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New L.A. Campaign Makes Sure Rent Stabilized Tenants Know Their Rights

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For Rent (Photo by melissssaf via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today a new campaign to make tenants who live in rent stabilized apartments aware of their rights as renters. The campaign, called Home for Renters, can be accessed online here, and the city will also be doing outreach with printed materials in various neighborhoods, City News Service reports.

"The rent stabilization ordinance is the most powerful tool we have to keep families and neighborhoods together in a tight housing market. As we work to build new affordable housing, we also must make sure that residents know about the protections we already have in place," Garcetti said in a statement.

The agency behind the campaign has been known by many names, but it's been the Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department (HCIDLA) since 2013. Their mission is to "promote livable and prosperous communities through the development and preservation of decent, safe, and affordable housing, neighborhood investment and social services."

According to Home for Renters, there are about 624,000 units in Los Angeles that are covered by the rent stabilization ordinance. This covers all rental units built prior to October 1978, with the exception of single-family dwellings that exist by themselves on a single parcel of land. Some units built after 2006 are also covered. The most important detail about RSO units is that your rent may only increase by 3 percent each year. You can find out if your apartment is covered by calling HCIDLA at 866-577-7368, or online here.

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You may use the Home for Renters site to download an informational .pdf for landlords or renters and see what options are available to you. The guide for tenants, which is available in both English and Spanish, will let you know what fees your landlord may collect from you (such as the annual rental unit registration fee, which should be $12.24), your rights as a tenant, and who to contact if you feel they are being violated. For instance, if your landlord removes an amenity, such as laundry or the community pool, you might be due for a rent decrease.

You can also use the site to file a complaint, see if you quality for and find affordable housing, and to connect with services for tenants with special needs.