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    A new issue of Rent Control News was recently mailed to tenants and landlord of rent-controlled units in Santa Monica. It's full of useful information.  Articles cover the City’s Landlord/Tenant Forum, the November election’s changes to the Rent Control Board, the renewal of Community Corporation’s Housing List, and more.  We also provided a number of community resources for issues as varied as getting legal advice, dealing with clutter and short-term rentals.  As always, each tenant can also check the Maximum Allowable Rent for their unit, which is printed on the inside flap. You should have received the newsletter by now and you can also view it here.


    Anastasia Foster


    Caroline Torosis


    Christopher Walton


    Appointed incumbent Anastasia Foster and newcomer Caroline Torosis were elected to the Rent Control Board in the November general election.

    Ms. Foster was appointed to the Board in February 2016 to fill a vacant position. She worked the Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights hotline for many years prior to her appointment and has been a strong advocate for the elderly and disabled.

    Ms. Torosis is a consumer rights attorney and has successfully mediated hundreds of Unlawful Detainer cases between tenants and landlords to help avoid eviction proceedings. Ms. Torosis will begin her term at the January 12, 2017, Board meeting.

    Christopher Walton will serve his last meeting as Commissioner on Thursday, December 8, 2016. Mr. Walton served on the Board from 2013-2016, including time as Vice-Chairperson and Chairperson. He was a tireless advocate of applying the Rent Control Law fairly to deliver justice and equity. We thank him for his service.


    Announcement of 2016 General Adjustment with $25 ceiling

    At its June 9th meeting, the Board adopted Resolution 16-001 announcing the 2016 General Adjustment of 1.3% and imposing a $25 ceiling for rents of $1,885 and above. Tenants and owners should expect our summer mailing about the 2016 General Adjustment around the end of June. Tenants will get general information about the increase and the other fees and surcharges that they may be asked to pay. Owners will get a detailed MAR report for each unit they own that will be helpful in calculating this year's increase. Owners will also receive a Notice of Change in Terms of Tenancy form that may be used to notice tenants if they intend to take the adjustment this year.




    Rent Control's 2015 Consolidated Annual Report is now available and can be accessed here.  As the Agency has done in recent years, the Annual Report combines the substance of Rent Control Board Annual Reports, Impact of the Ellis Act, and Impact of Market Rate Vacancies, three reports issued independently in previous years.  By combining them in the same report, the Consolidated Annual Report presents yearly information regarding the status of controlled rental housing as well as a summary of the Board's and Agency's activities during the year.


    Owners Must Disclose Tenant Rights Prior to Making Buyout Offers

    At the Board's March 12th meeting, a new regulation was adopted (Regulation 9011) to effectuate Santa Monica Municipal Code Section 4.56.050(b), which requires landlords to serve a notice on tenants of certain rights before the landlord makes a buyout offer to the tenant. The notice required by the regulation is now available at the Board's office and here. At its April 9th Board meeting the Board amended the new regulation to require landlords to file "buyout agreements" with the Rent Control Board. Tenants are under no obligation to accept buyout offers and should realistically evaluate whether any amount offered is sufficient to cover the loss of a controlled rental unit.


    Vacancy Unit Registration FormThe Vacancy Unit Registration Form is Now Available Online!

    Until now, the Rent Control Board has required owners to register new tenancies on a 3-part multicolored form that was only available from our office. Now, a single-page form can simply be downloaded for this purpose. Much of the form can be filled out online using your keyboard, but since the Rent Control Law requires a statement signed under penalty of perjury, owners must print out and sign the completed form and then mail it or bring it to Rent Control. Traditional, 3-part forms are still available for those who want them, but to get one right away, use this link to download the Vacancy Unit Registration Form from the following page.
     emailElectronic Communications Sign-Up

    In keeping with the goals of a sustainable Santa Monica, the Rent Control Agency is giving people who receive communications from the Agency the option of having future communications that are available electronically delivered by email.  To sign up to receive Rent Control communications electronically, click here to access a sign-up form.
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