Hopefully, if you own apartments in the City of Los Angeles and are under the L.A. Rent Stabilization Ordinance, you have already paid your building’s registration fees of $24.51 per unit which was due by February 29, 2017. Serving a timely notice, you may collect one half of those fees from your tenants. Note: You used to collect this fee in the month of June, but for 2017, it has been changed to August.
Collect $12.25 Registration Fees in AUGUST
The Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Division allows owners to pass-through one half of these fees ($12.25) with a 30-day notice, collectible in the month of August only. That means you MUST serve the notice of the one time annual rent increase (found on the following page) in the month of July in order to collect this annual fee from your tenants. AOA recommends you serve the notice on July 1st to collect this fee along with the rent due on August 1st.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The notice of the one-time annual charge must be accompanied with a copy of your Rent Stabilization registration certificate to show that you paid the fees.
Code-Enforcement Pass-Through Fees
The SCEP fee of $43.32 per unit charge for the Housing Department’s code-enforcement inspection fee may also be passed through to your tenants. This fee, however, must be amortized over a 12 month period and is collectible at a monthly rate of $3.61. A 30-Day Notice of Change of Terms of Tenancy must be served to each tenant after you pay your bill before you can collect this fee. That means with proper service, you can legally raise your rents (as long as you paid your bill!), $3.61 per month. Every little bit helps! Your tenant may elect to pay this fee all at once, however they will not be awarded a refund should they move before the end of the year. Also, if your building IS NOT under rent control, you may request and collect the fee in its entirety after serving the 30 day notice.
Other Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Updates
- SECURITY DEPOSIT INTEREST: Please note that the required 2017 interest that must be paid on security deposits for units in L.A. City is 0.12 percent. A landlord may pay tenants the actual rate of interest earned if security deposits are kept in a separate account by providing a copy of the bank statement showing the actual interest rate earned for the year.
- ALLOWABLE ANNUAL RENT INCREASE: The Los Angeles Rent Control’s annual rent increase is currently 3% through June 30, 2017. As of this printing, the July 2017 rental increase percent was not yet determined but we were told it will most likely remain the same. The actual amount should be made available to us in June.
Note: All AOA forms may be downloaded by members by visiting www.aoausa.com.
Patricia A. Harris is Senior Editor of the Apartment Owners Association News and Buyers Guide.