The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday rejected several items that posed threats to California’s rental housing industry, including a move that would have violated the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.

On a 7-6 vote, the council:

  • Rejected an extension of the city’s freeze on rent increases to property shielded from local rent control laws under Costa-Hawkins. The city attorney warned the council that such an action would violate state law. The council also voted against extending the rent freeze to properties covered under Assembly Bill 1482, the statewide rent cap law that went into effect Jan. 1.
  • Rejected an attempt to reclassify unpaid rent debt, making it impossible to collect through the unlawful-detainer process.
  • Rejected implementing an eviction moratorium that goes beyond the Judicial Council’s ruling earlier this month, which would have imposed among the most severe eviction-restrictions in the state.

Although the council did not freeze rents on properties covered by Costa-Hawkins, CAA continues to urge its members to forgo rent increases on these properties through May 31, part of the association’s Safe At Home Guidelines.

On another positive note, the council voted to move ahead with an emergency rent relief program to help struggling tenants, tapping more than $1 million in discretionary dollars to do so.

Unfortunately, the council also voted 13-0 to create an ordinance extending the rent freeze on locally rent controlled apartments for one year after the local state of emergency ends. This proposal will come back for another vote.

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