Rent Control & Tenant Protection Measures

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Permanent Rent Control and Tenant Protections

The City Council adopted a permanent Rent Control Ordinance and a permanent Tenant Protections Ordinance at its meeting on September 29, 2020.  The permanent ordinances went into effect on October 30, 2020.

If you have questions If you have questions about rent control or tenant protections, please contact the Housing Division at Rent.Control@CulverCity.org or call (310) 253-5790. Llame a la Ciudad al (310) 253-5790 si necesita información en español. 

Rent Control & Tenant Protections Summary

Rent Control

Maximum Permissible Annual Rent Increase

  • Landlords may not impose more than one Rent increase for a Covered Rental Unit in any twelve-month (12- month) period.
  • The maximum permissible annual rent increase is based on the average annual change in the consumer price index (“CPI change”).
  • If CPI change is less than 2%, maximum allowable annual rent increase is 2%.
  • If CPI change is more than 5%, maximum allowable annual rent increase is 5%.
  • A Landlord may impose a Rent increase that takes effect sooner than twelve (12) months following the date of the latest permitted Rent increase under the Interim Rent Control Ordinance, but the prior increase under Interim Rent Control Ordinance in combination with a rent increase under permanent ordinance may not exceed the maximum allowable annual rent increase under the permanent ordinance.

Exemptions to Rent Control

  • Dwelling units expressly exempt from rent control per state or federal law.
  • Dwelling units occupied after February 1, 1995.
  • Single-family homes, condominiums and townhomes.
  • Subdivided interest in a subdivision.
  • Government subsidized dwelling units.

Landlords May Re-establish Rents at Market Rates When:

  • Tenant voluntarily vacates, with certain limitations.
  • Tenant is evicted based on “for cause” grounds.
  • Tenant is evicted based on “no fault” grounds, with the following limitation: if vacated for landlord’s relative to move-in, the unit must remain relative’s primary residence for three years.

Landlords May Not Set Rents to Market Rates When:

  • Tenant vacates due to landlord harassment.
  • Tenant is evicted before the end of their first year (12-month “vesting” period).
  • Tenant voluntarily vacates pursuant to a tenant buyout agreement due to untenantable conditions (such as major renovation). 

 Rent Adjustments Exceeding Maximum Allowable Increase

  • The City will establish a process for a landlord to request a rent adjustment if they can demonstrate the limitations on rent increases will prevent the Landlord from receiving a fair and reasonable return with respect to the operation of the property. 

Capital Improvement Pass-Through Program

  • 50% of the cost of eligible capital improvement projects may be passed-through to tenants, amortized over the useful life of the improvement, with an aggregate cap of the pass through costs not to exceed 3% of tenant’s rent.
  • Eligible capital improvement projects include the addition of new capital improvements, but not the renovations or replacement of existing capital improvements.

Rent Registry

  • All rental units must be registered with the City.
  • Registration must be updated annually, upon a new tenancy, and when there are changes in housing services for the unit.

Tenant Protections

Eviction Protections

  • Evictions must be based on “for cause” or “no fault” grounds.
  • “For cause” includes failure to pay rent; breach of rental agreement; failure to provide reasonable access to unit; tenant’s use of unit to create a nuisance or for an illegal purpose; tenant was the resident manager who has been terminated.
  • “No fault” includes recovery of unit in order to: demolish; remove from rental market; move-in landlord or landlord’s relative, provided they must continue to occupy property for at least 3 years; comply with deed or regulatory restriction; comply with government or other order necessitating the vacancy.
  • Tenants protected from eviction include: long-term tenants who are 62 years old or disabled; terminally ill tenants; low-income tenants; tenants with school-aged children protected during the school year.

Exemptions from Eviction Protections

  • Eviction protections do not apply within the first 12 months of tenancy (12-month “vesting” period).
  • Eviction protections do not apply to units that lack their own bathroom or kitchen facility.

Relocation Assistance

  • Three times the greater of current rent in effect or market rent, plus $1000.
  • Landlord may deduct past due rent, with the exception of back rent accrued during City’s Residential Tenant Eviction Moratorium period, as well as amounts to cover extraordinary wear and tear.
  • “Small Landlords” (defined as those owning 3 units or less within and outside of Culver City) shall only pay 50% of the amount of relocation assistance otherwise due.

Exemptions from the Payment of Relocation Assistance

  • Tenant was on notice prior to entering rental agreement that application to subdivide property or convert the building for a condominium, stock cooperative or community apartment project was on filed or approved by the City.
  • Landlord’s recover of the unit and eviction of tenant was in compliance with government or court order to vacate due to natural disaster or act of God conditions.

Tenant Protections During Temporary Untenantable Conditions

  • Landlord has obligation to take steps to make unit safe for tenant during the work or to relocate tenant to comparable living arrangements.
  • If work is anticipated to last for more than 30 days, tenant may voluntarily terminate tenancy and enter into buyout agreement with the landlord.
  • If work continues to persist for more than 30 days after projected completion date of the work, tenant may renew their option to voluntarily terminate tenancy and enter into buyout agreement with the landlord.
  • Landlords must provide 30 days’ notice prior to construction with shorter period for emergencies.

Tenant Buyout Agreements

  • Rules and procedures for a landlord to offer tenant a buyout agreement.

Retaliatory Eviction and Anti-Harassment

  • Adoption of local anti-harassment laws

Residential Tenant Eviction Moratorium (Expired)

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City established a residential tenant eviction moratorium (RTEM) that prohibited all evictions of residential tenants through September 30, 2020 (subject to certain limited exceptions).

More details can be found in the August 4, 2020 5th Amended Rules and Implementation Measures(PDF, 778KB) document, in the March 27, 2020 Second Supplement to Public Order, in the April 18, 2020 Eighth Supplement to Public Order, in the May 19, 2020 Twelfth Supplement to Public Order, and in the August 4, 2020 Twenty-Second Supplement to Public Order .

The City's RTEM expired on September 30, 2020.  Due to new state law, AB 3088,and subsequently SB 91, any further extension or modification of the City’s RTEM would have no effect until July 1, 2021; therefore, City Council may consider whether to re-establish a local moratorium after July 1st. Currently, residential eviction protections for the inability to pay rent due to COVID-19-related circumstances are governed by California state law (SB 91, amending the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020), which is not implemented or enforced by the City.  

For questions about the residential tenant eviction moratorium, please email the Housing Division or call them at (310) 253-5790.

For information regarding the commercial tenant eviction moratorium, in effect through March 31, 2021, please visit the Coronavirus Business Information page.

 

 

State of California COVID-19 Rent Relief Program

The State of California offers a COVID-19 Rent Relief Program. If one or more individuals in your household meet all of the following, you are eligible to apply.

  1. Have qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due to COVID–19; and
  2. Demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, which may include:
    • a past-due utility or rent notice or eviction notice;
    • unsafe or unhealthy living conditions; or
    • any other evidence of such risk, as determined by the program
  3. Have a household income that is not more than 80% of the Area Median Income

More information and an online application are available at the State of California's COVID-19 Rent Relief Program webpage.

Maximum Permissible Rent Increase

The City caps annual rent increases at an amount tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The maximum allowable increase on rents that take effect during any given month are released monthly, approximately six weeks in advance of the first of each month. The maximum permissible annual rent increase is 2.00% for residential rent increases effective between January 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021.

Learn more about how the City calculates the maximum permissible annual rent increase by reading "Guideline/Rule No. 2020-RC01 (Annual Permissible Rent Increases)"(PDF, 386KB) .

What is the Maximum Permissible Rent Increase?

For rent increases with an effective date in this range…. …the maximum permissible annual rent increase will be published by the City on this date… …and the maximum permissible annual rent increase is….
Oct 30 - Oct 31, 2020 10/14/20 2.25%
Nov 1 - Nov 30, 2020 10/14/20 2.25%
Dec 1 - Dec 31, 2020 10/14/20 2.25%
Jan 1 - Jan 31, 2021 11/13/20 2.00%
Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2021 12/11/20 2.00%
Mar 1 - Mar 31, 2021 1/14/21 2.00%
Apr 1 - Apr 30, 2021 2/11/21 2.00%
May 1 - May 30, 2021 3/11/21 2.00%
Jun 1 - Jun 30, 2021 4/14/21 2.00%
Jul 1 - Jul 31, 2021 5/13/21 2.00%
Aug 1 - Aug 31, 2021 6/11/21 2.00%
Sep 1 - Sep 30, 2021 7/14/21 2.00%
Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2021 8/12/21
Nov 1 - Nov 30, 2021 9/15/21
Dec 1 - Dec 31, 2021 10/14/21
Jan 1 - Jan 31, 2022 11/11/21
Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2022 12/13/21

When will the rent cap for increases effective during future periods be announced?

Each month, on the next business day after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes the CPI, the Housing Division will publish on its Rent Control/Tenant Protections webpage the maximum permissible rent increase for rent increases that are effective in the month that is approximately six weeks after the published increase. For example, on November 13, 2020, the City will publish the rent cap for increases effective January 1 - 31, 2021, and on December 11, 2020, the City will publish the rent cap for increases effective February 1 - 28, 2021. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes a schedule in advance of the CPI publishing dates for the upcoming year.

 

Registration & Fees

New Residential Rental Unit Fees 

At its May 24, 2021 meeting, the City Council approved an annual registration fee of $167 per residential rental unit, as well as fees for late payment, failure to register, and change in rental property ownership.

The City will distribute additional information about how to register rental units and pay the annual fee during early June 2021.  Information will be mailed to landlords who registered their rental units with the City during Interim Rent Control, emailed to people signed-up for Housing Issues updates, and posted to the City's webpage.  Please sign-up for email updates from the City on Housing Issues to ensure you are notified.

Residential Rental Unit Registration Fee

$167 per unit per year

The City will not issue any refunds for the rental unit registration fee, including if there is a change in ownership or the rental unit is removed from the rental market.

Late Payment Penalty

Landlord Registration and Change in Ownership fees are due at the time the landlord submits registration or change in ownership. Landlords must register by July 31, 2021, and annually each July 31 thereafter. The City will grant a grace period for registration, registration fees, and change in ownership fees through the end of the day on August 31, 2021 and each August 31 thereafter. To avoid a late payment penalty, a landlord’s registration and payment must be postmarked on or before August 31. A penalty of 20% will be added on the first day of each month following August 31 up to a maximum of 100%. The penalty will be assessed on the total amount unpaid, including any unpaid residential rental unit registration fees and any unpaid change in ownership fees from the previous year. Late fees will not be assessed on failure to register penalty fees. If August 31 falls on a nonbusiness day, the due date will be extended to be the next business day.

Failure to Register Penalty

Landlords must register by July 31, 2021, and annually each July 31 thereafter. The City will grant a grace period for registration through the end of the day on August 31, 2021, and each August 31 thereafter. After that date penalties will be assessed for failure to register. A penalty of 20% will be added on the first day of each month following August 31 up to a maximum of 100%. If August 31 falls on a nonbusiness day, the due date will be extended to be the next business day.

Change in Ownership Fee

$15 per property

This fee is due at the time the rental unit registration information is updated with the new owner information.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the rental unit registration fee due?

The fee is due at the time of the rental unit registration, which must take place by July 31, 2021 during the first annual registration period.  The City has implemented a grace period both for registration and payment of fees due until August 31, 2021.  No late fees will be charged to landlords registering and paying before August 31, 2021.  In future years, registration and fees will be due every July 31st, with a grace period for registration and fee payment through August 31st.

Who is responsible for paying the fee?

For the first annual rental unit registration fee paid under the permanent program, which is due July 31, 2021, a landlord may pass-through to a tenant 50% of the fee for the registration of tenant's rental unit if such tenant continuously occupied the rental unit during the period of August 12, 2019 through October 31, 2020 (as set forth in CCMC Section 15.09.230.D.2). The pass-through fee is not considered rent and should appear as a separate line item on the rent statement. A landlord may collect a maximum of one-twelfth of the pass-through fee per month. For subsequent annual fees, the landlord is responsible for paying the entire fee.

Why are these fees in place?

On September 29, 2020, the City Council amended the Culver City Municipal Code (CCMC) Chapter 15.09 to add permanent residential rent control and tenant protections programs.  

CCMC Section 15.09.230.D contains provisions for the City Council, by resolution, to establish a fee for the registration of rental units intended to recover the City’s reasonable costs associated with the administration and enforcement of the City’s residential rent control and tenant protections programs.

At its meeting on May 24, 2021, the City Council approved an annual registration fee, as well as fees for late payment, failure to register, and change in rental property ownership. The meeting agenda and staff report contain more information about the information considered by the City Council when they approved the fees.


Landlord Forms & Resources

Residential Rental Registry and Rent Registration Certificate

The permanent rent control ordinance extended existing Rental Unit Rent Registration certificates issued under the temporary rent control ordinance until August 31, 2021 (see section 15.09.230). Landlords will be required to register units under the new permanent regulations. The first deadline for registration is July 31, 2021, and each July 31st thereafter. The City will send out information about how to reregister under the permanent regulations in early 2021.  Please sign-up for email updates from the City to ensure you’re notified.

 

Rent Control Notice: A Required Posting

All landlords must post the Rent Control Ordinance Notice in a conspicuous location in the common area, at the entry or entries to the building or units, or other similar location or locations as necessary to provide tenants a reasonable opportunity to view the notice, at all properties where a Rent Registration Certificate is required (see CCMC 15.09.230(B)(5)). The one-page form will be written in both English and Spanish and provides tenants with information about Rent Control in Culver City. 

 

Tenant Buyouts

 

Application for Rent Adjustment

Landlords may use the "Application for Rent Adjustment" form to apply to increase rents beyond the maximum increase permitted by the Rent Control Ordinance.  The process of application and evaluation is described in "Guideline/Rule No. 2021-RC02 Applications for Rent Adjustments".

 

Capital Improvement Cost Recovery Application

The application for Capital Improvement Cost Recovery will be posted soon, when available.

Proof of Service Form

The Proof of Service form must be completed and provided to the Housing Division, whenever Culver City Municipal Code (CCMC), Subchapters 15.09.200, et seq. and 15.09.300, et seq., require a proof of service to be filed with the Housing Division.

 

Tenant Forms & Documents

Tenant Buyouts

 • Tenant Buyout Agreement Disclosure Notice(PDF, 82KB)

Proof of Service Form

The Proof of Service form must be completed and provided to the Housing Division, whenever Culver City Municipal Code (CCMC), Subchapters 15.09.200, et seq. and 15.09.300, et seq., require a proof of service to be filed with the Housing Division.

 

Other Information

  • Stay Housed L.A. County is a countywide initiative to provide legal assistance and support for tenants facing eviction amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Stay Housed L.A. County website provides tenants with useful information about their rights, workshops for residents who need legal assistance, and other support. Stay Housed L.A. County is a partnership between the County of Los Angeles, legal aid groups and community-based organizations to provide emergency support to tenants in need. Virtual Know Your Rights workshops will also be offered by participating community organizations to provide L.A. County residents with critical information about permanent and emergency tenant protections that can help tenants facing eviction or other challenges related to their rental housing. Community organizations will provide targeted ongoing support to help tenants with case management support.