What is REAP?
The Rent Escrow Account Program (REAP) exists to resolve the most persistent health and safety and habitability issues found in rental properties in the City. In addressing these issues REAP helps reduce blight, protects tenants from substandard housing, and helps preserve the City’s valuable affordable housing stock.
REAP encourages owners to make the repairs and return the property to a safe and habitable condition. Tenants of affected units are given a 10% to 50% rent reduction depending on the nature and severity of the violations cited. Tenants have the option to pay their reduced rents to the landlord or into an escrow account managed by the Department.
Rents deposited into the escrow account are then made available to the landlord, tenants, or other interested parties through an application process. If eligible, you may request funds from the escrow account to make repairs, pay utilities, or for relocation to a new apartment.
We highly recommend that you read through the information provided below, and If you still have questions, please contact us at the following numbers, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday:
Phone: (844) 864-REAP
Fax: (213) 808-8810
TTY: (213) 473-3231
Or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY UNIT IS IN REAP?
You will receive a notice by mail once placement of your unit in REAP becomes final. The notice will indicate the amount of rent reduction your unit is eligible for, and provide instructions for paying your rent into the escrow account. You may also receive a visit from one of the Department’s REAP outreach contractors, who will provide you with information about paying your reduced rent, and inform you of your rights and responsibilities with regards to REAP.
HOW ARE PROPERTIES ACCEPTED INTO REAP?
When the Department has cited health and safety and Housing Code violations on a rental property, and those violations have not been corrected in the time allowed, it may refer the property for inclusion into REAP.
When a property is accepted into REAP, the landlord has the right to contest that acceptance at a General Manager's Hearing (LAMC 162.06), which is scheduled to determine whether or not to uphold the Department’s decision to accept the property into REAP. This General Manager's Hearing decision can be appealed to the Rent Adjustment Commission’s Appeals Board. If the acceptance of a property into REAP is appealed, the decision to accept the property into REAP is stayed pending the outcome of the appeal and you will not be able to pay your rent into the escrow account until the decision becomes final.
Once the decision to put the property into REAP is final, the Department records a notice on the title that the property has been placed into REAP, and the Department opens an escrow account into which you can pay your reduced rent. You will be sent instructions for how to pay your rent into the escrow account if your unit was accepted into REAP.
WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OF YOUR UNIT BEING ACCEPTED INTO REAP?
The following will occur once a property is accepted into REAP:
- You will be afforded a rent reduction. Your rent reduction will be indicated on the REAP notice you receive.
- The Department opens an escrow account where you may choose to pay your reduced monthly rent. Otherwise you may continue to pay the reduced monthly rent to your landlord.
- An outreach contractor will be assigned to your case to provide education and assistance with REAP related issues.
HOW DO I PAY MY RENT INTO THE ESCROW ACCOUNT?
If your unit is subject to REAP, you have the option to pay your reduced rent to either the landlord, or to an escrow account established by HCIDLA.
HCIDLA only accepts rent payments in the form of cashier’s check or money order made payable to the CITY OF LOS ANGELES – HCIDLA and accompanied with a payment coupon. Coupons are mailed each month to all units subject to REAP. Copies are also available at each of HCIDLA’s public counters.
You may submit your money order and payment coupon to:
Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department
PO Box 17460
Los Angeles, CA 90017-0460
Or pay in person at any one of HCIDLA's public counters.
HOW LONG CAN I PAY MY RENT INTO THE ESCROW ACCOUNT
The Department will begin the process of removing a property from REAP once it has verified that all orders issued have been addressed. If you believe that violations remain on the property, you may file a complaint anytime and the Department will investigate. The Department may recommend that a property is removed from the program even if a complaint has been filed, if an order has not been issued.
Once all violations cited on your property have been signed off by HCIDLA inspectors, no remaining open orders exist with other pertinent enforcement agencies, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power bills have been paid, the Department will recommend that the City Council remove the property from REAP. After the City Council approves the removal of the property from REAP, the Department will notify you by mail that rents will be restored to the original amount and the escrow account will close 30 days from the date of the notice. You will no longer be able to pay your reduced rent into the escrow account after the escrow account closes, and you should pay your full rent to the landlord.