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Inglewood Rent Ordinance

Inglewood Rent Ordinance

The Inglewood Rent Ordinance, codified at Inglewood Municipal Code Chapter 8, Articles 9 & 10, has two principal components, rent control, and eviction control.  The Inglewood Rent Ordinance’s eviction controls require a landlord to assert a just cause reason when terminating a tenancy.  Many Inglewood rental units have eviction protection. The Inglewood Rent Ordinance’s rent control provisions limit annual rent increases to a maximum of 3% in twelve-months.  Tenants whose Inglewood Rent Ordinance rights were violated have actionable claims against their landlords.

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

To learn more about the Inglewood Rent Ordinance, continue reading or contact Astanehe Law to discuss your tenant rights and options with a tenant attorney.

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Inglewood Rent Control

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).

What Rental Units Does Inglewood Rent Control Cover?

Only covered rental units are subject to Inglewood Rent ControlInglewood 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:

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:

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:

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.

The Inglewood Rent Ordinance’s Eviction Protections

The Inglewood Rent Ordinance’s eviction protections keep Inglewood tenants housed by limiting evictions to instances where the landlord has an enumerated just cause reason to terminate a tenancy.  Inglewood landlords shall not take any action to terminate a tenancy, such as demanding a tenant vacate, threatening to evict a tenant, or filing an unlawful detainer when lacking a just cause reason to terminate the tenancy.  When terminating a tenancy, the landlord must inform the tenant, in writing, which just cause reason for eviction they are asserting. A termination of tenancy that does not comply with the Inglewood Rent Ordinance’s just cause for eviction protections is unlawful and void.

What Are the Just Cause Reasons for Eviction Under the Inglewood Rent Ordinance?

The Inglewood Rent Ordinance lists nine just cause reasons to terminate a tenancy.  No landlord shall terminate a tenancy without just cause if at least one tenant has continuously and lawfully occupied the property for twelve or more months.  The just cause reasons for evictions are:

  1. Tenant’s unlawful non-payment of rent;
  2. A breach of a material term of the lease;
  3. Maintaining, committing, or permitting the maintenance or commission of a nuisance;
  4. Committing waste;
  5. Tenant refuses, after written request, to sign a materially similar written lease;
  6. Criminal activity by the tenant;
  7. Assigning and subletting the unit in violation of the lease;
  8. Tenant’s failure to provide reasonable and lawful access, without good cause, to the landlord, after receiving landlord’s written notice of entry;
  9. Using the unit for an unlawful purpose;
  10. An employee, agents, or licensee’s failure to vacate after termination;
  11. Tenant’s failure to vacate after providing the landlord 30-day written notice of their intent to terminate the tenancy and vacate the unit or accepts a landlord’s written offer to vacate the unit;
  12. Owner move-in and relative move-in evictions;
  13. Ellis Act Eviction;
  14. Eviction for substantial repairs necessitated by government order; and,
  15. Landlord’s intent to demolish or substantially remodel the property. Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-120.

What Rental Units Are Covered Under the Inglewood Rent Ordinance’s Eviction Protections?

All rental units are covered under the Inglewood Rent Ordinance’s just cause for eviction protections provision, except for the following:

Do Inglewood Tenants Automatically Qualify for Just Cause Protection?

Unfortunately, no. The Inglewood Rent Ordinance’s just cause for eviction protections only protect tenancies where at least one of the tenants has continuously and lawfully occupied the property for twelve or more months.  Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-121.

To Exempt a Single-Family Home, What Exemption Notice Must A Landlord Provide Inglewood Tenants?

As stated above, single-family homes not owned by a real estate investment trust, a corporation, or a LLC with at least one corporate member can become exempt from the Inglewood Rent Ordinance’s just cause for eviction provisions, provided they serve an exemption notice.  Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-121.  The written exemption notice must read:

This property is not subject to the rent limits imposed by Section 1947.12 of the Civil Code and is not subject to the just cause requirements of Section 1946.2 of the Civil Code. This property meets the requirements of Sections 1947.12(d)(5) and 1946.2(e)(8) of the Civil Code and the owner is not any of the following: (1) a real estate investment trust, as defined by Section 856 of the Internal Revenue Code; (2) a corporation; or (3) a limited liability company in which at least one member is a corporation.

For tenancies existing before July 1, 2020, the notice may be included in the written rental agreement.  Id.  For tenancies commenced on or after July 1, 2020, the above exemption notice must be stated in the written rental agreement.  Id.

What Documents Must A Landlord Provide to Terminate A Tenancy?

 Under state law and the Inglewood Rent Ordinance, a landlord may only terminate a tenancy by serving the tenant with written notice.  For tenants who have resided in their home for less than a year, the landlord need only provide 30 days written notice.  California Civil Code § 1946.   For tenants who have resided in their home for a year or more, the landlord must provide 60 days written notice.  Id.  However, where a tenant is at fault, for example by committing nuisance, not paying rent, or remaining in breach of the lease, the landlord need only provide a three-day notice to cure or quit.  California Code of Civil Procedure § 1161.  If, at the expiration of the three-day notice, the landlord believes the tenant has not cured the defect, the landlord may initiate an unlawful detainer or eviction action in court.

Under the Inglewood Rent Ordinance, the landlord must also state the just cause reason for the termination on the termination of tenancy notice or notice to cure or quit.  Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-121.  The landlord must file any termination of tenancy notice at the Inglewood Rental Housing Board within three days after serving the notice on a tenant.  Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-122.

Generally, the written termination of tenancy notice must minimally include:

Inglewood Rent Ordinance Notice Requirement

The Inglewood Rent Ordinance requires landlords to provide notice of the tenant’s Inglewood Rent Ordinance rights. For all tenancies subject to the Inglewood Rent Ordinance’s just cause for eviction protections, the landlord must provide the following notice:

California and local laws limit the amount your rent can be increased. See California Civil Code Section 1947.12 and Chapter 8, Article 10 of the Inglewood Municipal Code for more information. The Inglewood Municipal Code also provides that after an existing tenant has continuously and lawfully occupied certain residential real property for twelve months or more, a landlord must provide a statement of just cause in any notice to terminate a tenancy. See Chapter 8, Article 9 of the Inglewood Municipal Code for more information.

For tenancies commenced or renewed on or after July 1, 2020, the notice may be provided as an addendum to the rental agreement, or as a separate written notice signed by the tenant. Id.  The landlord must provide a copy of the signed notice to the tenant.  Id.

For a tenancy commenced before July 1, 2020, the landlord must provide an addendum or separate notice by August 1, 2020.  Id.

Demolition & Substantially Remodel Evictions Under the Inglewood Rent Ordinance

What is a Substantial Remodeling Eviction?

 Under the Inglewood Rent Ordinance, a landlord can temporarily evict a tenant to undertake substantial remodeling work.  The Inglewood Rent Ordinance defines substantial remodeling as the replacement or modification of a structural, electrical, plumbing, or mechanical system that requires a government agency permit, or the abatement of hazardous materials, including lead-based paint, mold, or asbestos.  To effectuate a substantial remodeling eviction, the contractors must not be able to reasonably complete work, that will take at least 30 days, in a safe manner while the tenant resides in the unit.  Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-120.  Cosmetic improvements, such as painting, decorating, and minor repairs are not substantial remodeling work, and the landlord will not be able to temporarily evict the tenant.  Id.

What Are the Requirements for a Demolition or Substantial Remodel Evictions Under the Inglewood Rent Ordinance?

For demolition and substantial remodeling work evictions, landlords must obtain all necessary permits from the government before serving a notice to terminate the tenancy.  Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-120.

Owner Move-In & Relative Move-In Evictions Under the Inglewood Rent Ordinance

Under the Inglewood Rent Ordinance, landlords are permitted to terminate a tenancy to perform an owner move-in or relative move-in eviction, which requires the owner or qualified relative to reside in the unit following the termination of tenancy.  Despite being a lawful just cause for eviction, the owner, or their qualified relative, must follow strict rules following the termination of tenancy.  Their failure to comply with the Inglewood Rent Ordinance following and owner move-in or relative move-in eviction may result in the tenant possessing a wrongful eviction claim.

Owner Move-In & Relative Move-In Defined Under the Inglewood Rent Ordinance

An owner move-in eviction occurs where the landlord seeks to recover possession of the unit in good faith for their use and occupancy.  Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-120.  A relative move-in eviction occurs where the landlord seeks to recover possession of the unit in good faith for their spouse, domestic partner, grandchildren, parents, or grandparents’ use and occupancy.  Id.

To perform an owner move-in or relative move-in eviction for leases enter into on or after July 1, 2020, the tenant must agree, in writing, to the eviction.  Id.  Alternatively, the landlord may include a lease provision stating the landlord can unilaterally perform an owner move-in or relative move-in evictionId.

Under the Inglewood Rent Ordinance, a landlord may not perform an owner move-in or relative move-in eviction if the owner or qualified relative already occupies a unit at the property, or if a vacancy exists at the property, and the vacant unit is comparable to the tenant’s unit.  Id.

What Must an Inglewood Landlord Include on an Owner Move-In or Relative Move-In Eviction Notice?

As stated above, a landlord must serve a written notice terminating the tenancy, that asserts the owner move-in or relative move-in as the just cause reason for the termination of tenancy.  For relative move-in evictions, the termination of tenancy notice must include the name, address, and relationship to the landlord of the qualified relative who will occupy the unit.  Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-120.

Although having no legal obligation, many landlords include half of the permanent relocation payment when serving an owner move-in eviction notice.

Following an Owner Move-In or Relative Move-In Eviction, How Long Can the Owner or Qualified Relative Wait Before Actually Moving In?

Following an owner move-in or relative move-in eviction, the owner or qualified relative must intend in good faith to move into the unit within sixty days following the tenant moving out.  Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-120.

Following an Owner Move-In or Relative Move-In Eviction, How Long Must the Owner or Qualified Relative Reside in the Unit?

Following an owner move-in or relative move-in eviction, the owner or qualified relative must intend in good faith to reside in the unit for at least two years.  Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-120.

What Must the Landlord Do if the Landlord or Qualified Relative No Longer Intend to Move into a Vacant Unit?

If the landlord or qualified relative specified on the owner move-in/relative move-in termination of tenancy notice fail to occupy the vacant unit within sixty days after the tenant vacates, the landlord must:

  1. Offer the unit back to the tenant who vacated it at the same rent; and,
  2. Pay to the tenant all reasonable moving expenses moving to and from the unit.  Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-120.

If the owner or enumerated relative has not moved into the unit within sixty-days, and the previous tenant declines an offer to return, any new tenant will have their base rent set at the price the previous tenant paid prior to vacating.  Id.

Which Inglewood Tenants are Protected from an Owner Move-In or Relative Move-In Eviction?

Under the Inglewood Rent Ordinance, a landlord may not perform an owner move-in or relative move-in eviction on the following tenants:

For purposes of becoming a protected tenant, disabled means a person who is receiving benefits from a federal, state, or local government, or from a private entity due to permanent disability that prevents them from performing regularly, full-time work.  Id.

A landlord or qualified relative who also qualifies as protected under the aforementioned criteria may evict a protected tenant.  Id.

How Many Units at a Property Can Be Subject to an Owner Move-In or Relative Move-In Eviction?

A landlord may only evict a tenant from one unit at a property via an owner move-in or relative move-in eviction unit.  Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-120.  A tenant evicted via such an eviction that reoccupies the unit or relocates to another unit may not again be evicted pursuant to an owner move-in or relative move-in for four years after the date of the first termination of tenancy notice. Id.

Relocation Assistance for No-Fault Evictions Under the Inglewood Rent Ordinance

Under the Inglewood Rent Ordinance, landlords must provide relocation assistance for no-fault evictions, including owner move-in evictions, relative move-in evictions, Ellis Act evictions, demolition evictions, and substantial remodeling work evictions.  Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-123.  The landlord shall provide a base relocation payment equal to three times the monthly rent in effect when the owner issues the termination of tenancy notice.  Id. Where a minor resides in the unit, the landlord must pay an additional $2,000.  Id.

Enhanced Relocation Assistance

The landlord must pay enhanced relocation assistance if any one tenant’s status makes them eligible for such assistance, as follows:

StatusAdditional Relocation Fee
Adult residing between 2 to 4 years$2,000.00
Adult residing between 5 to 10 years$3,000.00
Adult residing 11 or more years$5,000.00
Disabled Adult or Senior$7,500.00

Under the Inglewood Rent Ordinance, a disabled person is anyone receiving benefits from a federal, state, or local government, or from a private entity due to permanent disability that prevents them from performing regularly, full-time work.  Id. A minor is a person younger than eighteen years of age.  Id.  A senior is sixty-years of age or older.  Id.

The existing tenants shall only recover one additional enhanced relocation fee for the highest amount the household qualifies for.  Id.

Although the Inglewood Rent Ordinance requires tenants to provide proof of their eligibility for enhanced relocation assistance, it does not specify how.  Id.  Tenants are advised to do so in writing via certified mail, email, or text message.

Where a landlord improperly denies enhanced relocation assistance, a tenant may file a dispute with the Inglewood Rental Housing Board.  Id.

Inglewood landlords must provide all of the relocation assistance to the tenants within fifteen calendar days of service of the notice of termination of tenancy, or within fifteen days of the Inglewood Rental Housing Board decision resolving any dispute over the relocation assistance amount.  Id.

Does the Inglewood Rent Ordinance Bar Retaliation?

Yes, the Inglewood Rent Ordinance prohibits retaliation against any tenant who has previously reported a landlord’s violation or exercised any right guaranteed by the Inglewood Rent Ordinance, including the right to make complains, demand mediation, or participate in litigation.   Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-133.

What Damages May Inglewood Tenants Recover for Landlord Violations of the Inglewood Rent Ordinance?

The Inglewood Rent Ordinance contains a private right of action for landlord violations.  Inglewood Municipal Code § 8-132.

Any landlord who violates Inglewood Rent Ordinance or Inglewood Rent Control shall be liable to the tenant for all actual and punitive damages.  Id.  Additionally, the landlord be liable for the tenant’s reasonable attorney fees.  Id.  Where the landlord acts willfully or with oppression, fraud, or malice, the tenant obtains treble damages.  Id.

To discuss the Inglewood Rent Ordinance, Inglewood Ellis Act Evictions, Inglewood Owner Move-In Evictions, Inglewood wrongful evictions, Inglewood Rent Control, or California Rent Control (AB 1482) with a tenant attorney, contact Astanehe Law.

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