Good question! The City of Los Angeles has a Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) that protects tenants from excessive rent increases, while at the same time allowing landlords to increase rent each year by a fair amount.
There are a few exceptions, but generally if you live in in the City of Los Angeles in any of the following kinds of housing, in a building built before 1979, you are protected. Some rental units built after July 16, 2007, to replace demolished RSO units, are also covered by the RSO.
• Unit on a lot with two or more units
• Unit attached to a commercial building
• Mobile home
• Mobile home pad
• Room in a hotel, motel, rooming house or boarding house that you have occupied for 30 or more consecutive days
So how much can your landlord raise the rent?
The short answer is 3% once every 12 months. To balance the needs of both tenants and landlords, the allowable rent increase is tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). All this means that rent can only be increased 3% - 10% every year.
If your landlord pays for the gas and electricity in your rental unit, he or she may increase your rent another 1% for each utility. A landlord may also raise the rent for an additional tenant. Learn more about this type of rent increase in the Additional Tenants Bulletin.
Your landlord does not need to notify the City to implement these rent increases. But there are other types of rent increases allowed if approved by the Housing + Community Investment Department (HCIDLA). For instance, a landlord may raise the rent for improvements or upgrades. Learn more in the Allowable Rent Increases Bulletin.
If you feel your rent has been raised an unfair amount, you can file a complaint for review by a Housing Investigator here. If you have questions about the RSO, browse through our library of resources or visit our Home for Renter's page where you can find the Guides for LA Landlords and Tenants. You can always call our toll-free hotline at (866) 557-RENT (7368) to talk to a live person, or send us an inquiry and we promise to get back to you.