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Rent Control

May 26, 2010 | By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times
An epic landlord-tenant battle in Venice has ended with three legal settlements that would preserve the postwar-era Lincoln Place apartments, return scores of evicted residents to their homes and add hundreds of below-market-rate units to the housing-starved Westside. The Los Angeles City Council is expected Wednesday to ratify the city's pact with AIMCO Venezia, the owner of the 38-acre complex. The agreement, disclosed Tuesday, was reached earlier this month after 18 months of negotiations.
May 21, 2010 | Paul Habibi and Eric Sussman
On Friday, the Los Angeles City Council is likely to pass an ordinance preventing many landlords from raising rents for four months. This is a step in the wrong direction. Instead, the council should revoke the city's Rent Stabilization Ordinance entirely. Rent control policies have laudable goals, especially in populous and undersupplied housing markets like Los Angeles'. However, the city's law, like all rent control, has failed to accomplish its objectives in the more than 30 years since it was passed.
March 29, 2009 | Janet Portman, Inman News
Question: We own a duplex in a rent-controlled city, rent out the downstairs and live upstairs. My elderly mother wants to sell her home, and we would like her to move in downstairs. How can we get the current tenant to move? Answer: Most rent-control ordinances require landlords to have a "just cause," a legally recognized reason, to terminate a rent-controlled tenancy. Common reasons include a tenant's failure to pay rent, excessive damage, unauthorized occupants, or the landlord's desire to take the rental off the market.
December 18, 2008 | Jessica Garrison
The Los Angeles City Council approved a new law Wednesday that puts a one-year moratorium on banks evicting tenants when they foreclose apartment buildings and houses used as rental property. The law, proposed by City Council President Eric Garcetti, came after Countrywide pressured tenants in foreclosed apartments to leave their units in violation of the city's tenant protection rules. After the banks complained that they did not understand that tenant protections applied to them, Garcetti's office said, the councilman proposed the law to protect tenants.
July 27, 2008 | H. May Spitz, Special to The Times
Question: I have been living for the last 20 years in a month-to-month rental in a single-family residence. The landlord now is selling the property. What type of notice will I be given, 60 or 90 days? Does it go by the close of escrow? What if I stay? Also, is the landlord responsible for any cost in my moving expenses? Answer: The answer to your question depends on the definition of your housing situation and locale. Are you a bona fide tenant or just an individual renting a room in someone's house?
June 15, 2008 | Kevin Postema, Special to The Times
Question: I recently moved in with my girlfriend in Los Angeles. Her landlord informed her that with me as an additional tenant, the rent will go up 10%. I have lived in L.A. for years and have never heard of this. The apartment manager said it's the law. Is this right? Or is this just the landlord coming up with a way to make a little more money? Answer: Under Los Angeles' rent control ordinance, owners generally are allowed to charge 10% extra for each additional resident.
June 4, 2008 | Patrick McGreevy, Times Staff Writer
Californians on Tuesday rejected a state ballot measure that would have phased out rent control and barred government agencies from taking homes, businesses and farms for private development. While Proposition 98 was falling short, voters approved Proposition 99, a more narrowly drawn competing measure that prohibits government agencies from using eminent domain powers to force the sale of owner-occupied residences for private projects.
May 27, 2008 | Patrick McGreevy
Prop. 98 on the June 3 ballot asks voters to decide whether the state should restrict government agencies from using powers of eminent domain to force the sale of properties for use in private development, as well as whether to phase out rent control in California. A competing measure on the same ballot, Prop. 99, would prohibit government agencies from using eminent domain to take owner-occupied homes. It does not address rent control.
May 21, 2008
Re "Prop. 99's false promise of reform," Opinion, May 19 I almost gagged on my coffee as I read Ilya Somin's screed lambasting Proposition 99 and supporting Proposition 98. Somin attempts to argue that Proposition 98 protects renters and Proposition 99 does not. Yet he conveniently omits the fact that Proposition 98 would phase out all local rent control ordinances. It seems the Howard Jarvis mentality is that property owners should be protected by limitations on both the rate of taxation and annual increases, but renters are not entitled to the same consideration.
May 14, 2008
Re "No bait-and-switch," editorial, May 12 The Times opposes Proposition 98 because it would phase out rent control in California. However, there are serious problems with this argument. The "serious debate" about rent control that must supposedly come first is long since over. The adverse social consequences it produces -- including reduced apartment construction, deteriorating housing, shortages, increased discrimination and landlord-tenant hostility -- are among the most universally accepted propositions among economists.
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