West Hollywood will offer refunds of rent registration fees to low-income tenants who are disabled or elderly, beginning Tuesday.
The City Council voted 3 to 1 last week to offer refunds of the $48 annual fee required of all tenants to help pay for the city's rent-stabilization program.
Each tenant's fee actually is paid to the city by his landlord, who passes on the cost as a $4-a-month rent surcharge.
Renters eligible for the refund must continue to pay the fee each month, but will receive a $48 refund each September, the start of the city's operating year, said Richard Dorsey Muller, rent stabilization director.
The fees have been collected since September, 1985, when West Hollywood's rent control law went into effect.
In its first year, the program collected nearly a million dollars from the city's 19,500 renters, Muller said. City officials estimate that refunds for that first year will total $110,000.
As many as 2,400 households may be eligible for a refund, and officials predict that about 2,200 will apply for one.
Muller said applicants must be disabled or 62 and older and also must qualify as "very-low-income tenants" (those with annual incomes of $11,500 or less for families of two or more and $10,100 for individuals).
Tenants can apply for the refund at the rent stabilization office, 8611 Santa Monica Blvd., and must bring proof of residency, age or disability and income level, Muller said. Checks will be mailed to them.