City of Los Angeles Tenant Protections

The information below is provided by Tenants Together, based partially on research conducted by the Urban Displacement Project, and was last updated in October 2018. For complete information on the City's tenant protections, please visit their website here.

Disclaimer: This website is for general information and none of the information provided constitutes legal advice. In addition, please note that ordinances are periodically updated, modified, or interpreted by regulations. We recommend contacting the City for the official version of its law in the event that you intend to rely on this information.

Rent control is effective at keeping people in their homes. Rent control policies limit rent increases and provide greater housing stability for tenants. Rent control ordinances in California allow landlords to set the initial rent in any amount, but limit rent increases after a tenancy begins.

Rent control is often combined with eviction protections, known as "just cause for eviction," to make sure that landlords do not get around the rent increase limits by simply evicting tenants arbitrarily and bringing in new tenants. Just Cause protections provide basic fairness and prevent retaliation, discrimination, and harassment proactively.


Rating 1
What protections does the City have? Rent Control and Just Cause Protections
Year Just Cause Originally Adopted 1979
Year Most Recent Just Cause Amendment N/A
Year Rent Control Orginally Adopted 1979
Year Most Recent Rent Control Amendment N/A

Just Cause Protections Summary

What causes for eviction are considered just cause - tenant at-fault?
  • Failure to pay rent
  • Violation of the rental agreement or lease
  • Unreasonable interference with the comfort, safety or enjoyment of other tenants, or damaging the rental unit or the property
  • Using your rental unit or the common areas of the property for an illegal purpose
  • Refusal to renew a lease or rental agreement of like terms and conditions
  • Refusing the landlord reasonable access to the rental unit for repairs and inspections to name a couple of examples
  • At the end of a lease term, the landlord discovers the tenant is not the person who initially rented the unit and the landlord didn’t approve this person’s tenancy
What causes for eviction are considered just cause - no-fault?
  • Owner Move-In
  • Primary renovation work
  • Demolition
  • Removal of unit from rental market
  • Compliance with government agency order to vacate
  • The rental unit is in a Residential Hotel, and the landlord seeks to recover possession of the rental unit in order to convert or demolish the unit
  • The landlord seeks to recover possession of the rental unit to convert the subject property to an affordable housing accommodation
Key Exemption Summary
  • Single family homes, except where two or more dwelling units are located on the same lot
  • Housing accommodations located in a structure for which the first certificate of occupancy was issued after October 1, 1978
  • Recreational vehicles which are not occupied by a tenant who has continuously resided in the park for nine or more months
  • Any mobile home park for which a permit to operate is defined in Chapter 4 of Part 2.1 of Division 13 of the California Health and Safety Code was first issued on or after the effective date of this amendment (“existing park”)
Minimum tenancy for coverage? There is no minimum tenancy length for coverage.

Rent Control Protections Summary

Do Rent Control protections apply to new construction? No. Rent control protections only apply to units built before 10/01/1978
What triggers the obligation to pay relocation assistance?
  • Owner Move-In
  • Eviction of a tenant for occupancy by a resident manager
  • Demolition
  • Permanent removal from the rental housing market
  • Compliance with a governmental agency order
  • HUD re-conveyance, i.e. when the Secretary of HUD seeks to vacate the property prior to a sale
  • Residential hotel unit conversion and demolition
  • Conversions to affordable housing accommodations
  • The landlord demolishes the property or converts the use of the property to condominiums, stock cooperatives, community apartment projects, hotels and commercial uses, regardless of whether the property is subject to the RSO
What units are eligible for Rent Control and which are exempt?
  • Eligible Units: Property built on or before October 1, 1978, newly constructed units that replaced demolised RSO (Rent Stabalization Ordinance) rental units
  • Exempt Units: Buildings completed after 1978, one house on a lot, government funded units, and luxury units. Note: RSO (Rent Stabalization Ordinance) regulates rent increases and evictions
Additional Details If you are under rent control, you have at least eviction protections, relocation assistance, and security deposit interest.
Banking Allowed? Yes
Does the landlord have the petition for additional rent increases? Yes
On what grounds is the landlord allowed to petition for additional increases in rent?
  • Capital Improvement Program: Landlords can recover costs for improvements to the rental unit or common areas for items that benefit the tenant and will last at least five years (RAC Reg 210).
  • Primary Renovation Program: Landlords can recover costs for major renovations of building systems or to reduce exposure to hazardous materials (THP Bulletin).
  • Seismic Retrofit Program: Landlords can recover costs for seismic retrofit work mandated by the Soft-Story Ordinance No. 183893.
  • Rehabilitation Program: Landlords can recover costs for work in a unit or common area to comply with an order issued by HCIDLA or other government entities (RAC Reg 250).
  • Just and Reasonable Rent Increase: A landlord can apply for a rent increase when their net operating income adjusted for inflation is not sufficient to cover the property's operating expenses (RAC Reg 240).
  • Luxury Exemption: A landlord can apply for an exemption from the RSO if they can establish the monthly rent charged on or before May 31, 1978*.
  • Landlord can raise rent for additional tenant without petitioning: If an additional tenant moves into a rental unit: Landlords can increase rent within 60 days of learning about the additional tenant. There is no increase for the first minor dependent child added to the existing rental unit.

Rent Board Summary

Does the City have a Rent Board Yes
Is the Rent Board appointed or elected? Appointed
Number of Units Covered by Rent Control Approximately 653,090
Number of Units Covered by Just Cause TBD