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Leasing a condo in L.A.? It falls under rent control

February 26, 2006|Kevin Postema | Special to The Times

Question: I have rented out my West L.A. condo for the last 15 years. Recently, the Los Angeles Housing Department sent me an annual invoice for fees to support the Rent Stabilization Ordinance. I am baffled. Am I under rent control?

Answer: When rent control was passed in 1979, rental condos were included. As a result of the state Costa-Hawkins Act of 1995, which took effect in 1996, you are no longer under its price-control aspects, but you are still under its eviction-control provisions.

You may be confused because single-family homes (if there were only one or two on a lot) and duplexes were originally exempted. Duplexes and single-family homes with more than one tenant were later added.

Rental condos have never been exempt. Count your blessings that you didn't have to pay the fees for the previous 14 years.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday April 15, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 54 words Type of Material: Correction
Rent control: The Apartment Life column Feb. 26 in Real Estate reported that as a result of the state Costa-Hawkins Act of 1995, condominiums are no longer under price -- or rent -- control. In fact, condos rented on or before Dec. 31, 1995, are still covered by the price-control aspects of the act.


Rent hike goes to 4% in July

Question: I thought that the basic annual increase for rent-controlled units in L.A. was 3%. According to you, it seems to be 4%. Is that the case now?

Answer: That will be the case as of July 1. Until then, the basic rate increase remains at 3%. When rent control started in 1979, annual increases were 7%, although they have been limited to 3% for several years.


Whatever you call it, it's still L.A.

Question: Is Sherman Oaks under the L.A. rent control law?

Answer: Yes. Sherman Oaks is part of Los Angeles. There are many other sections of L.A., such as Venice, San Pedro and Woodland Hills, that have their own identities, yet are parts of the city and subject to its laws.


Eviction notice reverts to 30 days

Question: I have rented a two-bedroom apartment in West L.A. for nine years. Now, the owner is evicting me to put his son in the unit. He has given me a 30-day notice, but I thought I was entitled to a 60-day notice. Am I wrong?

Answer: Under the Los Angeles rent control law, you are entitled to a 30-day notice to move, plus relocation fees.

Effective Jan. 1, the law that had required the owner to give you a 60-day notice to move expired and was not renewed by the Legislature, so it reverted back to the former 30-day notice requirement.

If your unit is covered by the city's rent law, you also are entitled to relocation fees of either $3,300 or $8,200.

Units inhabited by seniors (62 and older), tenants with minor children (younger than 18) or the handicapped get $8,200. Others get $3,300.


Kevin Postema is the editor of Apartment Age magazine, a publication of the Apartment Assn. of Greater Los Angeles, an apartment owners' service group. E-mail questions about apartment living to

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