Los Angeles Allowable Rent Increases

Los Angeles Allowable Rent Increases

Gregory Han
Aug 23, 2007

We got an unwelcome notice yesterday, taped onto our door. Our ghetto fabulous landlord (who supposedly rocks the ice, yet isn't all too nice to his tenants) raised our rent 5% for the year despite diminishing service and care of his units. He also didn't provide the sufficient time legally allowed by tenant's rights for notification of rent hikes, so all of the tenants here have agreed to call for a group meeting with our landlord to straighten everything out (a united group confrontation is much more effective and will prevent him from singling anyone out for harassment).

Just recently the Los Angeles Housing Department posted an "Allowable Rent Increase Bulletin" that upped the allowable amount from 4% to 5%, which was news to us. We wanted to know all the facts and our rights as renters before confronting our landloard, and it's always a good idea as a renter to stay ontop of these updates for any disputes with management. Below are some other automatic adjustments listed:

The rent for a rental unit may be increased without the permission of the Rent Adjustment Commission or the Rent Stabilization Division under the following circumstances:

1. 3% to 8% every 12 months in accordance with the annual rent increase percentage, which is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) average for the twelve (12) month period ending September 30, of each year. This annual adjustment may be applied once to any annual rent increase which first becomes effective on or after July 1, through June 30, of each year. An exception to this increase would exist in the case of a substandard housing unit for which a notice of non-compliance has been sent to the Franchise Tax Board. The 3% to 8% annual increase is not cumulative or retroactive. THE CALCULATED ANNUAL INCREASE PERCENTAGE EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2006 THROUGH JUNE 30, 2007 IS FOUR PERCENT (4%). Effective July 1, 2007, the allowable annual increase is 5%. This annual increase may be imposed only if twelve (12) months or more have elapsed since the last such rent increase. Landlords are required to serve tenants with a written 30-day notice for rent increases and a 60-day notice for rent increases over 10% within a 12 month period.

2. An additional 1% for gas and 1% for electric service into the dwelling unit when service is
provided by the landlord.

3. A 19% (plus 2% if the landlord provides gas and electricity) for a rental unit which has not had a rent increase since May 31, 1976.

4. A 13% (plus 2% if the landlord provides gas and electricity) for a rental unit which has not had a rent increase since May 31, 1977.

5. A $3.00 per month for each electrically installed smoke detector until the actual cost to the landlord for the purchase and installation has been recovered. Landlords have two months following installation to notify tenants. Replacement units are applied for through the Capital Improvement Increase process.

6. Ten percent for each additional tenant exceeding the number of tenants allowed in the original rental agreement. A corresponding reduction in rent is required when the additional tenant vacates the unit. Security deposits may be raised for additional tenants by the same dollar amount as the rent is raised.

7. The rental unit shall be decontrolled and the rent reset to any level when all the tenants who were parties to the original rental agreement establishing the tenants have vacated the unit, even if an additional tenant accepted under these regulations remains in the real unit, when no revised rental agreement including the additional tenant has been made. (R.A.C. 310.12).

8. An increase of 3% to 8% in the security deposit is allowed at the same time and by the same percentage as the annual rent increase.

9. A landlord may collect a monthly surcharge from the tenant to recover the paid Systematic Code Enforcement fee. Below is a breakdown of how much the landlord can demand and collect from the tenant:
a. $1.00 per unit per month - January 1, 2004 - May 31, 2004
b. $3.16 per unit per month - June 2004
c. $3.18 per unit per month - July 1, 2004 - December 31, 2004
d. $2.27 per unit per month - Beginning January 1, 2005
e. $2.96 per unit per month - Beginning January 1, 2006
Effective 12/18/05 the annual SCEP fee was increased to $35.52. (Ordinance Number 177106.)

10. A $9.35 surcharge collected only in June to recover half of the $18.71 paid registration fee. Effective 12/18/05 the annual RSO fee was increased to $18.71 and the surcharge is $9.35 as of June 2006. (Ordinance 177107.)

Download the whole PDF notification here.

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