Updated on

Is There Rent Control in Los Angeles?

Unless you're looking in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, or West Hollywood, you won't find a rent-stabilized apartment in LA County.

In addition to surf, sun, movie stars, and overwhelming traffic, Los Angeles County also has some of the highest rents in the country. You may have heard that some rental units in LA are subject to rent control or rent stabilization and wondered which ones.

What does rent stabilization mean in Los Angeles?

Generally, LA rent stabilization ordinances mean that your rent can only increase by however much the government-determined Consumer Price Index (CPI) goes up. Usually, the hike can be a maximum of 3%, but it can be more or less depending on the annual movement of the CPI. During certain years, that won’t be a significant savings, but it can translate into a lot of money over time.

It’s important to note, however, that even in a rent-stabilized unit, if the lease expires and is not renewed, the landlord can then rent the property for whatever price it commands. So, if you’re interested in getting the benefits of a rent-stabilized apartment immediately, you'll need to find a sublet rather than starting a new lease. Also, with few exceptions, single-family homes are almost never subject to rent-stabilization ordinances in LA County, so it must be a multi-unit complex, a duplex or a triplex (certain mobile home parks are subject to rent stabilization, too).

Where can I find a rent-stabilized apartment in Los Angeles?

As of now, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood are the only cities in Los Angeles County that have rent stabilization laws as part of their city ordinances. Unless you live in one of those cities, you’re out of luck in terms of finding a rent-stabilized apartment in LA County. The building must also have been built and occupied prior to a certain date, which varies by city:

  • Beverly Hills: February 1, 1995
  • Los Angeles: October 1, 1978
  • Santa Monica: April 10, 1979
  • West Hollywood: July 1, 1979

There was a ballot measure in the 2018 election to expand the time coverage of rent-stabilized units, but it failed.

In order to find rent-stabilized units, various cities offer a number of online resources to aid you in searching for these types of dwellings. West Hollywood offers a full list of rent-subsidized properties. Santa Monica also offers an online resource to search for rent-subsidized units within its borders. For other cities within Los Angeles County, you can check the construction date for the property to verify whether it might possibly be subject to rent-stabilization.

It is legal, and your landlord may be interested in doing so as obtaining a new renter subject to a new lease could allow for higher rent. However, a recently passed Los Angeles City Ordinance, modeled after a Santa Monica Ordinance, requires your landlord to compensate you for your move. A copy of the proposed buyout agreement must also be filed with the local housing authority which can monitor the transaction to ensure that your rights are not violated.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.