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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

    The City of Santa Monica cares about your health and safety. We are working closely with the LA County Department of Public Health to monitor the novel coronavirus. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the City of Santa Monica has closed City facilities to the public at least through July 31, and longer if required.

    Rent Control Board Announces 2020 GA of 1.4% and $32 Cap

    2020_Notice_of_Change_in_TermsAt their June meeting, the Board announced a General Adjustment (GA) of 1.4%, effective September 1, 2020. The Board also approved a maximum increase of $32 that applies to all rents of $2,250 or above, according to a formula approved by voters. The GA applies to qualifying tenancies that began at least one year prior to September 1st of this year. The Rent Control Agency is mailing information about the GA to all property owners and tenants, who should receive it by the end of June. Property owners will also receive a Notice of Change in Terms of Tenancy form that they may use to notify tenants of this year’s increase.

    In a separate mailing that also should arrive by the end of June, property owners will receive a bill for registration fees that must be paid no later than August 3rd. Fees can be paid online by clicking here or on the Online Bill Pay icon in the blue Quicklinks box on the right side of this page. Property owners are strongly encouraged to pay online to avoid late payment due to possible delays in mail service.
     

    City Extends Eviction Moratorium Again - Now to September 30, 2020

    On July 15th, the City of Santa Monica issued a revised supplemental emergency order that extends the City’s eviction moratorium for residential tenants to September 30, 2020. The moratorium covers nonpayment of rent and certain other evictions. The repayment period for residential tenants remains unchanged at twelve months from the time the moratorium ends. To read the full story, click here.
     

    Spring Rent Control Newsletter Available

    2020_Spring_NewsletterOur spring newsletter is designed to help tenants and landlords understand their rights and responsibilities under the City's Emergency Eviction Moratorium that was implemented in response to the public health emergency arising from the coronavirus. As the health crisis and the City's response are fluid, new information that was not available at press time has been released, and the moratorium has been extended through July 31st. Up to date information is always available on the City's COVID-19 website santamonica.gov/coronavirus, and the newsletter includes links to this and other resources that may be helpful.

     

    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.
     

    Santa Monica Further Expands Its Emergency Eviction Moratorium

    On April 30, 2020, the City extended the moratorium through June 30, 2020 and lengthened the amount of time tenants have to pay deferred rent to 12 months after the moratorium ends. The mandatory notice landlords must give tenants about the moratorium has also been updated. To read the full story, please click here.

    VIDEOS:
     

    California Court System Places Immediate Hold on All Eviction Actions

    Under a statewide rule adopted April 6th, 2020 by the California court system, there is an immediate hold on all evictions for the duration of the COVID 19 emergency, regardless of the reason for them, except those necessary to protect the public health and safety. This court rule will remain in place for 90 days after the Governor lifts the state of emergency or the rule is repealed or amended by the state Judicial Council. The rule includes similar provisions to prevent foreclosures from taking place during the emergency. This rule does not affect tenants' obligation to pay rent or comply with lease obligations; nor does it affect landlords' obligations to pay their mortgages, but it provides relief against immediate consequences during the current emergency.
     

    Santa Monica's Temporary Moratorium of Tenancy Terminations & Evictions

    By Gary Rhoades, as published in the Santa Monica Daily Press, March 26, 2020
    (See also "Santa Monica Broadens Its Eviction Moratorium" on this page)

    On March 19, 2020, the Santa Monica City Council ratified the City's emergency moratorium on certain types of termination of tenancies and evictions. The City passed the temporary moratorium as a part of its emergency order in response to the pandemic emergency related to the spread of COVID-19, and as a part of the necessary measures taken in order to protect the public health and safety of its residents, workers, and visitors.

    To continue viewing the entire article, please click here.
     

    Form Tenants May Use to Notify Landlord of Inability to Pay Rent Due to COVID-19

    The City of Santa Monica passed a moratorium on evictions based on non-payment of rent due to COVID-19 loss of income. Residential tenants can use this form to notify landlords that they are unable to pay rent.
     

    Written Agreements are Not Required for Rent Repayments

    No tenant of any rent-controlled unit may be required to sign a written agreement about the repayment of rent temporarily unpaid as the result of COVID-19 related inability to pay. Under the City of Santa Monica emergency order, tenants who are temporarily unable to pay rent as the result of a reduction of income resulting from the health or economic effects of COVID-19 cannot be evicted merely because the reduction of income has caused them to be unable to pay rent. Such tenants are still liable to their landlords for the unpaid rent but have up to 12 months from the end of the declared emergency period to pay the unpaid amount.

    A tenant is not required to sign a written agreement to prevent eviction based on a COVID-19 related nonpayment (or underpayment).  Nor is a written agreement necessary to impose on the tenant the requirement to catch up on rent payments as provided for by the order; it is already the law. A landlord's violation of the order may be prosecuted as a criminal offense.
     
     
     Lane_Dilg
    Santa Monica City Attorney Lane Dilg talks about the City’s measures to protect residential and commercial tenants from eviction if they cannot pay their rent from income loss due to COVID-19.
    Ana_Jara
    Ana Maria Jara proporciona información de la Fiscal de la Ciudad de Santa Monica, Lane Dilg, sobre las medidas tomadas por la ciudad para proteger a inquilinos residenciales y comerciales contra el desalojo si no pueden pagar su alquiler debido a la perdida de ingreso por el COVID-19.
     

    Ending Pause in Petition, Exemption Application & Excess Rent Complaint Submittals

    Due to the Declaration of Emergency related to the novel coronavirus, the closure of City Hall to the public, and the need to protect staff and the public, the Rent Control office temporarily paused the acceptance of new exemption applications, petitions and excess rent complaints.

    As of Monday, May 4th, we are once again accepting all petition and exemption application submittals by mail or email.  If you want to file a petition, excess rent complaint or exemption application, please call our office at 310-458-8751 to speak with an Information Coordinator BEFORE submitting your documents.  Mediations and hearings on all applications or petitions filed will be conducted by teleconference or videoconference until the appropriate authorities advise that it is safe for in-person meetings and hearings to resume.

    Tenants submitting decrease petitions that include items requiring repairs inside the units must be willing to allow owners and/or their representatives to enter the unit to make the requested repairs.  Tenants unwilling to allow entries to their units for the purpose of making repairs should omit those items from their petition.  Alternately, they may consider waiting to file the petition until they are willing to allow access to their unit for repairs.  (Note:  Generally, a tenant may not file a new decrease petition within six (6) months of a final Board decision on a prior decrease petition.)

    Property owners should continue to register ownership changes by mailing the forms to our office and register new tenancies online here or by clicking the "Registering New Tenants" link to the right. Fee waiver applications may also be submitted by mail.
     

    Contacting the Rent Control Board During City Hall Closure

    Because of City Hall's closure to the public through July 31 due to the City's cautionary procedures to combat the COVID-19 threat, the Rent Control walk-in counter will not be available. However, the public may still contact our staff during normal business hours via phone or email. Our phone line (310-458-8751) will be available Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and on our open Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We will be closed on July 3, July 17 and July 31. You may also email our staff at rentcontrol@smgov.net.

    For more information about the City's response to the Coronavirus, you may go here.

    We will continue to update this information as it becomes available to us.
     

    Rent Control's 2019 Annual Report Now Available

    The report overviews the major activities of the Agency during the year and contains analysis of rent levels established in 2019 and the impact of market-rate rentals since vacancy decontrol began in 1999. Median rents set in 2019 continued to reach new record highs, limiting affordability to all but the highest earning households, while limits on increases to rents set in earlier years provided relative value to tenants who remained in place. The report also quantifies the impact of the Ellis Act, which since 1986 has been used to withdraw more than 2,000 units from the controlled housing stock. The full 55-page report is available here
     

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


    The 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.

    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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