- Jason Tuvia
Los Angeles County Extends Temporary Rent Control Measures
Los Angeles County is extending temporary rent control in its unincorporated areas through the end of the year.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 for the rent control measure that precludes landlords from being able to raise rents, in buildings built before 1995, by more than 3%. It also expanded protections requiring landlords to show just cause before evictions, according to the Los Angeles Times. The controls were set to expire in June.
More than 65% of Los Angeles County is unincorporated. The board approved the first temporary rent-control ordinance late last year in an effort to address skyrocketing rents across the county, which already boasts some of the highest housing prices in the nation. The measure is similar to others in the region including the City of Los Angeles' Rent Stabilization Ordinance. Renters and housing affordability advocates pushed for the change, which gives county officials more time to draft permanent regulations. But others were opposed.
“Rent control is a band aid on a complex issue that may exasperate our housing problems and have a negative impact on landlords,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who voted against the measure, in an email. “The surest way to drive down costs is to create supply by increasing our housing stock.”
Some real estate interests also were critical of the policy.
“The Board of Supervisors’ majority action to not only extend but expand this flawed policy speaks to a misunderstanding of our affordable housing problem,” Christine Schachter, government affairs director at the Pacific West Association of Realtors, said in an email. “Rent control only creates political battles between landlords and tenants and further exacerbates the loss of value to residential rentals instead of advancing meaningful and effective housing policy solutions that help communities of all types.”
Some of the other unincorporated areas affected by the measure include Baldwin Hills, East Los Angeles, Hacienda Heights, and Ladera Heights. There are about 28,900 market-rate apartment units in unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County which make up about 3% of the entire county’s inventory, according to Rafael De Anda, senior market analyst at the CoStar Group.
Rent control efforts are also resonating statewide. Legislators in California are debating possible changes of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act . It restricts cities from implementing rent control in buildings built after 1995 plus buildings that were exempt before the law went into effect.