a Residential Hotel and the owner seeks to convert or demolish the unit and has complied with applicable law and has applied for Clearance which was has been approve
- The landlord seeks to convert the rental property into an affordable housing accommodation and has obtained the necessary approval to do so
There are several types of Notices that can be used in eviction that are governed by the LARSO
- a 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit;
- A 3-Day Notice to Perform Covenant or Quit
- A 3-Day Notice to Quit-Nuisance
- A 30 or 60 Day Notice to Quit may be served by the landlord or tenant. Under the LARSO this type of Notice must before cause and must be for one of the reasons set forth above
- 120 Day Notice is used when the landlord wants to demolish the rental unit or remove the rental unit from the market
When does a landlord have to pay to the tenant relocation assistance?
Under the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO), a landlord is only required to pay monetary relocation assistance payments to tenants being evicted through no fault of their own.
Without an RSO cause, a tenancy may not be terminated. There are 7 no-fault reasons under the RSO in which a landlord can legally evict a tenant.
For each reason, landlords must file a landlord declaration application with the Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department (HCIDLA) before issuing a notice to move-out. The following eviction reasons require the payment of relocation assistance:
- The landlord evicts for their own occupancy, a resident manager, or for the landlord’s spouse, children, grandchildren, parents or grandparents. Landlords must file a Declaration of Intent to Evict for Landlord Occupancy or Declaration of Intent for Owner/Family Occupancy or Declaration of Intent to Evict for Resident Manager;
- Any tenant affected by Primary Renovation Work shall have the option to voluntarily terminate the tenancy in exchange for permanent relocation assistance as set forth in a Tenant Habitability Plan accepted by the HCIDLA;
- The eviction is due to condominium conversion, demolition or the property is going to be permanently removed from the rental housing market (Ellis Act). Landlords must file Notice of Intent to Withdraw Units from Rental Housing Use;
- The landlord evicts to comply with a governmental agency’s Order to Vacate. Landlords must file a Declaration of Intent to Evict in Order to Comply with a Government Agency’s Order;
- The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is both the owner and plaintiff and seeks to recover possession in order the vacate the property prior to the sale. Landlords must file Declaration of Intent to Evict From a HUD-Owned Property Prior to Sale;
- The rental unit is in a Residential Hotel and the landlord is going to convert or demolish the unit(s); and
- The Landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession of the rental unit to convert the property to an affordable housing accommodation. Landlords must file a Declaration of Intent to Evict to Convert to Affordable Housing Accommodation.
There is a specific formula provided by the RSO (Rent Stabilization Ordinance) that needs to be consulted before a landlord offers relocation assistance.
As with any tenant landlord matter covered by rent control statutes, the reasons for eviction under LARSO or the Los Angeles Rent Control Stabilization Ordinance must be followed to the letter of the law for an Unlawful Detainer case to go forward in court.
At Fast Eviction Service, help on any of the issues discussed in this article is simply a click or phone call away. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at (800) 686-8686 to discuss your questions for a free evaluation of your case.
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