Rent Control for Culver City?

Culver City City Council is exploring the possibility of implementing a temporary rent control law. Photo: Courtesy.

City Council propose12-month moratorium

By Staff Writer

Rent control for Culver City?

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At its June 24, 2019 meeting, Culver City City Council provided direction to city staff to return with a proposed 12-month moratorium ordinance for rent increases in the city.

“Everyone needs a home, and everyone needs a livelihood. Culver City’s tenants are concerned with runaway costs, stability and predictability, and so are landlords. Their concerns are strikingly similar – even though their ‘sides’ are different. Our challenge is to bridge that divide, to bring individuals together, and to provide stability for those who depend on housing and those who provide housing. We all want our families to thrive,” said Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells. “I look forward to a constructive community dialogue while we tackle the humanitarian crisis of homelessness, and the immense challenges of housing affordability and displacement.”

The City Council has directed staff to use L.A. County’s Temporary Rent Stabilization Ordinance as a model and include the following: 

  • A 3% rent increase cap, or other appropriate percentage amount that can be supported by the findings;
  • A rent cap to be retroactive to June 24, 2019, or other appropriate date that can be supported by the findings;
  • Just cause and no fault eviction provisions;
  • A process for landlords to petition for relief from moratorium in certain circumstances; and
  • Relocation assistance of $1,000 and three months’ rent, or other appropriate amount that can be supported by the findings.

The City Council further directed staff to:

  • Research the possibility of a rental registry requirement, either included in the moratorium ordinance or reviewed during the moratorium period, as feasible;
  • Seek funding to retain an ombudsperson to assist with outreach to tenants and landlords regarding the City Council’s consideration of the moratorium ordinance;
  • Provide notification in Spanish and other non-English languages as needed; and
  • Return to the City Council with a proposed moratorium ordinance by August 12, 2019.

Any moratorium that may be adopted by City Council must be consistent with state law (1995 Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act), which places limits on city rent control ordinances.  One such limitation is the exemption from rent control for certain types of residential units, e.g. single family dwellings, condominiums and any dwelling unit built after February 1, 1995.