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Information by Subject

Information by Subject

The Rent Control staff answers questions on a range of landlord-tenant issues. The following information sheets were developed to assist tenants and property owners with their most commonly asked questions.

Popular Topics

Buyout Offer Petition Process
Community Resource Directory Registration Fees
Eviction Relocation
How to Prepare for a Hearing Rent Control Terms & Definitions
Locks Security Deposits
Maintenance and Apartment Repairs Smoking on Residential Properties
Measure RR Surcharges
Mediation Temporary Rent Reductions
Owning Rent-Controlled Property in SM Tenant Harassment
  Workshops & Seminars

Buyout Offer I Download

At the Board's March 12th, 2015 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. At its April 9th, 2015 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.

Community Resource Directory  I  Download

Links to useful organizations providing services to property owners and tenants.

Eviction  I  Download

The Rent Control Law limits the reasons a tenancy may be terminated in a rent-controlled unit. 

How to Prepare for a Hearing  I  Download

A list of commonly asked questions about Rent Control hearings and procedures.

Locks  I  Download  

California state law requirements regarding locks on doors and windows.

Maintenance and Apartment Repairs  I  Download

Brief overview of mandatory apartment repairs. What to do if the owner fails to make them.

Measure RR - Eviction Protections Expanded  I  Download

Changes to Rent Control Law and the City Charter approved by voters in the November 2010 election.  


Free mediation services provided by the Rent Control Board to resolve disputes between tenants and property owners relating to petitions filed with the Board.  

Owning Rent-Controlled Property in Santa MonicaI  Download

Highlights of the Santa Monica Rent Control Law for current and prospective residential property owners.

Petition Process

What is a petition? When are they filed and how? Here are some quick answers.   

Registration Fees

Property owners are required to pay an annual registration fee for every unit subject to the Santa Monica Rent Control law.


In some situations, Santa Monica Law requires landlords to pay tenants' expenses when they are temporarily or permanently displaced from their homes. 

Rent Control Terms & Definitions

A list of commonly used rent control-related terms and acronyms.

Security Deposits  I  Download   

How much can a landlord ask for when you move in, deduct when you move out, and most things in between.

Smoking on Residential Properties 

Rules affecting smoking on multi-unit residential properties.


The maximum lawful rent a property owner may charge for a controlled rental unit is composed of three things: the MAR, the registration fee pass-through, and certain allowable surcharges that are calculated based on charges that appear on the property owner's annual property tax bill. 

Temporary Rent Reductions

Guidelines for drafting an agreement to temporarily reduce an existing tenant’s rent.

Tenant Harassment I  Download   

Tenants in Santa Monica rental housing units have protections against harassment by property owners.

Workshops & Seminars  

The Rent Control Board organizes a number of free seminars open to tenants and property owners.    

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