LA City Council votes to end 3-year freeze on rent hikes

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The council decided to base the increase on inflation data from October 2022 through September 2023 rather than the prior year, which would have resulted in a steeper rent hike, according to the “Los Angeles Daily News.”

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The Los Angeles City Council voted this week to allow landlords of rent-stabilized units to hike the cost of rent by 4 percent to 6 percent after a three-year, pandemic-era freeze. 

Landlords who cover the cost of utilities can raise rent up to 6 percent. Those who don’t can raise it 4 percent, the Los Angeles Times reported. The change applies to over 600,000 units across the city. 

The City Council also began the step of formally distinguishing between independent, or “mom-and-pop,” landlords with institutional or corporate landlords amid a period of angst around housing costs and investor ownership.

“I just hope that folks are ready to look at themselves when we see an increase (in eviction filings) because if we increase rent, people are going to get evicted and we’re not going to stop this eviction to homelessness pipeline,” Councilwoman Eunisses Hernandez said, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

Los Angeles’ 1979 rent control law ties rent hikes to inflation, and it applies to buildings constructed before 1978.

The council decided to base the increase on inflation data from October 2022 through September 2023 rather than the prior year, which would have resulted in a steeper rent hike, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

The move to distinguish independent landlords from corporate landlords is an attempt to make sure smaller landlords can receive city resources, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.

One councilman said he worried that limiting rent hikes would spur more independent landlords to sell their properties to institutional investors.

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