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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

     
    Our public counter at City Hall has reopened, and we can serve you in person once again! Please select the blue Contact Us button on the left for updated phone and counter service hours. 

     

    Summer Mailing Has Been Sent

    All owners and tenants should have received our summer mailing explaining this year’s general adjustment to Maximum Allowable Rents (MARs). In late June, owners were sent customized MAR reports and a form they may use to notice tenants of an increase to the rents they pay, effective September 1. A fillable form may be downloaded below, along with narrated step-by-step instructions for completing it. In a separate mailing, owners were sent a bill for annual registration fees that are due August 2, which can be paid online here. If you are a property owner and do not receive your bill, please email or call us, and we will send a replacement.

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    State and City of Santa Monica Extend Eviction Moratoria through September 30, 2021

    Governor Newsom signed legislation extending California’s eviction moratorium through September 30, 2021. This followed Interim City Manager Lane Dilg’s issuance of an emergency order on June 24, 2021, extending most provisions of the City’s residential tenant eviction moratorium. 

    While both the City of Santa Monica and the State of California have enacted protections that are designed to keep tenants in their homes during the COVID-19 health crisis, the state’s eviction moratorium applies only to nonpayment of rent. The City’s extension prohibits the following types of evictions until September 30, 2021: 

    • No-fault termination of tenancy or occupancy (except for a limited exception for owner-occupancy evictions in single-family homes) 
    • Unauthorized occupants/unauthorized pets 
    • Nuisance 

    The City’s eviction protection for denial of entry into a unit was NOT extended and ended on June 30, 2021. Click HERE for more information.

    Just as the prior legislation required tenants to pay at least 25 percent of the rent that came due from September 2020 through June 2021, the new legislation also requires tenants to pay at least 25 percent of their monthly rent from July through September 2021 to be protected. The legislation extends the deadline for minimum payments to September 30, 2021 for both periods. The minimum 25 percent owed may be paid either monthly or in a lump sum by that date. Tenants must also provide a statement of financial hardship, and unpaid rent converts to debt that is still owed but cannot be used as a reason for eviction.

    The State Rental Assistance Program was also expanded, and the application process simplified. Rental Assistance funds are still available. Apply at: HousingIsKey.com or call 833-430-2122

    The City of Santa Monica is collaborating with The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution to provide mediation services for landlords and tenants who are navigating payment of deferred rent alongside city- and state-wide eviction moratorium orders. Pro bono services will be offered through the Straus Mediation Clinic and externship program. Landlords and tenants can request free mediation services HERE 

    This is an abbreviated summary of these eviction moratoria, and tenants and landlords are encouraged to seek additional information on state law and legal advice where appropriate.

     


    Board Announces 2021 General Adjustment of 1.7%, Effective 9/1/2021, and Decides to Cap Increases at $39 for MARs of $2,265 or Higher

    At their meeting on May 13, the Rent Control Board announced a 1.7 percent general adjustment for units that qualify for an increase this September. The amount of the increase is per a formula in the Rent Control Charter approved by voters and is based on 75 percent of the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the greater Los Angeles area for the year ending in March. The CPI for the period was 2.2 percent, resulting in the 1.7 percent general adjustment. At their June 10 meeting, the Board decided to apply a formula, also in the Rent Control Charter, that limits this year’s increase for rents of $2,265 or above to $39.

    Tenants and registered owners of rent-controlled property will be sent a mailing in late June with details of the general adjustment. In a separate mailing, owners will receive a bill for FY 2021/2022 registration fees of $198 per unit. Fees are due August 2, and owners are encouraged to pay online using the Online Bill Pay link in the blue box on the right side of this page.


    CA Rent Relief Program Still Accepting Applications: Qualifying renters and landlords are now eligible for 100% of rent and utilities owed.

    Who can apply?

    • Landlords 
    • Renters 

    Landlords and tenants can visit CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program HERE or call 833-430-2122, and if eligible, apply.  

    What’s covered?

    UNPAID RENT
    Landlords who participate in the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program can get reimbursed for an eligible renter’s unpaid rent dating back to April 1, 2020. 
    Eligible renters whose landlords choose not to participate in the program may apply on their own and receive assistance for unpaid rent dating back to April 1, 2020. 

    UPCOMING RENT 
    Eligible renters can receive financial assistance for their upcoming monthly rent, too. 

    UTILITY ASSISTANCE: UNPAID OR UPCOMIN
    Eligible renters may also receive assistance for unpaid utility payments dating back to April 1, 2020, or for future utility payments, which will both be compensated at 100% of cost, limited to a total of 12 months, and paid directly to the utility provider. 

    To check eligibility, review the required application items at the Housing Is Key website. Required information, along with necessary verification items, will be required for applications to be processed. Once an application has been processed, both the landlord and renter will be notified about the application status and next steps. Here are tips on the eligibility form for Santa Monica residents.  
     
    If you need assistance in another language, help to see if you’re eligible, help you fill out an application, or upload required paperwork, a list of partners and locations is available at the Housing Is Key website, under community partners/resources, or by calling 833-687-0967 to schedule an appointment with an organization near you. .
     

    Watch Rent Control Seminars Online Now

    Two of our annual seminars, one designed for tenants and the other for owners of rent-controlled property, were presented virtually in late April. Both were recorded, and you can watch them by clicking the links below. Each presentation is about two hours in length, and both are indexed to allow you to skip to the topics that are most interesting to you. The PowerPoint presentations for each seminar are also available on our Seminars page.

    Tenants’ Introduction to Rent Control (2021)  

    Owning Rent-Controlled Property in Santa Monica (2021)


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    Sign Up for Senior Cash Assistance Program!


    The Preserving Our Diversity program provides cash assistance to very low-income older adults (65+) who are longtime Santa Monica residents in rent-controlled apartments. Qualifying households can receive up to $700/month for one-person households and up to $1,225/month for two-person households. The exact amounts will vary depending on income, rent, and household size. Know someone who might qualify?

    Share this opportunity with them!

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    New Leasing Requirements for Rental Units

    On September 8, 2020 the City Council enacted new leasing requirements that apply to all rental units in Santa Monica.  The ordinance is available here.  The new rules went into effect on October 9, 2020 and require that all rental units adhere to the following rules:
    Units must be rented only to natural persons
    Units must be rented only to tenants intending the unit to be their primary residence
    Units must be rented for an initial term of not less than 1 year
    Units must be rented unfurnished
     
    These new regulations are intended to preserve Santa Monica’s rental housing stock for permanent residents in response to concern regarding loss of rental housing stock to corporations and persons who do not wish to make Santa Monica their primary residence.  

    On October 12, 2020, in response to community input, the City Council adopted amendments to the new leasing requirements. These include permitting an owner who occupies a rental housing unit as their primary residence to lease that unit for more than 30 days and less than a year no more than twice a year for a total period of less than six months. Also, leases necessitated for temporary tenant relocation would not need to comply with any of the four main aspects of the leasing requirements listed above. Council adopted other amendments as well. For more information on leasing requirements, read the staff report or visit the City Planning webpage.

     
     

    Open Access to Rent Control Property Files

    We just opened online access to our property files via our Document Portal. Now, anyone can search by property address or parcel number all of the documents we have scanned dating back to 2005. You can also sort the documents by year or document type to find what you want. The portal includes tenancy registration forms, petitions, hearing officer and Board decisions, correspondence and more. We’re also working on providing documents from earlier years as well. Click here or on the Document Portal icon in the blue Quicklinks box on the right side of this page to give it a try.
     

    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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