The Los Angeles City Council today took action to provide protections for tenants facing relocation due to condominium conversion projects.
On a 12-0 vote, the panel approved Ellis Act amendments to the city's Rent Stabilization Ordinance.
The state's Ellis Act allows landlords to exit the rental market, but has guidelines on how it can be done and can require landlords to provide relocation assistance to tenants who must move out.
"Today's council action cements our place as a leader in tenant protections. Los Angeles has one of the strongest Rent Stabilization ordinances in the nation," said Councilman Gil Cedillo, who introduced the motion that led to the amendments. "These amendments make it harder to displace tenants using the Ellis Act, and guarantees the rights of those tenants are adhered to under the law."
The amendments clarify that a property owner must provide relocation assistance to tenants that are displaced as the result of a condo conversion and that property owners wishing to re-rent units within 10 years from the date the property was withdrawn from the residential rental market shall give the tenants who were displaced a right of first refusal to rent or lease the unit they were previously displaced from.
The amendments also clarify that in any legal action brought by the property owner to recover possession of a rental unit withdrawn from the residential rental market pursuant to the city's Ellis Act provisions, the tenant may raise as a defense the failure on the part of the property owner to comply with one or more of the requirements set forth under the Ellis Act provisions and/or the Rent Stabilization Ordinance.