For Immediate Release: March 9, 2022
LOS ANGELES -- Today, Councilmember Nithya Raman introduced a motion to upgrade the City of Los Angeles’ Rent Registry so that it can more effectively prevent illegal rent increases and evictions and provide tenants with important housing resources. Studies have shown that 27 percent of LA tenants in rent-stabilized units have experienced rent increases higher than permitted, while 37 percent were not aware their rents were stabilized.
“With the City’s eviction moratorium currently in place—and in future months as emergency tenant protections are lifted—it is critical as a City to document rent amounts reported by landlords in order to prevent illegal rent increases and to ensure tenants are aware of their rights,” said Councilmember Raman.
Following a motion from City Council in 2015, the City’s Rent Registry Ordinance became effective in 2016. It requires landlords to annually report the rent amount and tenancy information for every rental unit in the City subject to the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO). The RSO regulates, among other things, allowable rent increases for all units built and occupied before October 1, 1978.
To implement the Rent Registry Ordinance, the City created an online Rent Registry public portal — and paper form alternative — for landlords to report the required information. However, the registry lacks a way of notifying tenants of the reported rent for their rental units.
“The original vision of our City’s Rent Registry has yet to be fully implemented — and without it, we are not doing everything in our power to keep Angelenos housed,” added Councilmember Raman. “These improvements can help our City to fulfill its promise to proactively monitor and enforce the rules and regulations provided under the Rent Stabilization Ordinance.”
The Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD) is planning to individually mail RSO tenants in the coming months notifying them of the rent amount reported by their landlord. Councilmember Raman’s motion will facilitate the effectiveness of LAHD’s mailing by creating an online public portal for tenants to dispute the rent amount reported by their landlord, an external dashboard for tenants to view registration information about their unit, and an internal system for staff to track reported rent amounts from LAHD’s mailing.