How Does Beverly Hills Compare on the Rent Increase Cap?

Beverly Hills recently posted the maximum allowed annual rent increase percentage for Chapter 6 tenants and we breathed a sign of relief: it has dropped to 3.1% from last year’s 4.1%. That’s because the rise in consumer prices has slowed and, with it, the cost of providing housing. But most localities don’t cap rents and those that do take various approaches even in the same rental market. How does Beverly Hills compare?

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Maximum Allowed Annual Rent Increase: What You Need to Know

Recently Beverly Hills posted the new maximum allowed annual rent increase percentages for both Chapter 5 and Chapter 6. The latter is tied to the year-over-year percentage change in consumer prices for our region, which the government releases in June of each year. Which got us thinking: Has anyone explained to Beverly Hills tenants exactly how the maximum allowed annual rent increase works?

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Fundamental Concept: Maximum Allowed Annual Rent Increase

Rent control is intended to moderate the increasing cost of rental housing and to enhance the stability of households that rent. Local ordinaces typically include price controls, limited reasons for tenancy termination and regulation of rental housing conditions. Here we look specifically at price control: What does the ‘maximum allowable rent increase’ really mean?

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Make the Chapter 6 Maximum Rent Increase Floor-Free!

There are many issues up for consideration at Tuesday’s City Council meeting but among the most important is the proposed 3.5% floor on the maximum allowed annual rent increase. That floor allows a landlord a 3.5% increase even when his actual costs don’t increase much if inflation is low. This is nothing more than a City Council subsidy to landlords. It has to go!

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Greatest Threat to Tenants? The Proposed 3.5% Floor

Today is rent day, and that makes it an opportune moment to revisit City Council’s tentative consensus on a 3.5% floor for the maximum allowed annual rent for Chapter 6 tenants. As Councilmember Bob Wunderlich honestly described, this is a straight-up subsidy to landlords. We see it as an unearned bonus. Let’s take a look at what the floor is and what it means for tenants that could pay it.

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RSO Study Session #4: Council Presses Pause Button

City Council will revisit rent stabilization at its upcoming February 5th meeting. That could be the final discussion on the next rent stabilization ordinance. Key policy choices lie ahead, though, and we have not even addressed several issues important to tenants. That’s why we urged City Council to press the pause button at the December 18th meeting. This is our recap of that meeting.

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The Sheriff is a Sight No Neighbor Wants to See

Here is a sight nobody wants to see early on a Friday morning before Christmas: a Sheriff’s deputy probably on his way to serve a tenant his notice to vacate. It is heartbreaking to see it in my neighborhood and even worse to see it on the next block. The only thing worse is the Sheriff showing up for a lock-out. The notice to vacate is the penultimate step. When the Sheriff shows up, that means time is up.

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Why a Rent Increase Pegged to 100% of CPI Favors Landlords

Since 2017 Beverly Hills has amended the rent stabilization ordinance to extended protections to Chapter 6 tenants. That includes an end to no-just-cause eviction and a relocation fee for no-fault tenancy terminations. The city also linked the maximum allowed annual rent increase to the annual change in consumer prices (CPI). Let’s look at that important change in more detail.

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Good News & Bad News on the Rent Increase

City Council recently discussed the maximum allowed annual rent increase and the good news is that we are keeping it indexed to consumer prices (CPI). A real win for tenants: inflation dictates the increase. The not-so-good news is that Council may agree to a 3.5% floor on the increase. That would give landlords an extra half-percent above the 3% floor today in low-inflation years. Why does Beverly Hills need a floor on the allowed increase at all?

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