West Hollywood landlords raucously protested a City Council decision to further tighten rent control ordinances in the city with cries of "Heil Hitler!" and "This is war!" One building owner was thrown out of the meeting Monday for interrupting the council's deliberations.
On a 4-1 vote, the council approved an ordinance that would increase from two to five years the period between vacancy rent increases.
Under current law, as long as a tenant has lived in a unit for at least two years, the landlord may increase the rent on the unit by 10% when the tenant moves out. Under the new ordinance, expected to gain final council approval within the next month, the tenant must have lived in the unit for at least five years before the increase will be allowed.
The council argued that the current limit gives landlords a reason to seek out relatively transient tenants to take advantage of the rent increase every two years, which makes it more difficult for traditionally long-term residents, such as seniors, to find housing.