The Inglewood Rent Ordinance’s rent control protections (“Inglewood Rent Control”) protect tenants by limiting rent increases to reasonable amounts per year.  For units covered by Inglewood Rent Control, the landlord may not increase the rent in an amount more than the greater of either, three percent in twelve months, or the percent change in the cost of living using the CPI for the Los Angeles metro area.  Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-127(a).

California Rent Control may protect Inglewood tenants not covered by Inglewood Rent Control or the Inglewood Rent Ordinance.  Click here to learn about the tenant rights provided by California Rent Control (AB 1482).

 

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What Rental Units Does Inglewood Rent Control Cover?

Only covered rental units are subject to Inglewood Rent Control.  Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-125.  All rental units built before on or before February 1, 1995, in the City of Inglewood are covered, except for the following:

  • Transient or tourist hotels;
  • Units in nonprofit hospital, religious facilities, extended facilities, licensed residential elderly facilities, or adult residential facilities;
  • Dormitories owned and operated by schools and universities;
  • Affordable housing units;
  • Rental property with four or fewer units;
  • Rental units located at 435 W. Regent Street & 621 E. 99th Street in Inglewood.Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-125.

Under Inglewood Rent Control, How Much Can A Landlord Increase the Rent?

Inglewood Rent Control limits rent increases to the greater of either three percent in twelve months or the percent change in the cost of living using the CPI for the Los Angeles metro area.  Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-127(a).

To calculate a permissible rent increase, Inglewood tenants must multiply their base rent by the allowable rent increase percentage.

How Do Inglewood Tenants Calculate Their Inglewood Rent Control Base Rent?

Although not defined in the Inglewood Rent Ordinance, base rent is the rent used to establish all future rent increases under Inglewood Rent Control.  For 2019, a tenant’s unofficial base rent is the rent in effect on December 5, 2019.  For each subsequent year, the base rent is the tenant’s initial rent with any rent increases permitted under Inglewood Rent Control.

Does Inglewood Rent Control Limit the Number of Rent Increases A Landlord May Serve Per Year?

Yes, Inglewood Rent Control limits the landlord to one rent increase per twelve months.  Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-127(b).

Can an Inglewood Landlord Ever Serve A Rent Increase Larger than Inglewood Rent Control’s Rent Limitation?

Yes, Inglewood Rent Control permits landlords to apply for two types of special increases that allow a rent increase larger than otherwise permitted under Inglewood Rent Control: 1. Below Market Rent Increases; and, 2. Capital Improvement Rent Increases.

Below Market Rent Increases

Where a landlord believes that they are not receiving a fair rate of return, they may petition the City of Inglewood for a rent increase above Inglewood Rent Control limitations.  Beginning in October 1, 2020, if a landlord charges an existing tenant rent less than 80% of fair market rents for a comparable unit, the landlord may apply to the Inglewood Rental Housing Board for permission to increase rent by, the greater of either, 5% or the percentage change in cost of living using the Los Angeles Metro CPI. Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-128. Below market rent increases may not exceed California Rent Control (AB 1482) rent cap limitations.

Capital Improvement Rent Increases

Beginning on October 1, 2020, Inglewood landlords may increase an existing tenant’s rent to recover up to 50% of the costs for a capital improvement.  Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-129.  Although resembling a passthrough – which are commonly found in other rent ordinances – Inglewood Rent Control refers to the landlord’s mechanism for partially recovering capital improvement costs as a rent increase.

A capital improvement is not a repair.  The Inglewood Rent Ordinance defines a capital improvement as added or replaced improvements that have a useful life of five or more years.  Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-125.  Examples include a new roof, carpet, draperies, stuccoing the outside of a building, air conditioning, security gates, swimming pool sauna or hot tub, fencing, garbage disposal, washing machine, dishwasher, or other similar improvements.  Id.Before imposing a capital improvement rent increase, Inglewood landlords must apply with the Inglewood Rental Housing Board and meet the following requirements:

  • The landlord must make a capital improvement to a rental unit, or the common area, which costs over $10,000;
  • The landlord applies with the Inglewood Rental Housing Board, which the Board approves.Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-129.

If the Inglewood Rental Housing approves the landlord’s capital improvement rent increase application, they shall set the terms of the rent increase, including the amount and duration.  Id.  Under no circumstances shall the Inglewood capital improvement rent increase be:

  • Exceed $50 per month;
  • Last for more than sixty months;
  • Allow the landlord to recover more than 50% of the capital improvement costs; and,
  • Apply to rental units or new tenants whose initial rent was established after the landlord applied for an Inglewood capital improvement rent increase. Id.

Can Inglewood Landlords Increase Security Deposits?

Yes, Inglewood Rent Control permits Inglewood landlords to increase a security deposit when increasing rent.  Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-130.  A security deposit increase must be included in the written notice of rent increase.  Id.  A security deposit increase cannot exceed $30 per month.  Id.

My Landlord May Have Violated Inglewood Rent Control, Do I have a Claim?

Yes, you may have a claim for unlawful rent increase or wrongful eviction, which could entitle you to money damages.  Unscrupulous Inglewood landlords often increase rent to an amount in violation of Inglewood Rent Control, or in lieu of performing an Inglewood Ellis Act eviction, or Inglewood Owner Move-In or Relative Move-In eviction.  Contact Astanehe Law to discuss the Inglewood Rent Ordinance, Inglewood Rent Control, or California Rent Control (AB 1482) with a tenant attorney today.