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  • Si tiene alguna pregunta, por favor llame a la Agencia de Control de Rentas al (310)458-8751 y pida hablar con un analista que habla español.

    News and Announcements

    Upcoming Board Meetings to be Held in Civic Auditorium

    The Rent Control Board will be holding the February, March and April Board meetings in the East Wing of the Civic Auditorium at 1855 Main Street due to construction in the Council Chambers of City Hall. The public is advised that there is no longer parking in the surface lot adjacent to the Civic Auditorium so attendees should park in the Civic Center Parking Structure (333 Olympic Drive) located east of the Courthouse Building. Validations will be provided.

    6th Annual Landlord-Tenant Forum Video Now Available

    Landlord_Tenant_ForumOn December 4th, about 60 Santa Monica landlords and tenants braved the rain to attend this year’s Landlord-Tenant Forum at the Thelma Terry Center in Virginia Avenue Park. Co-presented by the Rent Control Agency and the Consumer Protection Division of the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office, the forum is part of the City’s ongoing effort to increase public awareness of how local and state laws impact landlords and tenants. The event featured presentations on new developments in California law, updates on Rent Control regulations, Code Enforcement’s role with regard to construction-related tenant harassment, Section 8 voucher discrimination and other topics. If you missed it, you can watch the full video here.

    Introducing Rent 20/20 – Read About It in Fall Issue of Rent Control News

    2019_Fall_NewsletterThe cover story in our latest newsletter highlights the anticipated launch next spring of our new information system and the benefits it will offer. Dubbed Rent 20/20, the system will feature a web portal property owners, managers and tenants will be able to use to have better visibility to Rent Control records. With this new system, users will be able to view property-specific information, submit updates, make payments and search thousands of documents in our property files online. The newsletter also includes important information about the expansion of the Preserving Our Diversity program, one of the City’s efforts to help very low-income seniors at risk of displacement. Details on these new developments and more are here in Rent Control News.

    New Removal Permit Regulations

    The Board, at its October 10, 2019 meeting, adopted new regulations to address the recent California Appeals Court ruling in favor of the Rent Control Board asserting jurisdiction over properties/units that were formerly granted removal permits but stayed as residential rental units. The Regulations will do three basic things:
    • Regulation 5100 clarifies that a removal permit does one thing, and one thing only: allow an owner to take a controlled unit off the rental market (i.e., stop renting it).
    • Regulation 5101 clarifies that a unit is subject to rent control whenever it is rented or held out for rent. So even after the Board grants a removal permit, the unit remains subject to control until and unless the unit is actually taken off the market pursuant to the permit. And if a removed unit is ever again put on the market, it is again subject to rent control.
    • Regulation 5102 Specifies that removal permits expire if not acted on in a timely fashion:
      • Permits issued before October 15, 2018 are expired if they were not acted on by October 15, 2019;
      • Permits issued to take units off the market because they are uninhabitable or because they prevent the owner from realizing a fair return expire if not used within 90 days;
      • Permits issued to allow for new development that includes low-income housing and new controlled units expire if not used within 2 years. 
    The Regulations can be found here in Chapter 5.

    2019 General Adjustment is 2% with a $44 Cap

    2%The Santa Monica Rent Control Board recently announced a General Adjustment (GA) of 2% for eligible units, with a maximum $44 increase for rents of $2,175 and above. For units that qualify, owners may increase rents by the GA effective September 1, 2019 with proper notice.

    Toward the end of June, the Rent Control Agency will send all tenants and owners a mailing explaining this year’s increase. Owners will also be mailed the following:
    1) Report of Maximum Allowable Rents
    This custom report details for each property owner which units are eligible for this year’s GA and how much of an increase is allowed for each unit. Among other requirements, tenancies must have begun before September 1, 2018 and be registered with Rent Control to be eligible for the GA. This report is helpful when completing the Notice of Change in Terms of Tenancy 2019 form.

    2) Notice of Change in Terms of Tenancy 2019 Form

    Owners may use this form to notice tenants in eligible units of the amount of rent increase per the GA, pass-through of one-half of the Rent Control Registration Fee, and any surcharges from the property tax bill that may be added. Please read the step-by-step instructions included in the mailing to complete the form correctly. You can access the 2019 form by clicking here.

    In a separate mailing, owners will also receive the 2019/2020 Registration Fee Bill. The fee per unit remains $198 per year. Fees are due August 1, 2019. Owners may pay fees on this website for less than the price of a stamp. Click here to pay online or use the ONLINE BILL PAY link in the blue Quicklinks box on the right.

    For owners needing help completing the Notice of Change in Terms of Tenancy, we will hold a workshop at the Main Public Library on the evening of July 15th. If you would like to attend, please send us an email to register and be sure to include the property address for which you would like assistance.

    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.


    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.

    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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