New For 2017 – LA’s Rent Registry

Due to a recent amendment to Chapter XV of the Los Angeles Municipal Code, beginning in January 2017, the City will collect rent rates for all units subject to the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO). Previously, landlords were only required to pay the annual registration fee and provide an emergency contact. The Los Angeles City Council enacted the City’s Rent Registry Program (Ordinance #184529) effective October 4, 2016. This ordinance provides that, in addition to paying the annual registration fee, landlords must also provide the rent amount for every rental unit subject to the RSO by the last day of February of each year. Registration is complete only when all outstanding registration fees have been paid and all required rental amount and tenancy information, including emergency contact information, is provided.

All necessary information and will be included in the materials mailed by HCIDLA with the annual RSO/SCEP bill. The 2017 annual RSO/SCEP bill will now include a two-page double-sided Rent Registry form. An online Rent Registry Portal has also been created at registerLArent.org to provide Landlords a more effective and efficient means to ensure accuracy and avoid any mailing delays. The Rent Registry Portal includes an online downloadable excel template, which will be especially helpful for owners and managers of larger properties. This template can be downloaded and, once information has been entered, the information entered on the template can be uploaded automatically to the online rent registry portal. Landlords who pay their annual registration and submit their completed Rent Registry form online will receive their Annual Statement of Registration (Certificate) within minutes of online submission. Much of the information entered in 2017 will be automatically saved for registration in future years.

The RSO allows a landlord to pass-through 50% of the registration fee to the tenant as a lump sum surcharge. Beginning in 2017, this fee will be eligible to be collected in the month of August due to the recent amendment in the RSO (in prior years, surcharge could only be collected in the month of June). Registration Statements (Certificates) issued in 2017 will be valid from May 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018. Subsequently, the Registration Statements will be effective from July 1st to June 30th of each year, reflecting a fiscal calendar year.

The Rent Registry Program will build a historical data of rent trends for the City’s rent-stabilized housing stock and deter unlawful rent increases while simultaneously assisting new or prospective landlords who may inherit or buy property through foreclosure or from property owners who fail to provide rent records or tenant estoppels upon the sale of occupied rent-stabilized properties.

The Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department (HCIDLA) is working to make this new program as easy as possible for landlords. Workshops will be offered throughout the month of January to assist landlords in understanding and complying with this new requirement. Additionally, a “Drop-In” session is available on the first Tuesday of the month from 2:00 to 4:00 by calling (213) 928-9075 to request an appointment. To learn more about the new Rent Registry Program, please visit registerLArent.Org or call (866) 557-(7368).

Reprinted with permission of AAGLA (Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles)
AAGLA EXPO APRIL 19, 2017, FREE REGISTRATION AAGLAexpo.com
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