Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO). Basics & What’s New for 2016. RSO regulates the stabilization of rents, evictions and relocation assistance. If a property is for rent in the City of Los Angeles with a Certificate of Occupancy, it is covered by RSO. That incorporates hundreds of thousands renter occupied housing units including condominiums, co-ops, rooming houses, mobile home parks, hotels and motels. RSO does not apply to a singular single-family home on a lot, exempt affordable housing units and usually doesn’t apply to dwelling units built after 10/1/1978. It also doesn’t apply to luxury units approved by HCIDLA, hotel and motel rooms occupied less than 30 days, rental units in converted commercial buildings (adaptive re-use projects) with the first rental use after 10/1/1978.
Units rented or offered for rent must be registered every year with HCIDLA. Annual rental unit registration fees shared by landlord and tenants include a $24.51 rent registration fee per unit and a $43.32 per unit systematic code enforcement program (SCEP) fee. These fees can be passed through to tenants at 50% of the rent registration fee per unit and may be requested in the month of June only. $3.61 may be passed through per month to tenants for the SCEP fee and will be paid in full in twelve months.
There are two types of rent increases, those that require approval and those that do not need approval. Approval is not required for vacancy decontrol and the annual allowable rent increase, increased rent for additional tenants within 60 days of the landlord having knowledge of the additional occupants. Note that there is no increase for the first minor dependent. Rent increases that require approval include capital improvements, primary renovations, rehabilitation work, seismic retrofitting on soft-story buildings, and just and reasonable rent increases related to net operating income. Examples of capital improvements include work on pools/jacuzzis, roofing, carpet, drapes, air conditioners, washers and dryers, security gates and exterior painting. Examples of primary renovations include work to plumbing, lead-based paint, structural improvements, asbestos abatement and electrical. Rehabilitation work is done to comply with an order issued by various departments as a result of changes in the building, fire or health codes or to damage from a natural disaster.
There are two types of evictions, tenant at fault and tenant not at fault. A tenant is at fault when they don’t pay their rent, they violate their leases, they’re a nuisance, they’re into drugs and gang activity, they’re using their units for illegal purposes, they fail to renew a like lease to the original one, they deny access to their units, they have a subtenant that is not approved or they fail to relocate according to the Tenant Habitability Plan. A tenant is not at fault if there is demolition, permanent removal of the unit from the rental market, there is a government order, HUD foreclosure or the unit is converted to affordable housing.
Relocation assistant amounts can range from $7,550 to $19, 500 depending on the length of tenancy and other factors.
Landlords must pay annual interest on security deposits under RSO for all tenancies of at least one year.
Disputes on the return of security deposits are handled through Consumer Affairs or Small Claims Court.
The seismic retrofit work program allows landlords to pass through 50 percent of costs to tenants over time with certain collection restrictions.
This article is for informational purposes only and the accuracy of the contents is not guaranteed. Reader to verify all information independently.