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    News and Announcements

    2018_Spring_Newsletter

    Spring Newsletter Delivered Last Week

    Our spring Rent Control News was delivered to all tenants and property owners last week. The spring issue is full of important information for everyone, including an overview of the discussion the Rent Control Board recently had regarding limitations on the pass-through of property-tax related surcharges and new regulations. A second feature article includes highlights from the Rent Control Agency’s 2017 Annual Report. Each tenant’s newsletter also includes the MAR for the unit as it is registered with Rent Control. Check out the newsletter here and learn what’s happening that may affect you.


    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.

     

    Public Notice of Changes in Rent Control Regulations

    At its regular meeting on January 25, 2018, the Santa Monica Rent Control Board adopted Regulation 3120 and made amendments to Regulations 3105, 3106, 3108 and 3109.

    The new and amended regulations will phase out pass throughs of certain items that appear on owners' property tax bills regarding voted indebtedness and direct assessments by eliminating surcharge pass throughs to tenants in the following instances:

    1)   The unit's rent is established  for a new tenancy starting on or after March 1, 2018; or

    2)   The unit is in a building that is reassessed as the result of an ownership transfer on or after March 1, 2018; or

    3)   The unit is on a property that is reassessed on or after March 1, 2018 as the result of significant improvements.

    Copies of the amended regulations are available at the Rent Control Agency in Room 202 at City Hall or online by clicking here. Anyone interested in further information about the new regulations should contact the Rent Control Board at 310-458-8751 or visit our offices.

    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.
     

    New Requirement for Owners to Provide Rent Control                    Information Sheet to Tenants at Time of Rental

    Rent Control Information SheetRecognizing 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.


    2017 Annual Registration Fee Set at $198 per Unit

    To cover the reasonable and necessary expenses of the Rent Control Agency, the Rent Control Board amended Regulation 11200 to increase the annual registration fee for a controlled unit from $174.96 to $198.00 per year. The upcoming fiscal year runs from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018. Divided by 12 months, the annual fee per unit of $198 amounts to $16.50 per month. If all registration fees are paid by August 1st of this year, owners may pass through to qualifying tenants half of the monthly amount, which is $8.25, beginning September 1st of this year and continuing for the following 12 months. The registration fee pass-through is in addition to the maximum allowable rent and any surcharges from the tax bill that may be passed through. The Rent Control Agency will be sending registration fee bills to owners at the end of June. Owners may pay fees online, as indicated below. Owners who need to update their mailing addresses should file a Change of Mailing Address form immediately.


    NEW 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.


    Buyout_Rights_Disclosure_Form

    Owners Must Disclose Tenant Rights Prior to Making Buyout Offers

    At the Board's March 12th 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. The notice required by the regulation is now available at the Board's office and here. At its April 9th 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.


    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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1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 · (310) 458-8411 · TTY (310) 917-6626