Landlords in Los Angeles cannot increase rent on the more than 650,000 occupied and rent-stabilized apartments in the city despite rising construction-repair costs and increasing city fees.
The Los Angeles Times reports that number is about three-fourths of all the apartments in the city.
Under the rules, landlords are not allowed to increase rents for apartments for an entire year after the expiration of the emergency order signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti in March 2020, when the policy went into effect.
As of now, no rent increases will be allowed for most L.A. tenants until 2023. And possibly beyond, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Landlords put in difficult situation
Landlords in Los Angeles say costs have risen sharply due to inflation, for everything from labor and materials for building repairs to city fees for trash pickup which puts them in a difficult position for rent increases for apartments.
“We have to pay a mortgage and pay utilities,” said Ari Chazanas, president of Lotus West Properties, which manages about 1,000 apartments across the city, to the Los Angeles Times. “I think there’s a lot of fatigue from people like me because it’s been going on for so long.”
While Los Angeles rents declined substantially at the beginning of the pandemic, they are climbing steadily now.
Apartment List reports that L.A. median rent for recently leased apartments have rebounded to $1,947 a month in November, up nearly 15 percent from the low in January and eclipsing pre-pandemic levels.
The city’s rent-stabilization rules generally apply only to apartments built before October 1978. Normally, landlords are allowed rent increases on existing tenants by no more than 3 percent annually, depending on inflation.
But the mayor’s emergency order changed that, marking the first time in more than four decades under the city’s current rent-control laws that landlords have been blocked completely from increases. Landlords remain able to charge whatever they want for apartments once a tenant vacates.