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What are the tenant laws in Los Angeles?

What are the tenant laws in Los Angeles

There are many tenant laws in Los Angeles that poses specific legal requirements for landlords managing rental properties. Key is the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) which regulates rent increases on residential properties built before October 1978. This law spans over 638,000 units. According to the Los Angeles Housing Department landlords can only increase rent by “4% rent increase for properties subject to the RSO from February 1, 2024 through June 30, 2024.  An additional 1% for gas and 1% for electric service can be added if the landlord provides the service to the tenant. State law requires landlords to provide an advance 30-day written notice for rent increases of less than 10%.

Landlords must provide the necessary amenities and maintain the rental unit in a habitable condition. This includes providing utilities (unless specified otherwise in the lease), performing regular maintenance, and conducting repairs within a reasonable time frame. Failure to comply with these rules can lead to penalties. Cities also enforce additional property codes that landlords must heed, which vary across jurisdictions. For instance, in Los Angeles, landlords are obligated to retrofit any pre-1978 units susceptible to earthquake damage under the city’s seismic retrofit program.

To read more about the Los Angeles RSO, click here. Note, there are also County-specific laws– so rent control laws can exist at the City Level, the County Level, and the State level. And sometimes they can conflict with each other.

Landlord Tenant Laws in Los Angeles, and most other places in California, are complicated, and a professional should always be consulted before making any big decisions based upon these laws.

What are the tenant rights in Los Angeles rental properties?

Tenant rights in Los Angeles rental properties include the right to clean and habitable housing, maintenance of livable units, prompt repairs for habitability issues, and protection against eviction for reasons like unpaid rent or unauthorized pets. According to Julia Wick of the LA times,  Landlords must provide safe living conditions, functioning utilities, and address vermin infestations. Tenants have the right to request repairs and withhold rent if the unit is uninhabitable until the issue is resolved. Additionally, new laws in Los Angeles prevent evictions without just cause, establish timelines for repaying COVID-19 rent debts, and protect tenants from discrimination based on various factors.

Here are the Tenant Rights in Los Angeles:

  • Tenants have the right to clean, habitable housing that meets health and safety codes. Landlords must maintain the property and address issues like infestations and lack of utilities.
  • Landlords cannot discriminate against tenants based on factors like age, immigration status, disability, or family status.
  • Landlords are prohibited from harassing tenants or retaliating against them for filing complaints.
  • Tenants in rent-controlled units have additional protections, including limits on annual rent increases (4% in 2024) and “just cause” eviction requirements.

What are the eviction laws for tenants in Los Angeles?

Here are the eviction laws in Los Angeles According to the Los Angeles Eviction Attorney:

  • Landlords can only evict tenants for specific “just cause” reasons, such as non-payment of rent, lease violations, or the landlord needing to move in. Evictions without a valid reason are prohibited.
  • Tenants have until August 2023 to pay back rent accrued during the COVID-19 pandemic, and until February 2024 for rent debt after that, in order to avoid eviction.
  • Landlords must provide proper notice (usually 30 days) before initiating eviction proceedings, and in some cases must pay relocation assistance to tenants.
  • Certain tenants, like the elderly and disabled, have additional protections against eviction even for valid reasons.

For more information on the Tenant Protection Act of 2019, click here. Landlord Tenant Laws in Los Angeles, and most other places in California, are complicated, and a professional should always be consulted before making any big decisions based upon these laws.

What are the property management laws in Los Angeles?

Here are the key property management laws and requirements for rental properties in Los Angeles according to Warwick Downs of Opal Estate Management :

Licensing and Registration

  • Property managers in Los Angeles must have a real estate broker’s license or work under someone who has one. Certain exemptions apply for employees managing residential properties.
  • Managers handling leasing activities also need a real estate salesperson license.
  • There are no specific property management certifications required, but many managers obtain voluntary designations..

Rent Control and Tenant Protections

  • Los Angeles has a Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) that limits annual rent increases, currently set at 4% for 2024. According to the Los Angeles Housing Department.
  • Landlords can only evict tenants for specific “just cause” reasons, such as non-payment of rent or lease violations. No-fault evictions are prohibited.
  • Tenants have rights against landlord harassment and retaliation, and are entitled to habitable living conditions.
  • Landlords must follow proper notice requirements and in some cases provide relocation assistance for evictions.

Security Deposits

  • Security deposits are limited to 2-3 months’ rent, depending on whether the unit is furnished
  • Landlords must return deposits within 21 days of the tenant moving out, providing an itemized list of any deductions.
  • Tenants in RSO units can earn interest on their security deposit.

Other Requirements

  • Landlords must comply with state and local health and safety codes for rental properties.
  • Managers must follow laws related to fair housing, workplace safety, and other general business regulations.

Overall, Los Angeles has extensive laws governing the property management industry to protect the rights of both landlords and tenants

What is the tenant screening process for rental properties in Los Angeles?

Understanding the tenant screening process for rental properties in Los Angeles requires in-depth knowledge of various laws and regulations. Incoming tenants can also face the screening process, wherein a landlord may review their financial history, check their criminal background, verify their employment, contact their references or previous landlords, and whatever else the landlord wants to do in terms of diligence. Based on the legal guidelines though, landlords cannot refuse to rent to an applicant or engage in any discriminatory practices that violate federal and state laws. There are also limitations on what landlords can ask references, as well as legal issues surrounding running tenants credit reports. Landlords also cannot discriminate based upon age, religion, sex, creed, or color. Which sounds obvious on the face of it, but something as seemingly innocent as “I don’t want to rent to young kids because they will probably party too much and wreck the place.” could put a landlord in violation of nondiscrimination laws, without the landlord even knowing it.



**Landlord Tenant Laws in Los Angeles, and most other places in California, are complicated, and are ever-changing, and any article written about such laws can become dated / incorrect at any time.  A professional should always be consulted before making any big decisions based upon these laws. This article does not contain legal advice or legal conclusions, it is just an overview of some applicable laws, and in any given situation, at any different time, different laws may apply. Do not navigate these things on your own. Call an attorney or other professional. Nothing in this article should be relied upon.

 

To talk to a real estate agent that knows creative financing contact Big Town Real Estate today.

Sources

HousingAnywhere.com (2024). Your guide to the tenant rights and laws in Los Angeles Available at: https://housinganywhere.com/Los-Angeles–United-States/tenant-rights-los-angeles

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)(nd). Tenant Rights, Laws and Protections: California Available at: https://www.hud.gov/states/california/renting/tenantrights

Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. (nd). Tenant Protections Available at: https://cityattorney.lacity.gov/tenant-protections

Los Angeles Times. (2023). What to know about L.A.’s new tenant protection laws Available at: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2023-02-07/what-to-know-about-l-a-s-new-tenant-protection-laws

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