WeHo City to Host Meetings on COVID-19 Related Rent Increase Freeze for Rent Stabilized Properties

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West Hollywood California - Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

The City of West Hollywood will be conducting virtual and in-person outreach meetings in September and early October 2022 about a sunset date in 2023 for the current COVID-19-related rent increase freeze and a potential cap on rent increases for rent stabilized properties.

            Outreach meetings will seek to gauge ongoing impacts of the pandemic and gather feedback about ending the rent increase freeze, as well as about the proposed rent increase cap on tenants who reside in, and landlords who own, rent stabilized properties located within West Hollywood.

            In March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of West Hollywood declared a local emergency. Shortly thereafter, on April 6, 2020, the West Hollywood City Council implemented a rent increase freeze for all rent stabilized properties until 60 days after the local emergency ends; this declaration is still in effect at this time.

            At its regular meeting on Monday, August 15, 2022, the West Hollywood City Council directed City staff to return within 60 days with a proposal for a date to end the rent increase freeze during the first half of 2023 and to present an amendment to the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance capping all future rent increases (annual general adjustment) for rent stabilized properties at 3%. The City encourages tenants and landlords to take part in meetings to learn more.

            Virtual outreach meetings will be held via the Zoom platform:

  • For Tenants: Tuesday, September 27 at 7 p.m.
  • For Landlords: Wednesday, September 28 at 7 p.m.

More information and links to Zoom meetings are available on the City of West Hollywood’s calendar on the City’s website at www.weho.org/calendar.

            In-person outreach meetings will take place at the Community Center at Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard:

  • For Tenants: Thursday, September 29 at 7 p.m.
  • For Landlords: Tuesday, October 4 at 7 p.m.

            Drop-ins with City Rent Stabilization Division staff will be offered in a pop-up spot for tenants and landlords at the Helen Albert Certified Farmers’ Market at Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard in the Vista Lot adjacent to N. Vista Avenue and Fountain Avenue and will take place on Mondays, September 12, 19, and 26, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

            Additionally, the City’s Rent Stabilization Division is conducting a community survey to gather input and feedback about the City’s COVID-19-related rent increase freeze sunset date and potential cap on rent increases for rent stabilized properties. To participate in the community survey, please visit the City’s website. The survey will be posted and open through Thursday, October 6, 2022, at 12 p.m. Tenants and landlords who would like a hard-copy version of the survey may contact the Rent Stabilization Division at rsd@weho.org.

            As background, absent the current rent increase freeze, the current annual general adjustment, which is used as a measure to determine rent increases and is determined by calculating 75% of the percentage increase of the May-to-May Consumer Price Index, would have been 6% beginning September 1, 2022, the highest in the City’s history. The existing cap on the annual general adjustment is 7%, but this cap was implemented prior to the enactment of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which permits landlords to set a new, market-rate rent whenever a rent stabilized unit is vacated and re-rented.

            The City of West Hollywood’s Rent Stabilization Division is dedicated to programs that promote the quality of residential life — a core value of the City of West Hollywood. The City provides a breadth of information and services to tenants, owners, and property managers of residential rental properties, which includes information services and written materials. For additional information, please visit www.weho.org/rsd.

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Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, which include the “Hot Topic” column in Frontiers magazine, where he covered breaking news and local events in West Hollywood. He can be reached at editor@wehotimes.com
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