Big Changes Ahead: Explaining the Recent LA City Council Vote
On December 5th, the Los Angeles City Council made a significant decision that impacted the way rent increases were calculated for RSO units. The 10-2 vote in favor of passing a new ordinance brings crucial changes that tenants and landlords should be aware of.
Decreasing the Allowable Increase
One of the most notable changes is the adjustment in the allowable increase. Previously set at 7%, this figure will now decrease to 4% for the period between February 1, 2024, and June 30, 2024. This alteration aims to moderate the rate of rent increases, offering tenants some relief in a challenging housing market.
Additional Allowance for Utility Providers
Moreover, there's an additional allowance of up to 2% for property owners who provide electricity and/or gas. This incentivizes landlords who offer utilities within their rental units while still regulating the overall rent hike.
SCEP & RSO Pass Through Amount
As of January 1, 2022, the SCEP fee stands at $67.94 per unit annually & RSO fee amounts to $38.75 per unit annually.
Landlords have the right to collect these fees from tenants at a rate of $2.83 & $1.61 per month, spread over 12 months each year. However, this can only be done after the landlord has registered the units and provided proper written notice to the tenant.
An Amendment for Small Owners
An important amendment, proposed by McOsker and passed as part of Blumenfield’s original motion, demands a report from the Los Angeles Housing Department. This report, expected by December 14, is pivotal in creating a specific definition for "small owners." This definition aims to allow these landlords to take the increase under the original formula of 7%, offering a more balanced approach for smaller property owners.
This update marks a shift in rent increase regulations, aiming to strike a balance between supporting tenants and acknowledging the needs of property owners. As we await further clarity on the definition of "small owners," it's essential for both tenants and landlords to stay informed about these changes and their implications.
Just wanted to let you know: a new Senate Bill that requires homeowners to inspect the standards of a building’s porches, stairways, decks, walkways, & other elevated structures more than 6 feet above the ground.
Senate Bill-721 applies to buildings with three or more multifamily dwelling units.
The first inspection must be done by January 1, 2025. Re-inspections are required every six years.
The inspections must be performed only by a licensed architect, civil or structural engineer, or a building contractor holding specific licenses as a B General Contractor or C5 Framing.
In case you missed the webinar, we've got notes for you!
Main takeaway: RSO units will be allowed to increase the rent 7% on February 1st, 2024; this is subject to change. An additional 1% for gas and 1% for electricity if they landlord is paying for the utilities. A 30 day advanced written notice to the tenant is required.
Managing rental properties can be a rewarding investment, but it's also a demanding and time-consuming task. Whether you own a single residential property or a portfolio of commercial spaces, the role of a Property Manager can be a game-changer.
Let’s explore the advantages of hiring a Property Manager, highlighting how they can help you save time, reduce stress, and improve your property's value.
1. Time Savings & Stress Reduction
A property manager will handle these urgent matters, saving you time and reducing stress. You won’t be constantly juggling maintenance requests, tenant inquiries, and rent collection. A Property Manager can take the weight off your shoulders. They'll handle all these responsibilities, freeing up your time for other pursuits.
You can focus on your career while your property manager ensures your tenant's comfort. They provide a buffer between you and the tenants, allowing you to enjoy a more peaceful and stress-free life.
2. Professional Tenant Screening
A property manager has the expertise to screen potential tenants thoroughly, checking their rental history, credit, and references. This diligent screening minimizes the risk of troublesome tenants.
3. Legal Compliance
A Property Manager is well-versed in these regulations and ensures your properties comply with all legal requirements. This knowledge helps prevent potential legal issues, saving you from costly lawsuits and fines.
4. Rent Collection and Financial Management
5. Marketing and Advertising
A Property Manager understands the local market and knows how to create compelling property listings, reach the right audience, and conduct property showings. They can post your listing on hundreds of websites. This expertise reduces vacancy periods and maximizes your rental income.
6. Handling Tenant Issues
A Property Manager handles tenant conflicts professionally. They enforce lease agreements, address tenant concerns, and, if necessary, initiate eviction proceedings, allowing you to maintain a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship.
In summary, hiring a Property Manager offers numerous benefits that can greatly enhance your real estate investment experience. You can enjoy the luxury of time savings, stress reduction, improved property value, and a host of other advantages that make property ownership more profitable and less burdensome. By enlisting the services of a Property Manager, you can make the most of your investments while maintaining a healthier work-life balance.
Get a free quote for your property to know more.
Images are Canva AI generated.
Handling maintenance requests from tenants can be challenging, especially when the tenant is angry. However, it is essential to handle the situation calmly and professionally to ensure that the issue is resolved promptly and the tenant's needs are met. Here are some steps you can follow:
Rent Control Board Meeting
Thursday, May 14, 2020, 6:30 p.m.
Pursuant to California Governor Newsom's Executive Order
Access the agenda for this meeting of the Rent Control Board by clicking here.
For information concerning viewing, listening to or requesting to speak at this teleconference meeting, please refer to the agenda.
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The next meeting of the Board is scheduled for Thursday, May 21, 2020, 7 p.m., via teleconference.
May 14 Agenda:
Any member of the public wishing to comment on an item(s) listed on the agenda may submit written comments prior to the meeting by emailing them to email@example.com. Comments may also be mailed to Rent Control, 1685 Main St., Room 202, Santa Monica, CA 90401, but mail may not arrive in time to disperse to the Board members for this meeting. Comments must be received by 4:30 p.m. on May 14.
For information about speaking to the Board during this teleconference meeting, please refer to the agenda.
Documents are available in alternate format upon request.
Rent Control Board meetings are aired live on CityTV cable channel 16. Any documents produced by the Santa Monica Rent Control Board and distributed to a majority of the Rent Control Board regarding any item on this agenda will be made available by request at firstname.lastname@example.org. Some documents are also available for viewing by accessing the agenda on the Agency’s website at: www.smgov.net/rentcontrol.
California Civil Code §1950.5 establishes a maximum security deposit that can be charged to California residential tenants:
The maximum may be increased by an additional ½ month’s rent if the unit has a waterbed.
California residential landlords may accept advance payment of rent for 6 months or more (but not less).
1. Question: Can we use a recent Section 8 inspection report as a standard of habitability in an eviction case?
Answer: The court will allow any relevant evidence that tends to prove the condition the premises during the time in question. Since the purpose of the inspection is to qualify the unit as habitable and in compliance with HUD regulations, the report may be considered as evidence of the condition of the premises at the time of the inspection, but the custodian of records may have to testify as to the accuracy of the report.
2. Question: One of our tenants recently requested that we paint the inside of her apartment. She has threatened to do it herself and deduct the cost of the paint from the rent if we do not have it painted within the next two weeks. Is she legally able to carry out her threat?
Answer: Unless the condition of the walls rendered the premises uninhabitable, the owner is under no obligation to paint the unit at the request of the tenant.
3. Question: What is the most useful information on the tenant’s application for collection purposes?
Answer: The most useful for locating former residents, are the social security, driver’s license and license plate numbers. For collection on judgments, current employment and bank account records are the most valuable.
4. Question: I rent out a condo that I own. Are the rules and regulation of the homeowner’s association automatically applicable to my tenant?
Answer: Not automatically; your residential lease should incorporate by reference the CC & R’s of the homeowner’s association and all rules and regulations. That way if there is a breach of the association rules, you can serve an appropriate notice to perform or terminate the lease.
5. Question: What is an estoppel certificate? The owner of the property I manage requested that each of the tenants sign an estoppel certificate. I did not want to appear unknowledgeable.
Answer: An estoppel certificate is a document signed by the tenant certifying that the major terms of the lease are true and correct. Estoppel certificates are sometimes required during the sale of rental property so the buyer knows that the tenant understands and agrees to the major terms of the lease.
6. Question: After serving a tenant with a three-day notice to pay rent or quit, what is my next step if the tenant does not comply? Serving a thirty-day notice?
Answer: Your next step would be to file the unlawful detainer (tenant eviction) in the proper court. Each court has geographical boundaries, so you should make sure you are filing the action in the court of proper venue.
7. Question: A tenant’s child broke a glass shower door. Can I charge the tenant for the repair of the door?
Answer: The tenant is liable for any damage done by its invitees, guests or other occupants of the premises. The tenant should have to pay for the repair of the door.
8. Question: After a tenant moves out and gives their change of address to the post office, how long are the landlords responsible for any correspondence that may still arrive at their former address?
Answer: You should let the post office do their job and if the forwarding address has expired, give it back to the post office and indicate that the person no longer resides at the mailing address. We do not recommend you help accommodate your former tenant by playing “post office.”
9. Question: I need to know the depreciation schedule of new carpeting in a home where the tenant lived for one year. The tenant put 5 cigarette burn holes in the carpet and spilled wax on the corner of this brand new carpet.
Answer: California’s security deposit law found in Civil Code Section 1950.5 states that the resident is responsible for damage above normal wear and tear. If the carpet needs to be replaced after one year and it should have lasted for five years, most judges will allow you to charge the resident 4/5 of the total replacement costs.
10. Question: I have a tenant who smokes outside his apartment. Can I request he not do that? There have been issues with cigarette butts on walkways and it also affect the tenant’s next door to him as they always close the kitchen window when he smokes.
Answer: You can create a non-smoking policy for all or part of the premises, so long as you are consistent in its enforcement.
11. Question: I have a roommate situation. One roommate has moved out. Am I required by law to give back half of the security deposit to the one who has moved out?
Answer: California law does not require landlords to return the security deposit to one tenant if they move out before the remaining tenant(s). Landlords are not required to account for the use of the security deposit until after they have recovered possession of the property unless otherwise agreed at the inception of the lease.
12. Question: At my property, we are currently doing renovations, and have notified all the residents that there will be noise and water shut offs. One resident said they are entitled to rent
discounts because of the situation, is it true?
Answer: There is no “automatic” reduction in rent allowed for temporary shut off of water, and/or noise created by renovation or routine maintenance.