Los Angeles City Council recently passed the most comprehensive renter protections in a generation. Here are the three new tenant protections and what they will do:
1. JUST-CAUSE EVICTION PROTECTIONS
What it is: This means that landlords will be prohibited from evicting tenants for no reason. Rent-Stabilized Units already have these protections -- but in non-Rent-Stabilized Units (single-family homes or buildings constructed after 1978), these protections will kick in after six months, or at the end of the first lease term, whatever comes first.
Why it Matters: Right now, renters who live in non-Rent-Stabilized units can be kicked out of their homes for no reason. That's just plain wrong: nobody should lose their home through no fault of their own.
2. RENT DEBT THRESHOLD
What it is: This protection prevents renters from being evicted for being a day late or a dollar short. Under this protection, after the COVID eviction protections end, tenants cannot be evicted for owing less than one month of “fair-market rent.”
What is Fair-Market Rent? Fair market rent is the estimated cost of an average unit, as determined by the federal government.
Here are the fair market numbers for LA:
- 1 bedroom - $1,747
- 2 bedroom - $2,222
- 3 bedroom - $2,888
- 4 bedroom - $3,170
Why it Matters: This might be the most important new protection because it applies to ALL renters in the City of LA, and it will prevent hardworking tenants from falling into homelessness when they are just a bit short on rent.
It also addresses the exploitation by corporate landlords (who own over 70% of rental units in LA) without harming mom-and-pop landlords. That's because studies show that corporate landlords are much more likely to evict renters for minor infractions. In fact, corporate landlords file evictions 186% more often than small landlords. Now, hardworking families will have a period to catch up on rent regardless of where they live or who their landlord is.
3. RELOCATION ASSISTANCE TO PREVENT PRICE-GOUGING
What it is: This requires landlords who raise the rent by over 10% to pay a relocation fee equivalent to 3 months “fair-market rent.”
Why it Matters: No one should have to choose between buying groceries and paying rent. Some of the most heartbreaking stories we've heard since taking office are from seniors and folks living on fixed incomes who received rent increases of over 10%.
Under this new protection, tenants who experience an unreasonable rent hike are entitled to a relocation fee that will help them find a new apartment and get back on their feet