(Title and Section Amended by Ord. No. 153,592, Eff. 5/11/80.)
A. Statement of Purposes. At the present time, there is a critically short supply of rental housing in the City of Los Angeles. Many rental housing units have been removed from the rental market through conversion to condominiums, stock cooperatives, community apartment projects, hotels and commercial uses. Tenants who are evicted due to conversion are experiencing serious difficulties in locating comparable replacement rental housing. These difficulties are particularly acute for elderly tenants and those with physical limitations, particularly the handicapped and disabled. In addition, families with minor dependent children face greater relocation difficulties than families without such children.
The City’s condominium conversion ordinance addresses these grave public health and welfare problems in the context of new conversions of existing rental units to various forms of divided ownership. However, that ordinance does not provide assistance to tenants displaced due to the conversion of their rental units to condominiums, stock cooperatives or community apartment projects exempted from the new conversion ordinance, or to hotels. Additionally, in some instances tenants displaced due to conversions already approved by the City (under the previous conversion ordinance) are not receiving relocation assistance, yet often face similar relocation difficulties.
Since the conversion of rental units to condominiums, stock cooperatives, community apartment projects, hotels and commercial uses is a substantial cause of the rental housing shortage, the City Council finds and declares that it would be just and proper for the subdividers who may enjoy the benefits of such conversions to assist tenants who are displaced by the conversion activity and who otherwise would be forced to bear the burdens of displacement without any assistance. The Council also finds that the necessity for relocation assistance is significantly less for the tenants of luxury apartment units.
B. Definitions. For purposes of this section, the definitions in Section 12.03 of this Code and the following definitions shall apply:
Landlord: An owner, lessor, or sublessor, (including any person, firm, corporation, partnership, or other entity) who receives or is entitled to receive rent for the use of any rental unit, or the agent, representative or successor of any of the foregoing.
Notice of Termination: The notice of intention to terminate tenancy, whether given by a landlord or by a tenant, provided for by California Civil Code Section 1946. (Amended by Ord. No. 155,397, Eff. 8/2/81.)
Qualified Tenant: Any tenant who satisfies any of the following criteria on the date said tenant gives or receives a Notice of Termination: has attained age 62; is handicapped as defined in Section 50072 of the California Health and Safety Code; is disabled as defined Title 42 United States Code 423; or is a person residing with and on whom is legally dependent (as determined for federal income tax purposes) one or more minor children. (Amended by Ord.No. 162,743, Eff. 9/24/87.)
Relocation Assistance Service Provider: A company that specializes in relocation assistance and has a contract with the City for the delivery of those services. (Added by Ord. No. 178,632, Eff. 5/26/07.)
Rental Unit: Each dwelling unit, efficiency dwelling unit, guest room, and suite in the City of Los Angeles, as defined in Section 12.03 of this Code, together with the land and buildings appurtenant thereto, and all housing services, privileges, furnishings and facilities supplied in connection with the use or occupancy thereof, including garage and parking facilities. The term shall not include:
1. A one-family dwelling, except where three or more dwelling units are located on the same lot;
2. Housing accommodations in hotels, motels, inns, tourist homes and boarding and rooming houses, provided that at such time as an accommodation has been occupied by one or more of the same tenants for sixty 60 days or more such accommodation shall become a rental unit subject to the provisions of this section.
3. Housing accommodations in any hospital, convent, monastery, extended medical care facility, asylum, nonprofit home for the aged, fraternity or sorority house, or housing accommodations owned, operated or managed by an institution of higher education, a high school or an elementary school for occupancy by its students.
4. Housing accommodations which a government unit, agency or authority owns, operates, or manages, or which are specifically exempted from municipal rent regulation by state or federal law or administrative regulation.
5. Luxury housing accommodations wherein as of May 31,1978 the rent charged per month was at least $302 for a unit with no bedrooms, $420 for a unit with one bedroom; $588 for a unit with two bedrooms; $756 for a unit with three bedrooms; and $823 for a unit with four bedrooms or more.
6. Mobile home.
Tenant: A tenant, subtenant, lessee, sublessee, or any other person entitled to use or occupancy of a rental unit. Tenant does not include any person who:
(1) is residing in a conversion project and intends to purchase a unit in such project after conversion has been accomplished, or who intends to reside with such a purchaser, or
(2) (Deleted by Ord. No. 185,224, Eff. 12/13/17.)
C. Relocation Assistance Required. In connection with the conversion of a building into a condominium, community apartment or stock cooperative, as those terms are defined in the California Government Code and Business and Professions Code, or into a hotel or apartment hotel or to a use permitted in any commercial zone, the landlord shall pay the City a fee for the purpose of providing relocation assistance by the City's Relocation Assistance Service Provider to each tenant in accordance with Subsection D. of this section. The fee shall be $640 for each unit occupied by a qualified tenant and $400 for each unit occupied by other tenants, and an additional $55 per unit administrative fee to pay for the administrative costs associated with this service. The fees, set forth above, may be increased in an amount based on the Consumer Price Index - All Urban Consumers averaged for the first 12-month period ending September 30, of each year, as determined and published by the Housing and Community Investment Department on or before May 30, of each year, pursuant to Section 151.07 A.6. of this Code. (Amended by Ord. No. 182,718, Eff. 10/30/13.)
This subsection shall not apply where a subdivision map application for condominiums, stock cooperative or community apartment purposes was filed for approval with the City prior to the issuance of the original certificate of occupancy for the building. A landlord's obligation to comply with Subsection D. of this section does not exist prior to the time the landlord gives the notice of intention to convert required by Government Code Section 66427.1.
D. Relocation Assistance. Relocation assistance, where required by the preceding subsection, shall be provided in accordance with the following provisions.
1. Landlord’s Responsibility.
a. (Amended by Ord. No. 178,632, Eff. 5/26/07.) The landlord shall pay a fee to the City so that a Relocation Assistance Service Provider will:
(1) Make available to each tenant, at no cost, a reasonably complete and current list of vacant and available rental units which are comparable as to size and amenities to the unit occupied by the tenant, and
(2) Make a reasonable and good faith effort to assure that tenants without cars are driven, at no cost, and tenants with cars are assisted, in order to inspect replacement rental units, and
(3) Hire an ambulance or similar vehicle, at no cost to the tenant, and otherwise take reasonable steps to assist any disabled or handicapped tenant with relocation-related activities.
b. (Amended by Ord. No. 178,632, Eff. 5/26/07.) In order to assist the tenants in meeting costs of relocation, higher rents for replacement housing, and any related expenses, pay a relocation fee in the following amounts. If more than one fee applies to a rental unit, pay the highest of the applicable fees:
(1) $14,850 to qualified tenants and a $6,810 fee to all other tenants who have lived in their rental unit for fewer than three years, or
(2) $17,080 to qualified tenants and a $9,040 fee to all other tenants who have lived in their rental unit for three years or longer, or
(3) $18,300 to qualified tenants and $9,650 to all other tenants whose household income is 80 percent or below Area Median Income, as adjusted for household size, as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development regardless of length of tenancy. Tenants who claim eligibility pursuant to this Subparagraph shall file a statement with the Housing and Community Investment Department verifying their income on a form prescribed by the Housing and Community Investment Department. Requests for a hearing to appeal a decision regarding a tenant's relocation assistance, including disputes about eligibility for higher relocation assistance based on a tenant's income, age, length of tenancy, family status and disability status, must be filed in writing on the form prescribed by the Housing and Community Investment Department. The Housing and Community Investment Department shall charge the appellant a fee of $193 per rental unit to cover the administrative costs of the hearing. (Amended by Ord. No. 182,718, Eff. 10/30/13.)
(4) The above listed relocation assistance fees will sunset on July 1, 2008, unless the City Council acts by resolution to extend these provisions. If these provisions are not extended, the following provision will become effective on July 1, 2008:
$17,080 to qualified tenants and a $9,040 fee to all other tenants.
For the year beginning July 1, 2008, and all subsequent years, the fee amounts shall be adjusted on an annual basis pursuant to the formula set forth in Section 151.06 D. of this Code. The adjusted amount shall be rounded to the nearest $50 increment.
c. (Added by Ord. No. 178,632, Eff. 5/26/07.) The relocation fee provided for in Paragraph b. above, shall be made as follows:
(1) The entire fee shall be paid to a tenant who is the only tenant in a rental unit;
(2) If a rental unit is occupied by two or more tenants, then each tenant of the unit shall be paid an equal, pro-rata share of the fee.
In no event shall the landlord be liable to pay more than the maximum relocation amounts set forth above to all tenants residing in a rental unit. If a tenant is entitled to monetary relocation benefits pursuant to City administrative agency action or any provision of local, state or federal law, then those benefits shall operate as a credit against any fee required to be paid to the tenant under this section.
2. When Assistance Shall Be Provided. (Amended by Ord. No. 178,632, Eff. 5/26/07.)
a. Payment for Relocation Assistance Service Provider. The landlord shall perform the acts described in Paragraph a. of Subdivision 1. above on or before the service of the 180-day notice of intention to convert.
b. Monetary Assistance. The landlord shall perform the acts described in Paragraph b. of Subdivision 1. above within 15 days of service of the Notice of Termination or within 15 days of receiving notice from the tenant of his/her intention to terminate the tenancy subsequent to approval of a tentative parcel or tract map and prior to receiving a Notice of Termination of Tenancy.
E. Civil Remedies. In an action by a landlord to recover possession of a rental unit, a tenant may raise as an affirmative defense the failure of the landlord to comply with Subsection D of this section. In addition, any landlord who fails to provide monetary relocation assistance to a tenant as required by this section shall be liable in a civil action to the tenant to whom such assistance is due for damages in the amount the landlord has failed to pay, together with reasonable attorney fees and costs as determined by the court. (Amended by Ord. No. 155,397, Eff. 8/2/81.)
F. (Deleted by Ord. No. 178,632, Eff. 5/26/07.)