A Los Angeles lease agreement establishes the terms and conditions between a landlord and a tenant for a rental property. It typically includes the rent amount and payment schedule, rules for occupancy, maintenance responsibilities, and procedures for lease termination or renewal. Additionally, it may cover specific local regulations, such as rent control ordinances and any additional addendums and disclosures.
Los Angeles Lease Requirements
Compliance with the Los Angeles Municipal Code is crucial for landlords. Below are key considerations tailored to property owners in the city:
Landlords must disclose any pesticides used in the rental property. This notification should detail the specific pesticide applied, its active ingredients, and the targeted pests (Los Angeles Municipal Code Sec. 41.34).
Just Cause Ordinance
The Los Angeles Just Cause For Eviction Ordinance sets forth regulations preventing landlords from evicting tenants without a legitimate reason. Its primary goal is to protect tenants from unjust displacement and uphold housing stability across the city. This includes both at-fault and no-fault evictions (Los Angeles Municipal Code Sec. 165.03).
They occur when a tenant’s actions or behavior prompts the landlord to terminate the tenancy. Examples include failure to pay rent, violating the lease agreement, engaging in criminal activity, or refusing the landlord’s entry request. In such cases, landlords in Los Angeles are required to issue written notices of eviction, along with an opportunity for the tenant to cure the violation, if possible.
This term refers to the termination of a tenancy without attributing any fault to the tenant, typically observed in month-to-month agreements. Examples include the landlord, their family, or spouse intending to occupy the unit, withdrawing the property from the market, or compliance with federal orders or local ordinances.
In such cases, landlords must assist with relocation (Los Angeles Municipal Code Sec. 165.06) and offer the unit back to the displaced tenant if it becomes available for rent within two years upon request, provided they submit a form within 30 days of displacement (Los Angeles Municipal Code Sec. 151.27).
Evictions for Non-Payment of Rent
Tenants cannot face eviction in Los Angeles unless they owe an amount exceeding one month’s worth of “fair market rent,” as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This figure varies based on the region and the number of bedrooms in the rental property. For instance, in 2023, the fair market rent calculation for a one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles is $1,747.
Relocation Assistance Law
Some residents in Los Angeles will receive relocation assistance if their rent rises by over 10% (or 5% plus inflation). This provision is applicable to only a minority of tenants since the city’s rent stabilization ordinance already forbids such rent increases (Los Angeles Municipal Code Sec. 165.09).
Rent Increase Notice
Landlords must provide tenants with a 30-day notice for rent increases of 10% or less in month-to-month lease agreements. However, if the rent increase exceeds 10%, landlords must give a 90-day notice.
Rent Stabilization Ordinance
The Rent Stabilization Ordinance of Los Angeles extends its protections to buildings constructed on or before October 1, 1978. This consists of various safeguards for tenants, including constraints on rent increases, registration of rental units, specified legal grounds for evictions, provisions for interest payments on security deposits, and disclosure notices concerning buyout or “cash for keys” agreements (Los Angeles Municipal Code Sec. 151).
Renter’s Protection Notice
In Los Angeles, landlords are prohibited from using specific tactics to force a tenants to vacate their premises. These actions include changing the locks, removing doors or windows, disconnecting utilities, or engaging in any other form of harassment aimed at pressuring the tenant to move out.
Right to Quiet Enjoyment
Tenants are entitled to peaceful and undisturbed enjoyment of their rented premises, free from interference or disturbance by the landlord. This right is considered an implied covenant under California law, meaning it is automatically enforceable even if not explicitly outlined in the lease agreement (Los Angeles Municipal Code Sec. 41.33).
Landlords in Los Angeles are strictly forbidden from engaging in any form of harassment against their tenants, with actions such as refusing housing services, misusing their right of entry, issuing threats, declining to accept rent payments, or infringing upon a tenant’s privacy expressly prohibited (Los Angeles Municipal Code Sec. 45.33).
Aside from the federal Fair Housing Act, California extends its protections by prohibiting housing discrimination based on age, HIV/AIDS status, and immigration/citizenship status. Additionally, discrimination based on a person’s source of income is illegal. Landlords are no longer permitted to include advertisements that prohibit Section 8 vouchers, ensuring fair access to housing for individuals relying on such assistance programs (Los Angeles Municipal Code Sec. 45.67).
Tenant Habitability Program
The Los Angeles Tenant Habitability Program shields tenants from inhabitable living conditions and prevents forced or permanent displacement. To determine eligibility for renovations or repairs, the program uses specific criteria, ensuring that tenants’ living environments meet acceptable standards (Los Angeles Municipal Code Sec. 152).
Optional Lease Disclosures and Addendums
Although optional, landlords have the flexibility to include specific disclosures and addendums in their leases, delineating tenant responsibilities and preventing potential liability concerns.
- Parking addendum: Given the city’s high rate of vehicle ownership, landlords may use a parking addendum in their lease agreements to precisely define the building’s parking policies. Such an addendum should describe assigned parking spots, regulations for street parking, and any prohibitions on the use of parking spaces.
- Smoke detector addendum: Considering California’s increased risk of wildfires, it is imperative that all tenants in Los Angeles have functional smoke detectors. Such an addendum should establish the tenant’s obligation to maintain operational smoke detectors and promptly notify the landlord of any necessary repairs.