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    News and Announcements

    2018 General Adjustment Announced by Board


    2.9%At their meeting on June 14th, the Rent Control Board announced a 2.9% General Adjustment for 2018 with a maximum increase of $60.00. With proper written notice, owners may implement the approved GA as of September 1, 2018 for tenancies that began before September 1, 2017. Maximum Allowable Rents that are $2,052 or higher may be increased no more than $60. Owners who pay their annual registration fees on time (by August 1st) may also add $8.25 as a monthly pass-through of one-half of that fee. Also effective September 1, 2018 are new limits on the amount of property-tax-related surcharges that may be passed through to tenants. Property-tax-related surcharges may not exceed actual pro-rated amounts from the property tax bill, 4% of the 2018/2019 Maximum Allowable Rent for a unit, or $35, whichever of these is less.
     

    Property-Tax-Related Surcharges

    In some instances, in addition to the MAR and one-half of the Rent Control registration fee, owners may charge tenants a pro rata (proportionate) share of some of the property taxes they pay. The surcharges are limited to five line-items on the owner's property tax bill which result from ballot measures approved by Santa Monica voters in prior elections. Surcharges may be passed-through if all the following are true:

    • The tenancy began before March 1, 2018;
    • The property value was not reassessed on or after March 1, 2018 due to a sale or voluntary improvements, and;
    • The owner properly noticed the tenant which includes providing a copy of the property tax bill to the tenant - unless the only tax being passed through is the School District Parcel Tax (see below).

    IMPORTANT! If the property value is reassessed on or after March 1, 2018 due to a sale or voluntary improvements, the owner may no longer pass through these property-tax-related surcharges to any tenant.

    The five line-items below may be passed through if the conditions above are true:
    • Community College Bond
    • Unified Schools Bond
    • Stormwater Management User Fee
    • Clean Beaches and Ocean Parcel Tax
    • School District Special Tax
    Click here for more information on surcharges and related rent control regulations.
     

    Owners Must Disclose Tenant Rights Prior to Making Buyout Offers and Submit Agreements to Rent Control

    In Santa Monica, landlords and their agents are required to give tenants a notice of certain rights before offering any form of compensation in exchange for a tenant's agreement to voluntarily vacate a controlled rental unit. The Notice of a Tenant's Rights with Respect to a Buyout Offer is available at the Board's office and here. Landlords are required to file copies of all buyout agreements with the Rent Control Board no sooner than 31 days, and no later than 60 days, after the agreement has been signed by all parties. If a landlord fails to follow these requirements, a tenant may cancel the buyout agreement.

    Tenants are under no obligation to accept buyout offers and should realistically evaluate whether any amount offered is sufficient to make up for the loss of a controlled rental unit. Additional information about buyouts and average amounts of buyout agreements filed with Rent Control since 2015 are available here by year, city area and unit size. You can also download a full spreadsheet of recorded buyout agreements.


    Annual_Report_2017sRent Control Board 2017 Annual Report

    The Rent Control Board's 2017 Annual Report has been released!  Reviewed by the Board at its April meeting, the report includes sections on the Status of Controlled Rental Housing, the Impact of Market-Rate Vacancy Increases and the Impact of the Ellis Act. The report also highlights the work of the Rent Control Board's five elected commissioners and explains how the Agency's four divisions act to inform the public of its rights and responsibilities and to enforce the rent control law.  Take a look at the report here.

     

    OWNERS: Register New Tenancies Online

    Property owners and their authorized agents may now file Tenancy Registration forms online. No longer are owners required to bring or mail paper forms to the Rent Control office each time a new tenancy is registered. Instead, owners may register new tenancies right from this website. Forms are submitted electronically, and when they are received, we'll send confirmation by email. No more guessing if we received the form. Online filing saves postage, paper and time. Visit our Registering New Tenants and Amenities page for more information.

    Owners Must Provide Rent Control Info Sheet to All New Tenants

    Recognizing that knowledge may lead to more effective communications, the Rent Control Board recently adopted a regulation requiring that for all tenancies starting on or after July 31, 2017, landlords must give new tenants a Board-produced information sheet about the Rent Control Law at the time of lease signing.

    The single-sheet document contains rent control basics including information about rent levels and rent increases, eviction protections, maintenance and repairs, and base amenities. It also includes information on other important issues affecting Santa Monica tenants and landlords such as home-sharing, smoking restrictions, harassment, and construction work in occupied buildings. Tenants are encouraged to acknowledge receipt of the information sheet by signing and dating the form. If a landlord fails to provide the information sheet to a tenant at the beginning of a tenancy, the landlord will not be able to implement the general adjustment for the unit until they comply with the requirement.

    The information sheet can be downloaded here, but it will also be mailed to all landlords at the end of June. Additional copies can be picked up at the Rent Control Office in Room 202 of City Hall.


    SEMINAR WEBPAGE

    Rent Control staff is frequently asked for copies of the PowerPoint slide presentations used at our various annual seminars.  Also, it has been suggested that we videotape seminars and make the video accessible through our website for those who were unable to attend.  In response to both of these requests, we have added a new webpage, entitled “Rent Control Seminars,” that can be found under “Information & FAQs” on our homepage.  The Rent Control Seminars page now includes not only a calendar of all tentatively planned seminars for the current year, but also full-length videos and modified PowerPoint slide presentations of past seminars. You can access the Rent Control Seminars page here.


    Owners Must Disclose Tenant Rights Prior to Making Buyout Offers and Record Agreements with Rent Control

    Rent Control Regulation 9011, effectuating Santa Monica Municipal Code Section 4.56.050(b), requires landlords to serve a notice on tenants of certain rights before offering any form of compensation in exchange for a tenant’s agreement to voluntarily vacate a controlled rental unit. The Notice of a Tenant’s Rights with Respect to a Buyout Offer is available at the Board's office and here. The regulation also requires landlords to file copies of any buyout agreement with the Rent Control Board no sooner than 31 days, and no later than 60 days, after the agreement has been signed by all parties. 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.


    Electronic 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.
     
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