LA Rent Increase Guide
Los Angeles exhibits significant disparity when it comes to regulations on rent increases, with various areas implementing divergent policies. While certain cities have embraced local forms of rent control, others have chosen not to adopt such measures, leading to a varied rental landscape within the region.
City of LA
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Los Angeles has taken measures to protect tenants in rent-controlled housing by imposing a rent increase ban. This freeze has been in effect and will remain active until January 31, 2024.
Despite the existing rent freeze, a concerning trend has emerged, with L.A. tenants filing an unprecedented number of complaints regarding illegal rent hikes. If you suspect that you have experienced an unlawful rent increase in a rent-controlled apartment within the city of L.A., you have the option to file a complaint with the city’s housing department.
It’s essential to note that L.A.’s rent control law generally applies to rental housing units constructed before October 1, 1978. In the past, during periods of lower inflation, allowable rent increases in Los Angeles rarely exceeded 3%. However, the city’s rent control rules now permit annual increases to be influenced by inflation, potentially reaching as high as 8%. Landlords who cover utilities for their tenants can also add an additional 2% to these inflation-driven increases.
These dynamics highlight the complexities and challenges that tenants and landlords face in navigating the rental market amidst fluctuating economic conditions. As the rent freeze persists, both renters and property owners must stay informed about their rights and responsibilities under the city’s evolving rent control regulations.
Since its inception in 2019, Inglewood’s rent control law has established specific guidelines for annual rent increases, contingent on the size of the apartment building in which tenants reside.
For residents residing in buildings with five or more apartments, landlords are permitted to raise rents by up to 7.9%. This figure is determined based on the local consumer price index, a commonly used metric for measuring inflation, specifically from April 2022. In May 2023, the city intends to update its allowable rent increases, adjusting them according to the latest inflation data.
On the other hand, if you reside in a rent-controlled apartment building comprising four units or less, your landlord can increase your rent by a maximum of 10%.
It’s essential to note that Inglewood’s rent control regulations include a provision that exempts rental housing constructed within the last 15 years from the city’s limits on annual rent increases. This exemption provides landlords of relatively new properties with greater flexibility in setting rental rates.
As Inglewood’s rent control law seeks to strike a balance between tenant protection and landlord considerations, residents should remain attentive to potential updates and changes in rent increase policies to ensure they are aware of their rights and obligations as tenants.
As of September 2022, the rent control board in Santa Monica sanctioned a 6% annual rent increase, imposing a strict ceiling of $140 per month.
Nevertheless, in a November 2022 ballot measure, the city’s voters favored a modification, leading to a reduction in allowable annual rent hikes to 3%, or a maximum of $70 per month.
Santa Monica’s rent control provisions generally encompass apartments constructed before April 10, 1979.
Under the city’s rent control law, the typical calculation for permissible rent increases is based on 75% of the local consumer price index, with a capped limit of 6%. This approach aims to strike a balance between safeguarding tenants’ interests and considering the economic realities faced by property owners.
Currently, tenants who fall under rent control protection in Culver City are eligible for annual rent increases of up to 5%, adhering to the maximum limit outlined in the city’s rent control ordinance. This allowance will continue to be in effect until June 30, 2023.
Culver City’s rent control law primarily applies to rental housing units constructed before February 1, 1995. However, certain types of dwellings, such as single-family homes, specific condos, townhomes, and accessory dwelling units, are exempt from the provisions of the rent control law. These exemptions aim to recognize the unique characteristics and circumstances of these types of housing arrangements.
Similarly to the city of L.A., West Hollywood also implemented a rent increase ban in its rent-controlled units due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, unlike L.A., West Hollywood’s rent freeze has now come to an end.
As of March 1, 2023, tenants in rent-controlled housing in West Hollywood are allowed annual rent increases of up to 3%. This permissible increase will remain in effect until Aug. 31, 2023.
The city’s rent control regulations generally apply to rental properties with two or more units that were first occupied before July 1, 1979. Typically, West Hollywood calculates allowable increases using a formula based on 75% of the local consumer price index, which takes into account economic indicators affecting living costs in the area.
Following two years of rent freeze during the pandemic, the city of Beverly Hills has now instituted a new policy allowing for annual rent increases of up to 3.1% in rent-controlled housing.
However, the extent to which landlords can apply this increase hinges on when they last raised the rent. Landlords who implemented rent hikes between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, are now subject to restrictions on the maximum rent increase they can impose until July 2023.
For comprehensive information on these intricate rent increase regulations, interested parties can refer to the city’s website. It is essential to note that Beverly Hills’ rent control law primarily applies to rental housing constructed before February 1, 1995, encompassing a specific set of properties under its protective provisions.
Under the city’s rent control law, annual rent increases are presently capped at 5%.
The rent increase rules typically encompass rental housing constructed before January 1, 1995, with some exemptions in place for mobile homes, duplexes, and single-family homes. These exceptions acknowledge the unique nature of these dwelling types within the city’s rental market.
Currently, Santa Ana enforces a maximum annual rent increase of 3% for rent-controlled housing, and this restriction is scheduled to persist until at least the end of August 2023.
According to the city’s rent control law, rent hikes are constrained to either 80% of the local consumer price index or 3%, whichever is lower. This measure was adopted in late 2021 and generally covers apartment buildings constructed on or before February 1, 1995, aiming to strike a balance between tenant protection and landlord considerations within the rental market.
In August 2022, Bell Gardens’ city councilmembers made the decision to introduce local rent control regulations. To calculate permissible rent increases, the city utilizes 50% of local inflation or 4%, whichever is lower.
As of now, annual rent hikes for rent-controlled properties in Bell Gardens are capped at a maximum of 4%. This measure is in place to protect tenants and ensure rental stability within the city.
Bell Gardens’ rent control law typically applies to apartments constructed before February 1, 1995, with exclusions for single-family homes, condos, and townhomes. These provisions aim to address the distinct housing characteristics and rental dynamics of these specific property types.
Unincorporated LA County
Within L.A. County, there are 88 incorporated cities, but a significant number of areas remain unincorporated, governed by regulations passed by the county. Surprisingly, one in 10 county residents resides in these unincorporated regions, including notable places such as East Los Angeles, Florence-Graham, and Altadena.
Renters in these unincorporated areas are subject to the county’s rent control law, specifically tailored for these regions. During the COVID-19 pandemic, rents in rent-controlled buildings within unincorporated L.A. County were frozen, but this measure concluded on March 31, 2023. As a result, annual rent increases of up to 3% are now permitted in rent-controlled housing within these unincorporated parts of L.A. County.
To further clarify, the county’s rules primarily encompass rental housing in unincorporated areas built before February 1, 1995, aiming to address rental stability and tenant protection within these specific regions.
In November 2022, Pasadena voters approved Measure H, effectively introducing rent control to their city.
Under the newly implemented regulation, tenants who moved into their apartments before May 17, 2021, are subject to a maximum allowable annual rent increase of 6%. For tenants who relocated more recently, specific details regarding their allowable annual increase can be found on this page.
Pasadena’s rent control rules predominantly apply to rental housing built before February 1, 1995. This measure aims to offer tenant protection and rental stability within older properties in the city.
In August 2022, the Pomona City Council enacted an urgent rent control ordinance that imposes a cap on annual rent increases for covered apartments, restricting them to no more than 4%.
The city’s rent hike limitations primarily pertain to rental housing constructed before February 1, 1995, with the aim of promoting rental affordability and stability within older properties in Pomona.
In June 2023, the Cudahy city council took the step of implementing a local rent control ordinance.
As per Cudahy’s rent control law, landlords are prohibited from increasing rents by more than 3% annually. In cases where inflation, as measured by the local consumer price index, falls below 3%, landlords must base their yearly rent hikes on the lower inflation rate.
The rent control ordinance primarily applies to rental housing constructed before February 1, 1995. However, it’s worth noting that these limits do not extend to renters residing in single-family houses, condos, or townhomes. This measure seeks to safeguard rental affordability and stability in older housing units while recognizing the unique characteristics of certain residential properties.
In several incorporated cities within L.A., local forms of rent control are absent, leading to challenges faced by tenants dealing with substantial rent increases. For instance, during a 2022 investigation into inflation and rising rents, we interviewed tenants in Burbank who were confronted with rent hikes of 10%. This was primarily due to the lack of local limits on annual rent increases in their city.
However, even if your city does not have rent control measures, there is still a safeguard in place called the California Tenant Protection Act (AB 1482), introduced in 2019. This state law aims to prevent landlords from imposing excessively large rent increases on tenants across California, especially in areas without local rent control ordinances.
It’s essential to note that certain exceptions apply to the Tenant Protection Act. For instance, newly constructed housing is not covered by this law. If you live in an apartment built within the past 15 years, these limitations may not apply to your situation. However, if your building is older than that, your unit is likely subject to the Tenant Protection Act’s restrictions on annual rent hikes.
The rent increase limit set by the state law for L.A. and Orange counties starting from August 1 is 8.8%. This figure changes annually and is based on the local consumer price index from April. The state law sets the maximum allowed rent increase at 5% plus the local consumer price index (which was 3.8% in the L.A. area in April) or 10%, whichever is lower. These measures are in place to strike a balance between tenant protection and addressing the economic realities faced by landlords.
For the most up to date information on rent increases and AB 1482, please click here.
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