View of Los Angeles from from the Griffith Park Observatory

Photo by Aydin Palabiyikoglu under CC BY 2.0

If you own rental property in the City of Los Angeles, it may be subject to the city’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO). Find out if your property falls under this ordinance and what you need to know to be in compliance.

Generally, the RSO applies to rental properties that were first built on or before October 1, 1978 as well as replacement units under LAMC Section 151.28 and is any of the following:

  • Apartment
  • Condominium
  • Townhome
  • Duplex
  • Two or more single family dwelling units on the same parcel
  • Rooms in a hotel, motel, rooming house or boarding house occupied by the same tenant for 30 or more consecutive days
  • Residential unit(s) attached to a commercial building

Mobilehomes and recreational vehicles in mobilehome parks are also covered under the RSO.

What the RSO Covers

When Can Rent Be Increased

Rent increases that do not require HCIDLA approval 

  • Rent may be increased to the market rate if tenant:
    • voluntarily moves out;
    • does not pay rent and is evicted;
    • violated the lease agreement and is evicted;
    • is evicted for failure to comply with a Tenant Habitability Plan; or
    • is evicted per a City Attorney order.
    • accepts a Tenant Buyout Agreement 
  • Rent may be increased once every 12 months by the allowable rent increase (English) / allowable rent increase (Spanish) percentage. The landlord can add an additional 1% per utility paid by the landlord (gas and/or electricity).
  • If an additional tenant (English) / additional tenant (Spanish) moves into a rental unit: Landlords can increase rent within 60 days of learning about the additional tenant. There is no increase for the first minor dependent child added to the existing rental unit.
  • A $12.25 surcharge may be collected by the landlord as the tenant’s portion of the Registration fee. Beginning in January 1, 2020, the surcharge will be $38.75. The landlord may pass through 50% of the fee to the tenant on a monthly basis rather than once a year.  A 30-day notice must be given to the tenant to collect a rental surcharge of $1.61.
  • A $3.61 monthly surcharge may be collected by the landlord for the Systematic Code Enforcement Program (SCEP) fee.
  • A $3.00 surcharge may be added to the rent for the installation and cost for a hard-wired smoke detector or a combination smoke/carbon monoxide detector.

Rent increases that require HCIDLA approval

  • Capital Improvement Program: Landlords can recover costs for improvements to the rental unit or common areas for items that benefit the tenant and will last at least five years (RAC Reg 210).

  • Primary Renovation Program: Landlords can recover costs for major renovations of building systems or to reduce exposure to hazardous materials (RAC Reg 220).

  • Seismic Retrofit Program: Landlords can recover costs for seismic retrofit work mandated by the Soft-Story Ordinance No. 183893.

  • Rehabilitation Program: Landlords can recover costs for work in a unit or common area to comply with an order issued by HCIDLA or other government entities (RAC Reg 250).

  • Just and Reasonable Rent Increase: A landlord can apply for a rent increase when their net operating income adjusted for inflation is not sufficient to cover the property’s operating expenses (RAC Reg 240).

  • Luxury Exemption: A landlord can apply for an exemption from the RSO if they can establish the monthly rent charged on or before May 31, 1978*.

How to Calculate Rent Increases and Surcharges.

Required Registration and Posted Notification of RSO Rental Units

  • If the status of a previously exempted unit changes, the property owner must notify the HCIDLA and pay the applicable fees within 10 days.

Legal Reasons for Eviction

Tenant is at-fault

  • Failure to pay rent

  • Failure to fix or address a violation of the rental agreement

  • Creating a nuisance or causing damage to the rental unit

  • Using the rental unit for an illegal purpose

  • Failure to renew a similar rental agreement

  • Failure to provide the landlord reasonable access to the rental unit

  • The person at the end of the lease term is a subtenant not approved by the landlord

Tenant is not at-fault

  • The owner, or immediate family member will move into the rental unit

  • A resident manager will move into the rental unit

  • Demolition and permanent removal from the rental market

  • Government order

  • Conversion to affordable housing

Types of Evictions Requiring Payment of Tenant Relocation Assistance

Checklist for No-Fault Evictions

Keep Your Property Well-Maintained

Learn about the city’s regulations that protect the health, safety and welfare of residents and whether your property is meeting City standards.

Landlord Services

We offer services for landlords  that include workshops on the Rent Stabilization Ordinance, online bill payment and registering a foreclosed property online, to name a few.

If My Property is Not Rent Stabilized

Even if your property is not covered under the Rent Stabilization Ordinance, you and your tenants have rights and responsibilities under California Law.

To Learn More About the Rent Stabilization Ordinance

What’s New – Rent Stabilization Update

What’s New – Rent Stabilization Update Spanish

Guide for Los Angeles Tenants & Landlords

Free Informational RSO Workshops Schedule

RSVP now to reserve a spot at our various RSO Workshops held throughout the city.

View the Department’s calendar of events.

Pay your annual bill
Bill payment has never been easier. Login to your account online and view statements, apply for exemptions and receive email notifications. It’s that simple. Create an account today.

Comments are closed.