Advocacy at the South Bay Association of REALTORS®

County Supervisors extend rent control, add new mandates without working with housing providers

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors last week extended a temporary rent control ordinance for unincorporated county. Without any collaboration or consultation with housing providers, the Board also tacked on a number of other provisions which negatively impact housing providers while doing nothing to resolve our region’s ongoing housing crisis.

The County Supervisors had already passed an interim ordinance in 2018 which capped rent increases at 3% per year for eligible properties in unincorporated Los Angeles County. This ordinance was set to expire this June so the County rushed to put in place an extension through December 31, 2019 while working on some kind of permanent ordinance.

However, at the same time that the County was extending its rent control ordinance, it also slipped in several other provisions. None of these new extras were shared with housing providers, including SBAOR, and we have protested vehemently the County’s mad rush to enact fresh new mandates that impact our profession while doing virtually nothing to address our region’s actual housing crisis.

Among the new parts of the County’s extended rent control ordinance:

  • Expand Just Cause eviction protections to all rental units – including single family homes – except those designated as exempt.
  • Come up with a plan for a “Rent Review Board” to oversee current and future ordinances adopted by the Board concerning rent stabilization, mobile home rent regulation, tenant protections, and other matters.
  • Ask County departments to report on “the conditions of the County’s rental housing stock, highlighting code enforcement needs, and a plan for the development of a Countywide code enforcement program to monitor and improve rental housing conditions”.
  • Educate and conduct outreach to members of the public, utilizing social media as well as other mediums, to educate renters and owners, and to direct individuals to resources, such as consumer counseling and advocacy groups to educate on the potential impacts of this ordinance on their individual situations.
  • Create a “rental registry system”, including a preservation database, a centralized waiting list, and other data systems which could cost up to $1.4 million. This rental registry system may include a rental housing stock assessment, code enforcement plan, and activities concerning rent stabilization, and tenant protections.

Some matters, such as education of tenants and property owners are something we can easily support: Everyone must know their own rights and responsibilities before signing on the dotted line.

And yet, many of these other items were conceived without consulting with or checking in on housing providers. This is an unfortunate oversight that does not bode well for good governance or a regulatory policy that works. SBAOR joins other housing providers in the County to urge a balanced approach to addressing housing in our area.