What is Covered under the RSO
If you rent in the City of Los Angeles, your rental unit may be subject to the City's Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO), if the property was built on or before October 1, 1978. Newly constructed units that replaced demolished RSO rental units may also be covered under the RSO. The RSO regulates rent increases and evictions.
There are approximately 624,000 units in 118,000 properties throughout the City of Los Angeles that fall under this ordinance, including apartments, condos, co-ops, rooming houses, and hotels and motels. Mobilehomes in mobilehome parks are also covered by the RSO.
- Two or more single family dwelling units on the same parcel
- Rooms in a hotel, motel, rooming house or boarding house occupied by the same tenant for 30 or more consecutive days
- Residential unit(s) attached to a commercial building
Your rental unit is not subject to the RSO if:
- You live in a single-family home (that is the only residential structure on the parcel)
- You live in affordable housing or luxury housing units exempted by HCIDLA
- The rental unit was built after October 1, 1978 (in most instances)
- You live in hotel or motel rooms that were occupied for less than 30 days
- You rent a unit in a converted commercial building that converted to rental units after October 1, 1978
Even if the rental unit is not covered under the RSO, renters have rights under California law.
What the RSO Covers
- Allowable rent increases
- Registration of rental units
- Legal reasons for eviction
- Types of evictions requiring payment of tenant relocation assistance
- RSO disclosure notice for all "Cash for Keys" or Buyout Agreements
Rent increases that do not require HCIDLA approval
- New rent levels established after a tenant:
- voluntarily moves out;
- does not pay rent and is evicted;
- violated the lease agreement and is evicted;
- is evicted for failure to comply with a Tenant Habitability Plan; or
- is evicted per a City Attorney order.
- Rent may be increased once every 12 months by the allowable rent increase percentage. Effective July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019, the annual allowable rent increase is 3%. Effective July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020 is 4%. This increase may be added to the rent and security deposit. The landlord can add an additional 1% per utility paid by the landlord (gas and/or electricity).
- If an additional tenant moves into a rental unit: Landlords can increase the rent within 60 days of learning about the additional tenant.There is no increase for the first minor dependent child added to an existing rental unit.
- A $12.25 surcharge may be collected by the landlord only in the month of August as the tenants portion of the registration fee. Prior to 2017, this fee could only be collected in the month of June.
- A $3.61 monthly surcharge may be collected by the landlord for the Systematic Code Enforcement Program (SCEP) fee.
- A $3.00 surcharge may be added to the rent for the installation and cost for a hard-wired smoke detector or a combination smoke/carbon monoxide detector.
Rent increases that require HCIDLA approval
- Capital Improvement Program: Landlords can recover costs for improvements to the rental unit or common areas for items that benefit the tenant and will last at least five years (RAC Reg 210).
- Primary Renovation Program: Landlords can recover costs for major renovations of building systems or to reduce exposure to hazardous materials (THP Bulletin).
- Rehabilitation Program: Landlords can recover costs for work in a unit or common area to comply with an order issued by HCIDLA or other government entities (RAC Reg 250).
- Seismic Retrofit Program: Landlords can recover costs for work done on soft-story rental buildings in compliance with City mandated retrofits.
- Just and Reasonable Rent Increase: A landlord can apply for a rent increase when their net operating income adjusted for inflation is not sufficient to cover the property's operating expenses (RAC Reg 240).
Required Registration and Posted Notification of RSO Rental Units
- All Properties with RSO rental units must post notification that the property is subject to the RSO.
- All units rented or offered for rent must be registered annually with HCIDLA.
- Cost of registration may be shared by landlords and tenants.
- Registration cost per unit: $24.51.
- Inspection (SCEP) fees
Legal Reasons for Eviction
Tenant is at-fault
Under the RSO, the landlord may recover possession of a rental unit under specific situations. Below is a list of reasons for which a tenant could be evicted and the tenant would be considered at-fault. If the tenant is at-fault for the eviction, then the tenant will not be entitled to relocation assistance.
- Failure to pay rent
- Failure to fix or address a violation of the rental agreement
- Creating a nuisance or causing damage to the rental unit
- Using the rental unit for an illegal purpose
- Failure to renew a similar rental agreement
- Failure to provide the landlord reasonable access to the rental unit
- The person at the end of the lease term is a subtenant not approved by the landlord
Tenant is not at-fault
Situations in which the property owner wishes to regain the use of the rental unit, as the result of a personal or business decision, and not the fault of the tenant may be cause for eviction, but the property owner may have to pay the tenant relocation assistance. These reasons include:
- The property owner or eligible family member will move into the rental unit
- A resident manager will move into the rental unit
- Demolition and permanent removal from the rental market
- Government order
- Conversion to affordable housing
What Documents will a Renter Receive for a No-Fault Eviction ?
- Tenant will be served a 30-day or 60-day written notice (some evictions require 120-day notice or up to a 1 year extension)
- A copy of the Landlord Declaration of Intent to Evict filed with the HCIDLA.
- Payment of tenant relocation assistance.
To Learn More About the Rent Stabilization Ordinance
RSVP now to reserve a spot at our various RSO Workshops held throughout the city.