Have you found yourself facing eviction or rent hikes as a renter in the City of Los Angeles? You may be protected under the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance (LARSO). The LARSO was created to prevent unscrupulous landlords from exploiting the circumstances of their tenants to unfairly raise their rent, or even "flipping" (evicting tenants at one rate and taking on new renters at a much higher rate) to take advantage of changes in market value. Many Angelinos do not realize that they are protected, and simply cave under pressure from their landlords, placing themselves and their families in an unnecessary and stressful situation. If you are a renter under pressure from your landlord to leave or pay a higher rate, use this quick reference guide to determine if it might be time to seek legal assistance.
If you are facing rent hikes or eviction and:
· Your property is located within the City of Los Angeles
· Your property was built before November of 1978
· You are a renter in a multi-tenant property
· As of July of 2012, your landlord is demanding a rent hike in excess of 3%, or an additional 1% each for gas and/or electric utilities, if the property owner pays for them
· Your landlord is threatening you with eviction for any reason besides
· Nonpayment of rent
· Illegal use of your rental unit
· Refusal to renew a rental agreement submitted by your landlord which is similar to the existing agreement
· Violation of a term of the rental agreement
· Refusal to allow landlord access to unit for repairs or to show the unit to potential tenants or investors
· You are allowing tenants not listed on your rental agreement to live in your unit
You may be entitled to up to $5,000 in relocation assistance from your landlord, OR they may be acting illegally. An attorney experienced in landlord/tenant law can help you determine your situation.
In our next post, we'll take a look at how renters can weather the current storm of foreclosures and bank seizures.