If You Own Rent Control Property In Los Angeles, These Are The Rules You Must Follow:
LOS ANGELES RENT CONTROL ISSUES THAT COULD IMPACT YOUR EVICTION CASE
(This only applies if you have property subject to the Rent Stabilization Ordinance for the City of Los Angeles- If your property does not apply, please ignore this bulletin.)
RENT REGISTRATION: The Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) requires that all landlords register their rental property that is subject to the Ordinance before they may demand or collect rents in the City of Los Angeles. IF YOUR PROPERTY IS SUBJECT TO RENT CONTROL AND YOU DO NOT HAVE IT REGISTERED OR HAVE FAILED TO PAY THE FEES, YOU CAN’T DEMAND RENT FROM YOUR TENANTS.
CERTIFICATE OF RENT REGISTRATION must be paid every year, and YOU MUST serve a copy to each of your tenants every year. We recommend mailing each certified (no return receipt) so you have proof that you mailed it . You can also post it on each tenant’s door , handed it to them, or mail it. We recommend a means that you have proof. THIS MUST BE SERVED PRIOR TO ANY DEMAND OF RENT.
RENT REGISTRATION FEE: The registration fee is $24.51 per unit. Of this fee, $12.25 may be passed through to the tenant during the month of August each year. The landlord must provide an advance 30-day written notice to tenants assessed this surcharge. IF YOU DO NOT GIVE A 30 DAY NOTICE IN ADVANCE OF AUGUST, YOU CAN’T PASS THROUGH THIS FEE TO THE TENANT. IF YOU FORGET TO CHARGE THIS PASS THROUGH, YOU HAVE LOST YOUR CHANCE FOR THAT YEAR!
HCIDLA RSO NOTICE (GRAY AND RED SPANISH/ENGLISH NOTICE FOUND ON MY WEBSITE) – MUST POST IN CONSPICUOUS PLACE IN THE COMMON AREA OF THE PREMISES OR ABOVE THE MAILBOXES. THIS MUST BE POSTED AT ALL TIMES. WE RECOMMEND FRAMING IT SO IT IS NOT TORN OR PULLED DOWN.
RENT INCREASES: Whether you have been the only landlord for the property since the tenant moved in or you inherited the tenant from a previous landlord, please make sure that all rent increases have been in compliance with the LARSO permitted amount. You can’t raise the rent higher than the permitted amounts, and you can’t round off the rent amounts to higher amounts even if by pennies.
If you pay gas or electricity, you are allowed to charge an addition 1% rent increase for gas each year, and 1% rent increase for electricity each year.
You are not allowed raise the rent based on a rental amount that includes SCEP fee.
You are allowed to raise the rent once a year.
You are allowed to raise the rent only if the tenancy is a month to month tenancy and not a fixed-term lease.
If you raise the rent more than 10%, you must give the tenants a 60 day notice in writing before the effective rent increase date.
If you raise the rent 10% or less, you must give the tenants a 30 day notice in writing before the effective rent increase date .
LATE FEES: You can’t deduct late fees from monies paid. All monies paid must be first applied to any unpaid rent. For example if the tenant owes you $1000.00, and the late fee is $50.00, and the tenant pays you $1000.00, you can’t say that you deducted $50 for late fees and now the tenant will owe you $950.00. That is incorrect. All monies paid must be applies to UNPAID RENT FIRST. In this scenario, the tenant would not owe you any further rent since she paid the $1000.00. The $50.00 is a separate late fee that can be collected subject to restrictions below.
TIP: Be careful when you retain “running ledgers.” Keep in mind the above.
You can only charge a late fee as a separate fee if stated as a term in your rental agreement. The late fee must not be punitive or a penalty in nature, and must be reasonable relative to the monetary loss you incur when a tenant is late with the rent. (PLEASE REFER TO OUR LATE FEE PROVISIO N IN OUR LEASE)
Late fees can’t be demanded as rent, and can’t be included in a THREE DAY NOTICE TO PAY RENT OR QUIT.
SCEP FEES: Systematic Code Enforcement Fee. If you own or manage property that has two or more residential units on a parcel of land and at least one of the unit is a rental unit, you are required to register your property for periodic inspection and maintain your property in accordance with applicable codes and standards.
IMPORTANT: The surcharge shall not be assessed on a new tenant until twelve months have passed or until the landlord pays a subsequent year’s annual systematic code enforcement fee, whichever comes first.
The SCEP fee must be paid every year – the annual fee is due in January of each year and is delinquent if fee not received by the last day of February.
For a rental unit for which the annual systematic code enforcement fee has been paid pursuant to the landlord may demand and collect a rental surcharge from the tenant of the rental unit in accordance with the following schedule and after serving the tenant a 30-day written notice.
CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP: When you become the NEW owner or the NEW management company, you must give to all tenants a NOTICE OF CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP that MUST include the following:
1. Disclose therein the name, telephone number, and usual street address at which personal service may be affected of each person who is: (THIS ADDRESS FOR PERSONAL SERVICE MUST BE A PHYSICAL ADDRESS)
(A) Authorized to manage the premises.
(B) An owner of the premises or a person who is authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner for the purpose of service of process and for the purpose of receiving and receipting for all notices and demands. (THIS MUST BE A PERSON. MANAGEMENT CO. AND ENTITIES ARE NOT PERSONS FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS STATUTE)
(2) Disclose therein the name, telephone number, and address of the person or entity to whom rent payments shall be made.
(A) If rent payments may be made personally, the usual days and hours that the person will be available to receive the payments shall also be disclosed.