LA County to vote on permanent rent control, eviction defense program

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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set to vote Tuesday on whether to make temporary rent control restrictions in the county’s unincorporated neighborhoods permanent.

The ordinance would put a ceiling on how much rent in buildings that opened prior to 1995 (except single-family homes) could be increased each year, with a limit of 8 percent.

The amount would change from year to year, based on the Consumer Price Index. Under temporary ordinance that’s in effect now and set to expire in December, landlords are barred from hiking rents more than 3 percent.

Evictions without “just cause” would continue to be prohibited in all rentals, meaning that, for the most part, tenants could not be evicted unless they broke the terms of their lease or failed to pay their rent.

The permanent ordinance would expand on protections offered by the temporary version, including requiring landlords to provide relocation assistance when tenants take buy-outs (also known as “cash for keys”) or are evicted without fault.

The regulations would apply to rental units in unincorporated areas of the county, including East LA, Altadena, Montrose, and Universal City.The permanent rules would protect 100,000 renters across the more than 120unincorporated communities in LA County, according to Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.

A number of the proposed rules are similar to those in effect in the cities of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood.

Supervisors are also set to vote on a proposal to set up the first phase of an “eviction defense and prevention program” that would include “full-scope legal representation for eligible tenants.” It would establish “eviction assistance centers” in courthouses and provide workshops and events to help educate tenants on their rights and the resources available to them.

If the board votes to move forward Tuesday with the permanent rent cap and the other regulations, the ordinance would be written up by November 12 and would come back to the board for final approval.

To find out if an apartment is in unincorporated LA County, select the “district map look up by address” option from the dropdown menu on the county’s precinct mapping site.

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